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The NRA meets the Candidates

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Message Mark A. Goldman

There were no limits to the hypocrisy offered up by the slate of Republican presidential candidates who spoke before the NRA last week.  Most of them were present and spoke.  One theme that they all managed to lock onto was the importance of defending the Constitution exactly the way the Framers wrote it and intended it to be read... how the Second Amendment is every bit as important as the First or any of the others... or so they said.  All of them pledged to protect the Constitution and the rule of law and most of them were met with standing ovations for saying so.


One of the biggest ovations was for Fred Thompson who reminded those present that in looking at the Declaration of Independence we see that our freedoms and our rights are given to us by God and are not gifts from the state.  I think it was Giuliani who mentioned how important it is to protect the Second Amendment with as much vigor as we would protect the First Amendment.


Then, in the very next breath, Giuliani went on at some length telling NRA members how awful it was for to place an add in the New York Times denigrating General Petraeus, saying that there are some limits to free speech that are so offensive that we shouldn’t allow that line to be crossed.  How encouraging to think that after the next election, those in the White House might offer us the same stalwart defense of the Constitution that we have now.


I found all this quite mind-boggling.  Is it really possible that these candidates have no capacity at all to look themselves in the mirror.  Is it possible they really cannot see the hypocritical manner in which they’ve conducted themselves over the last 6 years. 


One might ask why, if defending the Constitution is so important, how come they didn’t speak up when…

  1. … George Bush, while campaigning for president, informed students at a public high school where he was giving a speech, that if they came wearing a tee shirt, button, or other article that indicated they were not intending to vote for Bush, that they would not be allowed to attend.
  2. … so called “free speech zones” were set up to keep protestors away from political events ever since Bush took office.
  3. … this administration lied to congress and the nation to start an illegal war.
  4. … this administration, after starting an illegal war, ignored international conventions on the conduct of that war, such as the Geneva Conventions.
  5. … this administration committed the war crimes of not insuring the health, welfare, and safety of innocent bystanders, as for example, when they began using depleted uranium and phosphorus bombs in populated areas, the use of which is, in and of itself, war crimes.
  6. … this administration allowed Blackwater mercenaries to operate and commit murder and other crimes against the people in Iraq with impunity.  And why didn’t they speak up when Blackwater operatives abused citizens during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
  7. … this administration began using torture and renditions as standard operating procedures. 
  8. … this administration began denying accused persons the right to be properly represented by an attorney, the right to see the evidence against them, the right to a fair public trial, the right of habeas corpus.  After all Mr. Thompson... following up on what you said, can rights given by God be legitimately abridged by states?
  9. … this administration cheated the American people through fraud, cronyism, theft, and other kinds of abuse in doling out government contracts, as well as not safeguarding assets owned by the Iraqi people as any honest fiduciary would be expected to do.
  10. … Bush began using “signing statements” to undermine the authority of Congress and rewrite the Constitution in his own words.

I’m sure with a little more imagination, any patriotic American could think of a dozen more affronts to the Constitution about which not one of these folks ever spoke up. 

Are none of these affronts to the Constitution worth defending? 

These candidates all want to be President and does each one actually expect us to believe that they will honor the same oath of office they have already betrayed over and over again for years on end?  The sad reality is, of course, that the Democratic candidates don’t have any better record than these hypocrites do. 

Are we really going to vote one of the current slate of candidates into the White House?  Is that the best we as citizens can do to protect and preserve the Constitution?
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Mark A. Goldman is an author, financial planner and was a candidate for president of the United States in 2008 and 2012. His new book called "Starting Over" is available for download free as a pdf file at this address: (more...)

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