Why does Sutherland’s Paul Mero attack liberty?

I wonder if Paul Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute, thinks his readers are critical thinkers.  His writing style suggests that he doesn’t expect they will verify the things he talks about.  He writes many things that are clearly intended to suggest incorrect facts to his readers, and to me it is very transparent that he is doing it.  This pattern is in many of his articles and papers.

Let me explain.

Mr. Mero wrote a blog article called “Secede over pot and Obamacare? You’re nuts“, which was a criticism of Ron Paul.

The title of his article instantly hints at an attempt to “attack a messenger” as opposed to a message when it includes the text “You’re nuts”.  This is a common Alinsky tool, attacking a messenger when the message itself cannot be attacked).

Paul Mero’s article seems to match up perfectly with what comes straight out of the Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals playbook.  Rules #5 and #13.

  • RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
  • RULE 13: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

In his article, Mero brought up the public petitions in all 50 states to secede from the union which came about as a result of the reelection of Barack Obama.  He decided to take the issue of secession and completely discredit the concept of it, and then associate the discredited concept with his target Ron Paul, even though he had nothing to do with the petitions coming about. (Deception #1, insinuated Ron Paul is advocating secession)

Mero started by referencing Ron Paul’s response to the petitions, where Dr. Paul reviewed some very valuable pieces of American history reminding us of how deeply rooted the principle of secession is in the American fabric.

Here are two quotes he used from Ron Paul, which are all legitimate quotes:

“Secession is a deeply American principle…There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.”

“If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free.”

Dr. Ron Paul then gave two examples of states opposing the federal government using the 9th and 10th amendments for state sovereignty.  One was Colorado’s law to allow marijuana which was nothing more than an example of the state vs. federal powers battle happening across the country.  His second example was the fight for healthcare freedom happening all across the country.

Mr. Mero said:

The Declaration of Independence also includes this instruction, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…” I’d say smoking dope and government health care, while great issues to debate, are far from the kinds of causes our founders were referring to when they agreed to revolution.

Again, Ron Paul was not arguing a case for secession but analyzing legislation and history, yet Mr. Mero felt the need to debunk these two items as invalid reasons.  He does this by using terms such as “Pot Smoking” and “Smoking Dope” instead of “Colorado’s 10th amendment right to make their own marijuana legislation” and on ObamaCare “even though the United States Supreme Court has already ruled against such federal powers”.
(Deception #2, suggest to the reader that Ron Paul believes in “smoking dope”)
(Deception #3, suggest to the reader that Ron Paul isn’t aware of the Supreme Court’s decisions or what they mean)
(Deception #4, suggest the completely false fact that somehow the Supreme Court has made a ruling against ObamaCare’s powers)

In a very juvenile manner Mr. Mero steps up his personal attack on Ron Paul, following the subtle and crafty way he has associated Ron Paul to the subject at hand.

“So Ron Paul’s compelling causes are his support for marijuana and his loathing of Obamacare”
(Deception #5, turn Ron Paul’s two examples of state legislation into Ron Paul’s alleged reasons to advocate secession, which he isn’t advocating in the first place)
(My note: If you do not loathe ObamaCare you are not paying attention, whether you’re “left” or “right” or “center”)

Before writing this blog entry I printed and read through all the petitions on the whitehouse site to determine the reasons given for secession.  Specifically looking for “pot” and “obamacare” so I could be fair in giving Mero partial credit to his claims.  Guess what?  Not a single petition had that in there.  What are the actual reasons people cited for secession?  Here is a sampling:

  • The Federal Government has not led our citizens justly and with honor.
  • To ensure our continued freedom.
  • Quoted JFK, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable” and in that spirit it is just and proper that the opportunity for peaceful political change be given to the citizens of the states.
  • Abuse of power trumping over the rights of State constitutions.
  • Forcing of unconstitutional laws on it’s own citizens.
  • Imposed policies on Oregon that are not in Oregon’s best interests.
  • Tyrannical government who cares nothing about creating a sustainable future for our children.
  • Neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending.
  • Suffer from blatant abuses of their rights through, NDAA, TSA, etc.
  • Original ideas and beliefs of our founding father are no longer being reflected by the federal government.
  • Quoted Benjamin Franklin, “Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”

