Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Battle of Athens, Tennessee - 1946

James Madison stated, in reasoning and defense of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States …
The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit to.

In addition, the Second Amendment provides a means, a right, to protect one's self, family, property, and fellow citizens against violent criminal activity when law enforcement is either not available or cannot reach the scene in time. The Second Amendment was and is intended to be exercised by all lawful citizens of the United States in every state of the Union; for all states that are part of the Union have ratified and agreed to abide by the Constitution of the United States and can only add to its articles and amendments and not change it without the proper mechanics provided in the Constitution regarding rescinding, repealing, or changing any articles or amendments to that important national document.
Mark Alexander at The Patriot Post, of which I supported and admired since its establishment (formerly the Federal Post) back in 1999 when I ventured to produce an Internet publishing venture in the form of a newsletter that later became a “blog” that is so popular and useful today; wrote a Case Study in Grassroots Restoration of the Rule of Law entitled The Battle of Athens (Tennessee).
Mark Alexander, a direct descendent of Tennessee Patriots that were veterans of every major conflict in defense of American Liberty beginning in the American Revolution wrote about an incident that occurred in the “Volunteer State” that resides along stories of the Patriot sons and daughters of Tennessee like Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Sam Davis as well as Alvin York who have gone down in history as heroes with honor and courage. The story is little known outside the state of Tennessee, so I will join Mark Alexander in relating this story and providing excerpts form one of his essays to provide incentive for modern Americans to take action by responsible voting. I suggest that you go to the link provided above and read the history of it entirely. You will also see a rare photo at the link of the veterans who stood against corruption of their homeland while they were away fighting for freedom of the world in the 1940s. They won and restored the Rule of Law.
This story affected me because I remember when I mustered out of the US Army after serving off-and-on for fourteen years how much the citizens in the private sector had given up to those operating our government in terms of rights and liberty for false and impossible promises of what Big Government can provide. As Mark Alexander wrote:
Given the rigorous efforts by the current regime of Socialist Democrats occupying the Executive and Legislative branches of our federal government, revisiting the Battle of Athens provides a timely lesson in Patriot devotion to Liberty. Democrats today have nationalized the corruption of the electoral process by both overt efforts (blocking measures such as Voter ID, and endorsing voter intimidation at polls) and much more insidious covert measures (increasing the rolls of voting village idiots who are dependent on wealth redistribution for their livelihood -- those who vote for their living rather than work for it).
Of course my experience was not as dramatic as those vets returning home to McMinn County, but the gist of the theme applies. In today's case, we merely need to educate ourselves as to what the Constitution and its amendments mean and how they are to be applied, and ensure that we exercise our right to vote – which is also a means of arming the community against corruption and those who disregard and promote the mindset that the Constitution of the United States is a “living document” that can be changed to whatever political policy is at hand by whoever is in office. This, of course, would not be possible, and Barack H. Obama (alias Barry Soetoro) would have already received a legal impeachment hearing and possibly a trial if the legislative body called Congress wasn't corrupt in itself.
But I digress …
In 1945, more than 3,000 battle-hardened vets returned home to McMinn County and found it brimming with political corruption. The GIs, who had fought for Liberty 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 McMinn County." Despite numerous complaints about the corruption since 1940, the U.S. Department of Justice, under the control of Franklin Roosevelt, ignored citizens' charges of election fraud and did not respond. …
By 1946, some veterans were determined to challenge the Cantrell/Mansfield corruption machine, and they qualified for several posts on the upcoming election ballot. One of these men was Knox Henry, the GI candidate for sheriff of McMinn County. 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.
On Election Day, 1 August 1946, Mansfield imported some 200 strong-armed "deputies" to ensure the election would go his way. Mansfield's men 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 and shouted, "If you sons of bitches cross this street I'll kill you!" Mansfield arrested one GI poll watcher, Walter Ellis, who insisted on monitoring polling in the courthouse. One black voter, Tom Gillespie, was shot after a confrontation with a Mansfield deputy who denied him the right to vote.
While not as dramatic as just described, this reminds me that in the 2008 presidential election year there were Black Panthers standing outside of voting poll places intimidating voters entering the building; in addition, there was one case where a young female American voter was beaten for not supporting Barack H. Obama and a college student uncovered election fraud in Indiana that was rampant across the United States.
These incidences did not deter Americans from considering just what entities and powers were behind a little-known community organizer who had a brief stint in Congress and who suddenly is propelled into a national campaign for presidency with “Hope and Change” signs everywhere. The real question today is: Has Americans learned their lesson in choosing candidates? According to the corrupt and bias media, no. But what about real America? The place that the mainstream media ignores. Barack Obama rhetoric preaching a "united" America falls short of his actions and speeches after becoming president, most recently his speech concerning the death of Trayvon Martin. Soon after his speech, the Black Panther organization put a bounty on the head of the alleged murderer, George Zimmerman
Alexander continues …
The veterans weren't about to let the 1946 election cycle fall to the same corruption that had undermined the previous three elections. In the early evening, a group of vets who had been ejected as poll watchers mustered up some fellow vets. Being short of arms and ammunition sufficient to challenge Mansfield's crew and retrieve the ballot boxes, these men "borrowed" keys to the local National and State Guard armories and requisitioned three M-1 rifles, five Colt .45 pistols and 24 British Enfield rifles. The vets then went to the jail, where they offered the deputies safe exit if they would turn over the ballot boxes. The deputies declined and shot two of the vets. The GIs returned fire in a pitched gunfight that would continue into the early morning hours of 2 August, when a number of vets from neighboring Meigs County improvised explosive devices (baled dynamite sticks) onto the jail's porch in order to soften up the resolve of the occupants. Shortly thereafter, the deputies did surrender and the GIs secured the building and ballots. (Cantrell and Mansfield, cowards that they were, had abandoned their deputies and fled into the dark early in the battle.)
The political party, democrat socialists, Democrat Party of the US, consistently complains about “fairness”; yet their party has more incidents of unlawful activities concerning voting fraud than the Republican Party or that of independent or third parties.
Part of the reformation of our government should include election reforms.
In conclusion …
The non-partisan veterans delivered this message to the radio announcer at WLAR: "The GI election officials went to the polls unarmed to have a fair election, as Pat Mansfield promised. 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 following morning, the armory weapons were cleaned and returned, and the ballot boxes were turned over for a legitimate count.
In the final count the GI candidate, Knox Henry, was elected sheriff of McMinn County, and three other vets filled key county positions. In order to thwart future corruption, the town of Athens formed a new police force. In addition, elected county officials agreed to a $5,000 pay limit. In the decade that followed, the McMinn County reforms were adopted in many other counties across the state.

