Have you ever heard of “the four boxes” citizens can use to provide a check on the government? Our American founding fathers and English common law provide four: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. The first three, when used robustly, will ensure citizens never have to resort to the fourth.
These four rights can and must be exercised if we are to preserve out liberties. Our rights are akin to muscles; they atrophy when not exercised occasionally. Are you exercising these four rights to ensure they are strong and effective?
The Soap Box
The soap box refers to our rights declared, guaranteed, and protected by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, the ten amendments to the original Constitution ratified with it. The Bill of Rights essentially is a series of “shall nots” to the newly-created federal government instructing the representatives and senators, and the executive and judicial branches, where they could not tread.
The First Amendment declares: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We Americans robustly exercise all these free speech rights. Good.
The Ballot Box
Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees the citizens of every state shall have a “Republican Form of Government,” and that assumes the citizens shall have the right to elect their representatives in the state government as well as in the federal government. Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 of the Constitution provides that the state legislatures have the sole power to prescribe the “Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives . . . .” Are you always voting? In the primaries? Again, in the general elections? Our state legislators have allowed the use of the voting tabulation machines. Did you know that only the state legislators can pass laws to undo this, and that the governors must sign the laws into law? Do you know who your state legislators are? Have you ever helped a state legislator get elected? If we are to get better state election laws, taking us back to hand-counted paper ballots, no tabulation machines, a single election day, smaller voting precincts, and absentee ballots only for those in the military and those verified to be unable to vote at a polling place on election day, we must elect state legislator and governor candidates who will promise to do that as their top priority upon taking office.
Did you know the average turnout of Republican voters in a turnout is about 25 per cent? And that the average turnout in a mid-term general election is about 60 per cent? Are you doing your civic duty and voting in every election? And knowing for whom you are voting; that is, what the candidates advocate?
The Jury Box
From English Common Law, Americans have the right in all criminal trials, whereby our liberty interest is at stake; that is, where the penalty upon conviction would include imprisonment, to be tried by a jury of one’s peers, and that only on a unanimous verdict would a conviction occur. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the first jury trial before it, instructed the jurors they had the right to determine the law as well as the facts in controversy before them. “[B]oth objects are within your power of decision.” State of Georgia vs. Brailsford, 3 Dall. 1 (1794). Despite instructions of any judge in these United States that jurors may only judge the facts, and not the law, jurors in fact may refuse to convict if the law itself, or the application of the law to the defendant, would result in an injustice, only “just laws” may applied to citizens per the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence observes that people create governments to secure their inalienable rights, and that those in government are limited to “just powers from the consent of the governed.” Government’s powers are to be just; that is, achieve justice. The Preamble of the Constitution provides that one of the purposes of establishing the Constitution was to “establish Justice.” And he Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights states, in pertinent part, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a . . . trial, by an impartial jury . . . .” (All the rights mentioned in this article applied in reference to the new, federal government created by the Constitution. All since have been “incorporated” by the Supreme Court as against the state governments as well.)
The Cartridge Box
Are you exercising your right to keep and bear arms? Do you own firearms? Have you taught your children about firearms and taught them how to safely use them? Are you familiar with the gun laws where you live and when you travel? Do you have friends and neighbors with whom you can discuss our right to keep and bear arms? Are you a member of any groups that profess to lobby governments to protect the right of the people to keep and bear arms? For example, the National Rifle Association or Gun Owners of America? Or the Second Amendment Foundation or Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership? Again, our inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and those articulated in the Constitution and the Bill or Rights, need to be exercised by each of us, or they will atrophy. Including our right to keep and bear arms.
At my website, www.PrecinctStrategy.com, I provide on the Helpful Links page, under the American Heritage and Law category, links to The Citizens Rulebook, a pocket-sized booklet containing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, a Jury Handbook, quotations of our founding fathers, and other helpful information regarding the exercising of our rights. I have also linked to The Charters of Liberty: The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, at the National Archives. I also link to “The Law,” by Frederic Bastiat, which I hope every American would read and study.
Action Now Before and on Election Day
What I'm telling all America First candidates and America First voters to be telling all other America First voters:
First, if possible, DO NOT vote their mailed ballot. Instead, go to the polling place on Election Day and ask for a new ballot to cast. DO NOT use the mailed ballot. Period. But, of course, check your state's Secretary of State, and your county's election department, websites to make sure voting in person on Election Day is allowed in your state.
Second, volunteer to become a poll worker. Go to www.SaveYourRepublic.org to learn how to become a poll worker in your locale.
Third, download & install & be ready to use the new VotifyNow voter-empowering, election integrity reporting app. Learn about VotifyNow at www.PrecinctStrategy.com – click on the button Get Election Integrity App VotifyNow. Or, go to www.VotifyNow.org.
Also, volunteer to become a voting member of the Republican Party apparatus for your voting precinct. Find out more at www.PrecinctStrategy.com.
Exercise your rights. Regularly. Make your rights stronger by exercising them. Political action, political action, political action!
Daniel J. Schultz is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and an elected Arizona Republican Party precinct committeeman and state committeeman, a veteran, a trial lawyer, an author, and promoter of the Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy at PrecinctStrategy.com.