The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


8 May 2012

Did Neil Livingstone really sign this crackpot pledge?

Ed Berry reports it is so — and if he’s right, it’s downright shameful that a man so worldly, accomplished, and intelligent has put his name on a document — the Montana Constitutional Governance Pledge — that’s inciting dry rattles of approval from the bones of Jefferson Davis, John C. Calhoun, Robert E. Lee, James J. Kilpatrick, and Harry F. Byrd, Sr.

The pledge is the work of Dennis Hicks and George Torp, who, Berry reports, spent 18 months to produce less than 2,000 words. The time would have been better spent studying American history and constitutional law at a reputable university; but I digress. Back to the pledge. It’s probably best not to start reading it until taking an extra blood pressure pill and quaffing a double brandy, for the fundamental theme is Montana über alles. After reading it, you might, in a contemplative moment, hear the faint click of boots as self-appointed militiamen march through darkened streets by torchlight.

Strong words? Perhaps. But after reading the pledge’s word, some of you may think my words weren’t strong enough.

Let’s get started.

A preamble, six sections of grievances and cures, and two petition pages for signatures, comprise the pledge document. A few things stand out:

From the preamble, these doomsday paragraphs:

We, the undersigned registered voters of the State of Montana , pledge our support and votes to the Candidates for Montana State offices who have affixed their signatures in agreementto this Pledge, and who hereby commit to resigning their office if they fail to keep their promise of fidelity to the terms of this Pledge.

Whereas, the enumerated powers limiting the Federal Government have been breached, our Constitution is being ignored, and our Federal Government is acting like a monarchy, treating thecitizens of the sovereign State of Montana as subjects of that monarchy; And

Whereas, the current Federal Government and Montana State Government have replaced the proper Rule of Law with arbitrary laws, not rooted in our Constitution or laws, but are anchored in personal ideologies; And

Whereas, without legislative debate or deliberation, new laws, executive orders, and bureaucratic rules are being unlawfully imposed on the citizens of this State; And

Whereas, if left unchecked, the current lawless trajectory of our nation and our State will ultimately result in the dissolution of our Constitutional Republic, and will consign the great experiment of America’s freedom to the dust-bin of history; And

If you believe that, you'd better start stocking your bomb shelter and practicing how to blow away your improvident neighbor (probably a Democrat or a RINO) when he comes begging for food during the end-of-civilization chaos.

There’s more. I won't inflict all of it on you, but I will inflict some.

From Section 3, “To defend and support Constitutional Separation of Powers and State Sovereignty:”

WHEREAS, the Federal government has overreached its Constitutional limitations by establishing arbitrary national laws that reach the citizens of Montana; And

The Federal government has overreached by establishing unlawful arbitrary laws and regulations over Montanaʼs wildlife, lands, waterways, natural resources, and on the stateʼs businesses; And

The citizens of Montana “have the exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state.” (Montana Constitution);

THEREFORE, The undersigned Candidates will lawfully oppose, or modify to eliminate, or negate, every Federal law, regulation, or bureaucracy that intrudes into the powers and authorities reserved to the state and Montanaʼs citizens; And

I assume that means refusing all federal appropriations for schools, hospitals, highways, crop supports, and programs to feed the hungry and homeless. But it probably means keeping Malmstrom Air Force Base open, and having ICBM silos operational, to deter, and if necessary repel, bagpiping secular socialists from Saskatchewan hellbent on waging war on country music. (Trust me: they do come down here; I was there 20 years ago when a band of kilt-clad Lethbridge pipers just walked into the Windbag Saloon and played for an hour.)

Black helicopter alert — secular UN socialists infest our schools

Section 5, "To defend and support excellence in education in Montana," might explain the popularity of home schooling: candidates and voters should keep their eyse peeled for black helicopters carrying socialist European teachers:

WHEREAS, Montana is a signatory, bound to the terms of the Northwest Ordinance, [link chosen by FM] demanding that “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged and established”; And

The Montana State Constitution grants the sole responsibility to provide public education to the State; And

A Thomas Fordham Foundation study currently ranks the State of Montana dead last among the states in measuring its teachers by student performance, monitoring coursework, and how much power the state gives to schools to hire and fire teachers; And

The U.N. sponsored International Baccalaureate World Schools, which promotes secularism and European-style socialism, has already penetrated Montana public schools;

THEREFORE, the undersigned Candidates will ensure the sovereign State of Montana will take its sole responsibility to provide an educational system and environment that will develop the full educational potential of each student; And

You can read the rest. If you have the courage In the meantime, if Ed Berry's right, if Livingstone and Zinke really did sign this crackpot pledge, the rational voters left in Montana should use the ballot box to throw Livingstone under the political bus.