Historian Dan Daley wrote, "It was a violent but decisive clash of two social and political cultures, between the past and the future of rural, state, and ultimately the federal government, and a reconfirmation of the deeply ingrained ideal that Americans can assert themselves against tyranny, even when it was taking place in their own backyard." …
First and foremost, this incident, like so many before and since, affirms why our Founders codified in the Second Amendment the unalienable right of the people to "keep and bear arms." As Justice Joseph Story (appointed to the Supreme Court by our Constitution's author, James Madison) wrote, "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." History records the appalling 20th-century consequences of disarming the people.
The second lesson is that those of us who have pledged by sacred oath to "support and defend" the Liberty enshrined in our Constitution against "enemies foreign," must be equally devoted to the defense of Liberty against insult by "enemies domestic."
Today, Americans can clean up the corruption and political establishment by becoming knowledgeable of constitutional and state election laws and ensuring that they are enforced and acknowledged. An American citizen who is armed with knowledge and ignores the propaganda on campaign TV ads and the mainstream media bias can improve and reform our government through honest and sincere candidates by voting for those who address the issues, not by the present ideology of politics, but by the standards and precedence set forth by the Constitution of the United States.
By all means, vote, it is your constitutional right – but do so with a sense of wisdom, armed with knowledge; which can be more powerful and prevent the need to stand against corruption as the veterans of Tennessee were forced to do after returning home from a long war.
As Mark Alexander aptly puts it:
One certainly hopes we can defeat the socialist corruption undermining our Constitution nationally, with ballots, not bullets, but one way or the other, the next American Revolution is just over the horizon.
Save our republic by insisting that media report honest, fair and objective news and leave their opinions for the commentaries in the columnist section. Freedom of Speech does not give anyone the right to not tell the whole story, suppress truth, or only provide information that they want Americans to know.