Last week, I wrote that Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) opponent, Sharron Angle, would have a hard time appealing to moderate voters. Her views are so far out of the mainstream—at one point she even said she thought alcohol should be illegal—that some Republicans in the Senate hesitate to endorse her. One commenter called my article a “hit piece” when the main thing I did was describe positions Angle has taken in the past but would prefer to keep quiet with the general election approaching. While her campaign web site has added a page outlining her platform, she remains reluctant to answer questions about positions she has taken even in the recent past. Now, in addition to Angle’s other controversial statements, it comes out that she has said we may be on the verge of an armed revolution against the government—especially if she doesn’t get elected in the fall.
Greg Sargent reported this week that in a January interview with conservative talk show host Lars Larson—who recently endorsed Angle—that Angle said that if the country continued on its current course people would resort to taking arms against the government:
You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.
I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.
Angle’s campaign spokesman stresses that she isn’t calling for people to revolt, but only saying that that it’s possible they would. And it seems clear from from what she said that she isn’t directly advocating revolution.
But Angle does think seem to think that revolution would be an understandable response to the political situation. While many Tea Partiers accuse the current administration of tyranny, it’s hard to see that anything the government is doing warrants armed insurrection. Tax rates in the United States are among the lowest in the developed world—never mind that in the first year of his presidency Obama actually lowered taxes to help stimulate the economy. And while Tea Partiers dislike government programs like the recent health care bill, most of the money the government collects in taxes goes to fund things the defense budget and social security that even most Tea Partiers don’t want to cut.
More to the point, if a majority of people doesn’t like the direction is going they don’t have to take arms. They can simply vote to change it. What Angle is suggesting is that people might take arms against the government and seize power if the elections don’t go their way. And in particular she’s saying they might resort to violence if she doesn’t get elected to replace Harry Reid. That wouldn’t be a revolution, it would be a coup. And it sounds a lot like a threat.