The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the possibility of another American Revolution. If the corruption in our government cannot be fixed politically, there is a very good chance that the problem will erupt into armed conflict as happened in the following example.
Mark Alexander posted an article on May 3, 2012, entitled "The Battle of Athens (
): A Case Study in Grassroots Restoration of the Rule of Law." This article contains information about a
previously unknown to me "revolution" that took place in the United
States after World War II. Tennessee
Alexander described the situation in "the quaint east
Tennessee town of Athens
( McMinn County,
between Chattanooga and ." A group of World War II veterans returned
home from fighting a war against socialism and found corruption in their own
home town. The fight to rid their town
of corruption became known as the Battle of Athens. Knoxville
The article contained this statement, "In 1945, more than 3,000 battle-hardened vets returned home to
and found it brimming with political corruption. The GIs, who had fought for McMinn County in the European and Pacific theaters,
were not going to surrender it to corrupt politicians on their own soil. A spokesman for these Patriots proclaimed,
`The principles that we fought for in this past war do not exist in Liberty .' McMinn County
"Despite numerous complaints about the corruption since 1940, the
Department of Justice, under the control of Franklin Roosevelt, ignored
citizens' charges of election fraud and did not respond." U.S.
The seasoned GIs went up against the "law enforcement" officials of the
in the Battle of
Athens. "By 1946, some veterans
were determined to challenge the … corruption machine, and they qualified for
several posts on the upcoming election ballot….
Endeavoring to ensure honest elections, a month ahead of the primaries
they petitioned the FBI to send election monitors. As with previous requests for help to restore
Rule of Law, their requests were ignored." McMinn
On August 1, 1946, the day of the election, "200 strong-armed `deputies'" were imported to make sure the corrupt sheriff won the election. These "deputies" "ejected the veterans from polling sites, and in one instance a deputy pointed his gun at them as they attempted to re-enter a poll." One GI was arrested for insisting on "monitoring polling in the courthouse," and one black voter was shot by a deputy "who denied him the right to vote."
The sheriff and "about 50 of his men gathered up all the ballot boxes and took them to the county jail `for protection.'" The veterans did not accept this situation: they were not willing "to let the 1946 election cycle fall to the same corruption that had undermined the previous three elections." The veterans gathered some fellow vets and "borrowed" some weapons and ammunition from the local armories. They went to the jail and offered a safe exit to the deputies if they would turn over the ballot boxes, but "the deputies declined and shot two of the vets."
The veterans "improvised explosive devices (baled dynamite sticks)" and put them on the porch of the jail. It was not long before the "deputies did surrender and the GIs secured the building and ballots."
"The non-partisan veterans delivered this message to the radio announcer at WLAR: `The GI election officials went to the polls to have a fair election…. They were met with blackjacks and pistols. Several GI officials were beaten and the ballot boxes were moved to the jail. The GI supporters went to the jail to get these ballot boxes and were met by gunfire. The GI candidates had promised that the votes would be counted as cast. They had no choice but to meet fire with fire. In the precincts where the GI candidates were allowed watchers they led by three to one majorities.'"
The veterans cleaned and returned their "borrowed" weapons to the armories the next morning. They also turned the ballot boxes over for a legitimate count.
The Battle of Athens shows very clearly why our Founders gave us the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. We must have the capability to fight corruption, first with words, then with votes, and if necessary with weapons. There are thousands, maybe millions, of men and women who have signed oaths to "support and defend" the freedoms promised in our Constitution against our enemies, both foreign and domestic. This is one reason why former military personnel and Tea Party members are included on the government's "watch lists." The fact that gun sales have soared since Barack Obama became President of the
shows that people are concerned about the entire situation. United States
I hope and pray that we can clear the corruption from our government in peaceful ways with words and votes, but I would not be surprised to see more "battles" like the Battle of Athens. I am concerned that the corruption is too entrenched and that more powerful means will be needed to eradicate the "secret combinations" and "secret societies" embedded in our government agencies. Will there be another armed American Revolution? I hope not!