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Posted by C.Jay Engel. Regarding the "voting the bums out” methodology of political change.

Boldin’s Recipe

Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, has a great blog piece that was posted a couple days ago.  Boldin is a great friend to the liberty movement.  How do I know this?  Because the Southern Poverty Law Center has a smear profile on him.  When the SPLC has a profile on a liberty-leader, this is an endorsement.  Someday, I will have one too I hope.


Boldin’s piece considered “the recipe” for enacting a change toward liberty in the United States.  Many people are frustrated with what goes on in Washington.  And so they announce their battle cry: “Vote the bums out!”  Boldin has “some news for” those folks: “There is absolutely nothing from the Founding Fathers – and I mean nothing – in which they said your number one course of action in response to massive, repeated constitutional violations should be to ‘vote the bums out.'”


This needed to be said.  Many people, especially GOP folks find their solution in elections.  Problem: “voting the bums out” has failed, it has achieved absolutely nothing.  Every year, the government spends more, regulates more, murders more, takes away more rights, than it has in previous years.  Since Bush?  No, since World War Two.  Sometimes the “bums” get voted out.  And new “bums” get voted in to take their place.  


So what is the solution?  No, not another revolutionary war.  That would be insane.  And counter-productive.  Boldin explains “the recipe:”

James Madison said that when the federal government passes an unconstitutional measure – or even if they pass something that’s totally constitutional, but still unpopular – there are ways to successfully resist it.

Notice that Madison didn’t mention a single thing about elections or voting bums out.


He did, however, point to methods which are “powerful and at hand.”   Two prominent examples that you should be doing today:

– “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union”
– use “legislative devices” to create “very serious impediments”


In fact, Boldin’s advocacy of nullification of Federal Laws is exactly what SPLC finds disturbing.  Nullification is what the entire establishment and collection of Statists nationwide find disturbing.  How dare they disobey our commands!  We are the rulers!  Their opposition to the liberty “recipe” is profound.


Joel McDurmon’s book “Restoring America” advocates for the same method.  Decentralization and bottom-up change is more productive and more intellectually pure than “voting the bums out.”  Check out Boldin’s piece and McDurmon’s book.





About C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, where he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to

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