Potowmack Institute blind spot

I’ve briefly mentioned these guys before but they have updated their website for our current election. They haven’t become any more connected to reality since the last time I visited:



The McCain Campaign has denounced Barack Obama for his tenuous association with William Ayers, characterized as a domestic terrorist who hates America. Sarah Palin has her own associations with those who espouse insurrectionist and secessionist doctrines. The doctrines are pervasive in the present political culture. Are these the people who love America?

The problem is both embrace the National Rifle Association’s childish political fantasy. A member of the NRA’s National Board wrote in the Washington Post in 1989:


Ayers can only be faulted for acting out the NRA’s childish political fantasy. The Obama Campaign can be faulted for the failed political leadership to turn the whole issue around on the McCain Campaign and exploit the opportunity the courts have given to bring rationality to firearms policy. See below. The gun rights militants need not worry that political and intellectual leadership will emerge anywhere else.

Their most glaring flaw in the above is they seem incapable of distinguishing between violently overthrowing our constitutional established republic (as Ayers attempted) and defending the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution from a tyrannical government attempting to infringe those rights.


As near as I can tell the person or persons at the Potowmack Institute regard all governments as equally valid and deserving of having a monopoly on the use of force. This is a false assumption. The truth is that no government is deserving of a monopoly on the use of force. No government can legitimately claim to possess powers that the individual also does not have and were granted to the government by the individuals. The individuals may grant the government a monopoly on the use of force in certain circumstances such as when declaring war on a foreign state, enforcing contracts, or punishment of criminals. But those are limited monopolies and are subject to revocation by the people.


There are other uses of force the government may never have a legitimate monopoly on such as the use of force to defend ones self and other innocents against imminent serious injury or death. Any government that claims to have a such a monopoly on the use of force is an illegitimate government.

2 thoughts on “Potowmack Institute blind spot

  1. There’s one disjointed individual who posts PI stuff on Huffpo. None of it makes much sense. I think he probably makes up the entire ‘institute’.

  2. It’s just one guy, a “G.E. Ernst.” And you’re right. He believes, apparently, that government MUST have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

    I have kindly invited him to bite me.

    Still, his site is a goldmine of information for our side of the argument.

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