'Seditious' Conservatives Attacked in Marin County

"I don't agree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it" is no longer in vogue for some Mill Valley (Marin County, California) residents. 

Ryan White recently wrote an excellent piece in the Mill Valley Herald about the upcoming "GroupaPalooza" at the Mill Valley Recreation Center -- a private gathering that will bring together conservative groups, candidates and the conservative community.

Yet, a former AP reporter, Deborah Phelan, has asked city officials to cancel the GroupaPalooza.  The former AP reporter told White that "our local government has to make a stand against this movement, which I view as seditious."

By movement, she is referring to the Tea Parties.  By seditious, she is just plain wrong.  Tea Parties have been popping up across the land to protest an ever-expanding government that is taxing more, spending more and intruding more on individual liberties.  The Tea Party movement is not about subverting the Constitution but restoring constitutional governance.

Phelan has asked the city to target a select group of citizens and deny them the right to assemble peaceably simply because they do not share her political beliefs.  This former reporter obviously missed the lecture in journalism school about the First Amendment's protection of speech and right to assemble peaceably-I'm confident that the absurdity of a journalist seeking to squelch the speech of others, while exercising her own, will not be lost on the reader.   These rights exist irrespective of the form of government and cannot be applied selectively or abridged by the government.  No matter how determined Phelan is to have the city silence conservatives, thankfully, she will fail.

A glance through Phelan's Looking-Glass reveals a distorted reality where conservative calls for individual liberty, constitutionally limited government, free markets and lower taxes are characterized as sedition.  I can just hear the Queen in Phelan's Wonderland screaming "off with your head" when the Founding Fathers denounced the King and wrote the seditious Declaration, Federalist Papers and Constitution. 

The Founding Fathers were aware that they might be hung for their crimes against the Crown and intentionally crafted an America where that could not happen.  When citizens took down Nixon, impeached Clinton and eviscerated Bush--all in the name of the First Amendment--no one was silenced or accused of sedition.

Phelan is also concerned about the signs children might see passing through the center.  She could turn this into a teaching moment:  "Although I don't agree with conservatives, I will defend their right to speak freely.  In countries like Iran, China and North Korea, people have been shot and imprisoned for voicing their opinions. Many of the event's participants come from countries where they could not speak against the government.  This is called "dissent" and, in America, even if you criticize the President, that dissent is patriotic!" 

Ms. Phelan is invited to RSVP and witness the Constitution in action.  It is not a protest so there won't be any signs.  Only people with reservations can enter and children must be accompanied by a parent. 
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