The Myth of the Line in the Sand

Lovers of liberty are completely intolerant of bullies. A sense of being constantly violated, pushed around, and stomped on is what arouses the righteous indignation necessary to motivate us to resist in the first place. It should surprise absolutely no one that tyrannical hubris seems to attract the sudden onset of lead poisoning.



In one of Michael Badnarick’s Constitutional classes, he refers to the “line in the sand.” He makes the good point that if you keep backing up every time there’s a trespass, you’ll eventually back yourself in a corner, thus making it that much harder to resist tyrants. If you are going “to draw a line in the sand,” it is much better to pick a point and stand your ground earlier on, no matter the consequences to your property, liberty, or even your life.

Of course, that necessarily begs the question about if such a line in the sand is so potentially malleable, then what lasting permanence does it truly possess? Some individuals, like Randy Mack, have in the past suggested drawing a line in concrete instead. While I appreciate the effort to symbolically firm up that sense of what is supposed to be an absolute and total commitment to a cause, there are more fundamental problems involved with the original metaphor than just how contemporary dissidents (particularly those within the Patriot Community) manipulate its ostensible meaning to the degree that those who tend to be more consistent with their principals joke about “the shifting sands of patriotism,” which of course strongly implies that many such “patriots” are disingenuous or simply insincere about their claims regarding their alleged willingness to act against the enemy rebel government.

Consider also the proclamations amongst these self-declared “militia” units whereby they will supposedly come to the aid of any other similar “militia” unit if they are attacked or otherwise being harassed by the government. I remember when the Hutraee unit all got arrested, they were quickly disowned by their militiamen-in-spirit, thus seriously questioning the sincerity of those other units (of course, if those units had submitted to the civil authority of their local Committee of Safety, they would have had no choice but to follow their lawful orders to assist these other units as appropriate, thus negating any sort of cowardly backing out, as was the case here). Perhaps if they seriously reflected on when should you shoot a cop, then all this phony posturing about how its wrong to kill these flatfoots can start evaporating, especially considering their key characteristic as the Standing Army that the Founders warned us about.

It is almost as if those who brag most loudly about their alleged “line in the sand,” are simultaneously those who are firmly on the left end of the other (not so) thin line. As Gary Hunt describes it:


“Let’s take a line that runs from left to right, with no political affiliation, philosophy, or ideology, in mind. At the right end of the line are those who have been members of the Patriot Community for quite some time. Their experience, research, and observations, along with their current mindset, have moved to the point of no return — that ‘state of Nature’ that the Framers understood. They might easily be referred to as extremists, as were those ‘Indians’ who made tea in Boston Harbor. On the left end of the line, we have those who have only recently began to see something amiss in government.”


In other words, it’s almost as if too many of the new guys prefer to express their bravado rather than knuckle down and attempt to gradually enter into a state of nature by appreciating their natural liberty. Unfortunately, the message of Liberty is not for everyone, since not everyone wants to be free; believe it or not, too many humans in this day and age prefer the tranquil comfort of the familiar to the animating contest of freedom.

Given that today is Patriot’s Day, perhaps it would behoove us to consider the actions of the colonial militia and other individuals on April 19th of 1775. Captain John Parker followed the lawful orders of the Lexington Committee of Safety by mustering the Lexington militia on the town green, despite suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. Paul Revere, a veteran of the French & Indian War, performed many tasks, one of which was grabbing John Hancock’s trunk of damning papers out of Buckman’s Tavern and hauling them, with the assistance of Hancock’s clerk John Lowell, through the ranks of the militia just as the British regulars entered the town. Samuel Whittemore, another veteran of the French & Indian War, noticed the Regulars marching through Menotomy; once he grabbed his musket, two pistols, and calvary saber, he ambushed the Regulars single-handedly.

Let’s certainly not forget the women-folk here. Sarah Tarrant once taunted a Redcoat to shoot her after he was already aiming towards her head at point blank range. Mother Batherick delivered six British grenadiers to Captain Ephraim Frost. Most impressively, Captain Prudence Wright formed her own militia unit to patrol Pepperell; she also held up British Captain Leonard Whiting at gunpoint, delivered him as a prisoner of war, and had his papers sent to the Pepperell Committee of Safety for analysis. Regardless of whether it be the actions of someone like Parker, Revere, Whittemore, Tarrant, Batherick, or Wright, I sincerely doubt any self-declared “militia” celebrity nowadays would even dare to slightly broach any of their actions, for fear of being arbitrarily incarcerated in prison.

How come almost none of the more experience members of the Patriot Community come out publicly and share their wisdom, that upon deep reflection, they’ve realized that the proverbial “line in the sand” is nothing more than a myth? I sense they recognize just how powerful the metaphor is held by those on the far left side of the other (not so) thin line. In the attempt to not hurt their feelings, thus discouraging them, they refuse to tell the truth on the matter; on the other hand, it is also equally possible that they are just cowards who are afraid of being ostracized by the useful idiots who have now infested the Patriot Community.

I used to say in private conversations on various occasions that my personal “line in the sand” was that if the central government ever instituted a Chinese-styled one-child policy in these United States, then that is when active guerrilla warfare operations need to commence if we are going to have any sort of future; it wasn’t until later I realized just how fallacious and unwittingly disingenuous that statement was (particularly ever since Gary Hunt pointed it out to me). Once I gave that up, I performed some real soul-searching regarding what I was willing to tolerate without resorting to the cartridge box. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that due to various unknown circumstantial factors, it is literally impossible to sincerely war-game ahead of time what I would and would not be willing to do in certain situations.

Listen, you can disagree with the Establishment all you want. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s what makes you a dissident in the first place. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t have any illusions about what you claim you are going to do when XYZ event happens, especially considering a lot of them have previously transpired in some way, shape, or form already. It’s one thing to visualize how you would defend yourself in violent situations, but it’s an entirely different matter what you will do in a given real world scenario.

So, this Patriot’s Day, I would suggest that you seriously reflect on the fallacy of the “line in the sand” as it is applied today. We’ve all been fed a lot of hokum by the Carnival of Distractions, and grandstanding public declarations of bravado is just one more unproductive divisive activity amongst American dissidents today. Consider moving more along the other (not so) thin line towards a state of nature instead.

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1 Response to The Myth of the Line in the Sand

  1. Pingback: Modeling Threats & Analyzing Risk: A Rebuttal Against "Doom Porn" - Liberty Under Attack

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