Mr. Mero references the Declaration of Independence: “…whenever any form of government becomes destructive to [life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness],… and claims

“I can make a pretty good case that Ron Paul’s libertarian policies fit that category, so it’s a good thing few people listen to him.”
(Deception #6, suggest to the reader that libertarian’s are destructive to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness)
(Deception #7, suggest that few people listen to Ron Paul)
(Regardless of intention these personal attacks serve to lead the average apathetic voter to believe libertarians are not friendly to liberty and they are among the fringe groups, while the truth is the libertarian philosophy is the most passionate about freedom and the constitution and the least selfish as they believe all are equal and no one individual gets special treatment over another)

Finally, Paul Mero seems to become the wise and thoughtful leader to bring a sense of “reason” to us all.  After impressing us with his “knowledge” of the Declaration of Independence, including the quote of “governments long established should not be changed for light and transient reasons”, admitting that it is a justifiable argument for secession, he assures us all that everything is fine in America and we are nowhere near where our founding father’s were in 1776.

(Deception #8 below, suggest that there is no current valid reason to even mention secession and that is there were he would support it)

Mr. Mero says:

“I think we can all agree that the Declaration of Independence is the American argument for justifiable secession

OK, let’s build on that understanding.  How about we follow Mero’s advice?

“My libertarian and secessionist friends should read the “long train of abuses and usurpations” reported in the Declaration, then compare their complaints today with what our founders were enduring and then give us a call”

Is he sure he wants us to do that?  Because millions of us who have woken up from political apathy have been doing that for many years now as we’ve watched the country fall apart.  We all are very familiar with the details of how today’s America has met and surpassed the complaints the founders wrote in the Declaration.  We know that he will eat his words should we write out a comparison (which I will do in my next post).

“Do states have a legal and moral right to secede under justifiable conditions? Of course they do”

Since Mero agrees that the Declaration of Independence is the justifiable argument for secession, I must assume that he will support secession once we follow his own advice to “compare the long train of abuses and give him a call”, because as he says regarding having the right to secede: “of course they do”.

A few last things to note in Mero’s blog article:

“No foreign power is imposing its will upon us.  And I hate to break the news to my libertarian friends, but out own federal government is not a foreign power”
(Deception #9, suggests libertarians are at odds with the federal government when the truth is we believe the federal government is a good thing that benefits the states as long as they operate with their legal constitutional boundaries)
(Deception #10, debunk the idea that heavy foreign influence exists in our government.  I will go over this in my next post as well.  But for starters consider that NATO runs the United States military with the approval of our president.  Even Mitt said he would have been ok with that if he were elected.)

“Americans still have the power to alter our governments.  When that power goes away, we can talk about abolishing what has workd so well for over 200 years”
(Deception #11, suggest that this is about abolishing government when it is actually about honoring government and the constitution)

“Without justifiable cause, secession talk is nonsense and not unpredictably part of the pathology of selfishness at the heart of libertarian thinking.”
(Deception #12, suggest to the reader that libertarianism is selfish.  This is 180 degrees in the wrong direction and I have a hard time believing that Mero doesn’t know that.)


Why has it become impossible for me to believe Paul Mero is really a conservative?  The Rules for Radicals playbook is the extreme progressives playbook for politics and revolution that goes well with the communist manifesto.  Whose side is he on?  And I don’t mean Republican or Democrat, I mean Liberty or Tyranny.  Yes, Paul Mero has fought for quite a few conservative causes but historically the enemies of freedom have told many truths to gain the public trust in order to make them believe a few lies.

What would the late Gaylord Swim (the original founder of Sutherland) think of how Mr. Mero is using his life’s work and legacy?


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