Jackson on the Patriot Act

E.W. Jackson
E.W. Jackson

Lately, E. W. Jackson has been promoting a very pro-liberty message as he campaigns for lieutenant governor of Virginia.  Currently, on his website, he offers a rather inspiring video encouraging Virginians to “defy, not comply” with the unconstitutional overreaches of the federal government including agencies like the EPA and laws and regulations that rob us of our rights like the Patriot Act and NDAA.  These are all ideas which should make liberty-minded Virginians quite happy.

Although I certainly agree with many of the statements made in this recent video, I do have a few concerns.  As I wrote previously, back in late 2011 a variety of U.S. Senate candidates gathered in Verona to discuss a multitude of pressing issues.  I recall coming away from this forum a bit distressed regarding E. W. Jackson’s position on the Patriot Act as it seemed rather statist.  Later, I spoke with one of his campaign staffers, but that person assured me that I had misunderstood his opinion on this important matter.

Recently, however, I obtained a link to a video of that 2011 forum including Bishop Jackson’s own words on the Patriot Act.

In this clip, E. W. Jackson seems to suggest that we should be willing to jettison both our liberty and property in order to do all we can to preserve American lives.  However, to echo the words of former Virginia Governor Patrick Henry, we must ask, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”  Henry has the answer, “Forbid it, Almighty God!”

So this situation begs an important question.  Has E. W. Jackson had a political awakening, casting off his previous positions and embracing the ideals of liberty by completely rejecting measures like the Patriot Act?  Or, as he seems to say in 2011, does he believe that it is a quality program simply in need of a bit more oversight?  Although I’m greatly hoping that the first answer is the truth, I’ve seen too many politicians play the political shell game to rule out that latter possibility.  As constitutional conservatives and libertarians increase their clout within the Virginia Republican Party, it is becoming increasingly more important, but also more difficult, to differentiate the true believers and converts from the opportunists.

It is an important question that I hope will be resolved prior to the Virginia Republican Convention in May.

Let me close by offering thanks to Sandy Garst for the clip from the 2011 forum.

Update:  In response to this article, I have been sent the following statement from the Jackson campaign:  “Having served in the US Marine Corps, I will not apologize for being open to ways of protecting the American people from those who want to kill us. But we must do that without robbing Americans of our freedoms. NDAA and the Patriot Act both fail that test.”

5 Replies to “Jackson on the Patriot Act”

  1. When I asked him in person during his Senate campaign to justify his war policy, Jackson declined to coherently answer the question and walked away. I have little confidence that Jackson will walk the walk if given the opportunity.

    To be fair I don’t think any of the other candidates except Stimpson, and possibly Stewart, can be relied on either. Snyder appears to be a Manchurian candidate, with no public record and backed by the same out-of-state big money that made a mockery of the last Presidential primary; Lingamfelter seems to think we should all behave like we’re in the Army; Martin doesn’t appear to have updated his point of view since the 1980s, and JMDD of course doesn’t even pretend to be friendly to liberty.

    1. Jackson does state in the piece that Constitutional rights need to be protected and American’s need to be protected from terrorists.

      I have sat in a room with Jackson (as a member of his Senate campaign staff) discussing the Patriot Act, NDAA and other tyrannical Federal programs and I can assure you that he is 100% opposed to these federal actions.

      I find it interesting that a Stimpson supporter (who posted on this thread before me) would be so quick to seize on one statement like this, when Stimpson was unfairly attacked as a racist when her comments were taken out of context. Or with this exchange about nullification where she looked foolish in front of the Bedford Tea Party. http://www.roanoketeaparty.com/2013/02/6605/

      I also find it interesting that the Stimpson supporter is so reasured by Stimpson on this issue. What exactly is she going to do to protect your rights?

      Jackson and Stewart are the only candidates that have a platform to actually do something about NDAA and the Patriot Act by using nullification to fight the Feds whenever practical.

      Based on what I have heard shes more than willing to allow the AG to sue the Feds. How is that working out for you?

  2. I was at the Shenendoah Vally debate in Verona and I talked personally with E.W. Jackson about that question since this issue as well as the subsequent issue about NDAA is extremely important. He discussed with me his position that he believes the government should do what is necessary to protect human life within the confines of our Constitution (as he states in the video). He elbaborated on a much longer list of offenses in the Patriot Act than he had time for in his answer at the debate. I think well meaning people are confusing his answer that he believes in the idea of protecting us with the idea that it means he believes in the laws set up under the Patriot Act. I am confident that he has been both truthful and consistant and believe he will do what he says in this video: http://www.jacksonforlg.com/virginia-defy-not-comply/ and fight to lead the state to defy these abuses from the federal government.

  3. Great observation and reporting. I was at Verona, as you were, and it was concerning to listen to candidates who want liberty but have a kneejerk reaction in favor of statism and central control on some issues. I recall (correct me if I am wrong) that the other candidates in Verona in 2011 all spoke as statists on the issue of the socalled war on terror, and to his credit, EW Jackson got a large amount of applause when later, he said he would wrk to eliminate the TSA (notwithstanding that the TSA is and parcel of the DHS and the still unread and still unconstitutional Patriot Act.)

    1. Yes, it seemed to me like many of the candidates at the Verona forum did support government programs like the Patriot Act. If anyone cares to listen to all of their responses on this issue, as well as several others, you can find the video here.

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