This is the text of a speech I gave today in Bridgeport at a 9-11 remembrance/tea party. This is the speech in its entirety. God Bless.
Thank you for coming today.
You heed your nation’s call and for that I am grateful.
My name is Joseph Patchen and I am by vocation an attorney.
My story is not unlike those of others you have heard about. My story may mirror many of yours.
I was parked in a federal parking lot; there on business. Someone employed there complained about my bumper stickers “DUMP DODD” and “DUMP DELAURO”; they were deemed to be ”offensive”; they were deemed “hateful”; in short, I was accused of laying the foundation to start “trouble”.
I was threatened with a tow if I did not remove my vehicle.
I have a right to own these stickers. I have a right to display them.
But in the same breath I can tell you that they have a right to ask me to leave. They have a right to segregate me to the farthest edge of the parking lot.
And of course, when push comes to shove they will deny it ever happened.
So what can I do? I could sue - and in 6 to 10 years as my case works its way through the judicial system - I might have a resolution.
But I, we, our nation need something more immediate.
The First Amendment of our founders is not the First Amendment of today. The First Amendment of your grandparents doesn’t resemble the First Amendment of your parents; and your First Amendment may not be same as that of your grandchildren.
This right and all of our rights are affected by political power.
The Fighting Words Doctrine of 1942; The Miller Obscenity Test; Free Speech Zones; The Fairness Doctrine; Political Correctness; to name a few, have had their effects on our freedom of speech.
What we need to do is exactly what we are doing today. By being here, you are taking that first step. You are sending a message to Washington.
When I see Barack Obama I see apathy; when I see Chris Dodd I see apathy; when I see Henry Reid I see apathy; and when I see Nancy Pelosi I get sick to my stomach. We have allowed a ruling class, a government answerable to no one, to manifest because we have disassociated ourselves from the process. We let this happen by not closely vetting our elected officials; we have let this happen by failing to hold them accountable and we have allowed them to become rulers rather than representatives.
To that I say ‘the party is over’.
Our Constitution is both a sword and shield. It can lead us to our freedom and it can allow others to suppress our ideas and actions. We need to work now; we need to labor for our democracy and our God given freedoms; we need to get involved in every aspect of our government, local, state and federal; we need to ask and re-ask the hard questions; and then we need to re-ask them again when they are side-stepped or ignored.
Freedom is a right, but it is also a sacred responsibility. And we have to be prepared to stand up for it whenever it is threatened.
In the past week I have been called a racist; a Nazi; an agitator; a crazy; a nut. I have been threatened and ridiculed. But I understand what is happening to our Republic and my fellow citizens. These names and threats aimed at me are nothing compared to the bullets and bombs hurled at those who have walked before me in the defense of freedom.
We have to vote; we have to raise our voices; to run for office; to actively force the debate; to demand higher standards from our elected officials. You may be called names, you may be threatened too, but what is the alternative?
Big, intrusive government control, soaring deficits, and undue burdensome taxation.
I remember the words of a wise man who so rightly said "Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."
Demand your Representatives, your Senators and even your President speak the truth; and hold them accountable each and every day, on each and every issue.
I was at a wedding on Saturday and a gentleman turned to me and said, “What you‘re doing is foolhardy. By the time 2010 rolls around the electorate will forget and we’ll be left with the status quo”.
He might be right; but deep down in my heart and my soul I think this time is different. I think this generation will have to defend freedom, without bombs and bullets, but with intellect and hard work.
I believe in the American Spirit; its possibilities and its strengths. Stand up for your Constitution, Stand up for your ideals, Stand up for your Country.
Americans have, at times, for centuries, stood up to stop facism; to stop socialism; to stop the infringement of rights; to allow each and every citizen of this great land to pursue his or her dreams.
Stand up and demand the same of your friends and neighbors. Stand up and send Washington the message that this is our government and our Constitution and we will not allow it to be gutted by out of control politicians.
So when this Administration says ‘Yes We Can’, you have to tell them ‘No You Can’t’.
God Bless You and May God Bless that shining city up on a hill known as the United States of America.