Jenny Beth Martin FreedomFest Remarks
Good morning, and thank you for coming out so early. Given that we’re in Las Vegas, I’m reminded of something Frank Sinatra used to say – he felt sorry for people who don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.
Now, I don’t drink. But at this hour of the morning, I think I know what he was talking about.
We’re here this morning to kick off the third day of Freedom Fest 2018, and I want to welcome you to the third day of the largest gathering of free-thinking people in the world.
Tomorrow, in Champagne 4, we’re going to be debuting a teaser version of our new documentary, “Invalidated: The Shredding of the U.S. Patent System.” We’ll be joined for that screening by Congressman Thomas Massie, an inventor himself, and Josh Malone, who invented “Bunch O Balloons” and then had to fight to protect his intellectual property.
But today, I want to talk to you about the Tea Party and its role in the movement for liberty.
We begin with this premise: That the Tea Party, from the very first one in Boston in 1773 all the way to its modern offshoots, was conceived in liberty and has fought for almost 250 years to defend, sustain, and expand liberty.
Our forbears left their native countries to begin anew in a land of liberty. They were drawn to our shores by the promise of a new social compact, new possibilities, new opportunities.
They were the first to do what we have tried to do in their footsteps – turn PASSION into ACTION.
Over the centuries, we fought and died to defend what our Founders called “self-evident” truths – that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …
We, the modern-day descendants of those hardy Bostonians, are self-determination’s supreme guardians, liberty’s natural allies, freedom’s greatest defenders.
On any issue, at any time, in any place, you know what the Tea Party’s position will be – we will be advocating FOR whatever increases the zone of personal LIBERTY, and AGAINST whatever increases the size of GOVERNMENT.
Because when government grows, liberty shrinks … and when government shrinks, liberty expands.
And we will take that mindset and marry it to a determination to turn PASSION into ACTION to make the change we seek.
We have shifted our priorities over the years – first we were on defense, trying to stop bad things from happening. We organized. We visited our Members of Congress. We held rallies. We demonstrated. We called, wrote, texted, screamed at the top of our lungs to make sure they heard us.
We fought ObamaCare. We fought the IRS. We fought raising the national debt limit. We fought amnesty for illegal immigrants. We fought the Iran nuclear deal. We fought omnibus after omnibus after omnibus, each of which added hundreds of billions more to our national debt.
We won some big victories playing defense. We helped flip the House in 2010, and we helped give House Republicans some backbone in 2011 and 2012. We defeated amnesty in 2013 and 2014. We helped flip the Senate in 2014. We helped prevent President Obama from changing the balance on the Supreme Court in 2016.
Then we worked harder than we ever had before. Our activists and supporters made 2 million volunteer phone calls to targeted states. They hand-addressed letters and wrote postcards to hundreds of thousands of targeted voters. They knocked on doors, held house parties, talked to their friends, their neighbors, their colleagues, heck, people they didn’t even know – because the stakes in 2016 were that high.
Once again, we turned PASSION into ACTION. And we helped Donald Trump win the White House.
And then we shifted to offense.
First up – filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court with a jurist in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who for decades served as one of liberty’s greatest defenders on the Supreme Court.
When President Trump selected Neil Gorsuch, we worked hard to help confirm him, because he had demonstrated, in thought and deed, his fidelity to the Constitution, and had shown his commitment to the principle that a judge’s job is to apply the Constitution and the law as written, and not make new law from the bench.
We fought ObamaCare from the beginning because it is a multi-front assault on our liberty.
It put government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors, and thereby restricted health care freedom.
It raised prices – premiums, and deductibles, and co-pays all went up, and that took money out of our pockets, and that reduced our freedom of action.
It insidiously enshrined for the first time the concept that government could require us to purchase a product to remain a citizen in good standing, and thereby reduced liberty for all of us.
We wanted to help the Republicans keep their promise to repeal ObamaCare. That’s one of the biggest reasons our activists and supporters worked as hard as they did in 2010, and 2012, and 2014, and 2016. They believed that if the Republicans controlled the White House and BOTH houses of Congress, there would be no excuse for them NOT to repeal ObamaCare.
We were wrong. Apparently, not all Republicans actually believe free citizens should be allowed to make their own health care decisions. Or maybe there’s just too many Republicans who are more concerned with the left’s attacks on them than they are concerned about keeping their word to their constituents.
Despite that setback, we didn’t give up. We shifted our sights, and helped the Republicans pass the biggest tax reform of the last generation, a tax reform that allowed more citizens greater freedom by allowing them to keep more of the money they earned for themselves.
Again, we turned PASSION into ACTION, and the economy has been booming ever since.
And now we have an opportunity to put a second new justice on the Supreme Court – and with it, the possibility to lock in a conservative, Constitutionalist majority on the Court for a generation.
Brett Kavanaugh was not my first choice. Senator Mike Lee of Utah was my first choice. I made that clear publicly before President Trump announced his selection.
But President Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh, who is the one of the best of the best legal minds of his generation. His academic and professional credentials are exceptional.
He’s published more than 300 opinions. He’s demonstrated in his rulings and his dissents that he understands the proper role of the courts and the judges that sit on them.
Speaking of Justice Scalia, a man he described as his “hero and role model,” Brett Kavanaugh said,
The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy. So read the words of the statute as written. Read the text of the Constitution as written, mindful of history and tradition. Don’t make up new constitutional rights that are not in the text of the Constitution. Don’t shy away from enforcing constitutional rights that are in the text of the Constitution. Changing the Constitution is for the amendment process. Changing policy within constitutional bounds is for the legislatures. Remember that the structure of the Constitution—the separation of powers and federalism—are not mere matters of etiquette or architecture, but are at least as essential to protecting individual liberty as the individual rights guaranteed in that text.
That’s the kind of thinking we need more of on the Supreme Court, and all the appellate and district courts. And that’s why Tea Party Patriots will be working hard to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.
We are 116 days away from the midterm elections.
That’s 116 days left to once again turn PASSION into ACTION.
Because we have an HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY to cement the gains we’ve made by EXPANDING the Republican Senate majority and HOLDING ON to the Republican House Majority.
It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be HARD.
The Left has made clear its determination to win. They will use every trick in their book. They want to divide us. They refuse to accept as legitimate the results of any election they do not win. They want to impeach President Trump and roll back his roll back of what came before.
But the American people are tired of the left. They saw in Donald Trump a bull in a china shop – at exactly the time they thought they needed to send a bull into a china shop. And they voted for him, and he won, and he has done a better job of keeping his campaign promises than the vast majority of the professional politicians who came before him.
As for those of us in this room, we now face a choice – are we going to allow the left to return to power, so they can grow government, and shrink the zone of personal liberty? Or are we going to turn PASSION into ACTION, and organize, mobilize, and turn out our vote, so that we can continue our mission of shrinking GOVERNMENT and expanding FREEDOM?
I’ve made MY choice. Have YOU made YOURS?
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.