By: Richard L. Brown
October 2, 2013
Sedition is defined as an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority with the intent of causing the disruption of government. Considered a subversive act, it often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. The intent to “overthrow the government” is not a required element of the charge.
In 1798 the United States stood on the brink of war with France. The Federalists believed that Democratic-Republican criticism of Federalist policies was disloyal and feared that aliens living in the United States would sympathize with the French during a war.
Directed against Democratic-Republicans, of the time, a series of bills were passed by the Federalist Congress in 1798 and signed into law by President Adams. The most controversial of the new laws was the Sedition Act. It permitted strong government control over individual actions, and was in essence, an act that prohibited public opposition to the government. Fines and imprisonment could be used against those who “write, print, utter, or publish . . . any false, scandalous and malicious writing” against the government.
When Democratic-Republicans in some states refused to enforce federal laws, such as the Whiskey tax, and threatened to rebel, Federalists threatened to send the army to force them to capitulate
SUBVERSIVE POLITICAL ACTION – “A planned series of activities designed to accomplish political objectives by influencing, dominating, or displacing individuals or groups who are so placed as to affect the decisions and actions of a government.” Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
Under the laws of the United States, to betray a sworn oath of office, may be considered “treason,” “sedition,” or a “high crime”
History also shows that these “suspensions” of civil liberty’s were soon afterward removed, as they were only required to be in place due to the distracting influence of the time. When we look at the wordings, what Speaker Boehner and his allies are doing, seems to fit into the definition of perfectly. If this is in fact true. Then the definitions should, and I believe will, mirror the actions and accusations being compared to, and against them.
That said…, if we now agree that their intent, and actions meet the definition proposed; “Sedition,”
Then, we as citizens would be honor bound to discuss this amongst each other in an attempt to verify it’s validity.
Argue it’s merits amongst each other in an attempt to reach a quorum,
If the quorum is in agreement, present an accusation and demand that charges be proffered.