ACRU Reception, Army-Navy Club, Washington, D.C., October 30, 2010

Transcript: Ed Meese

Excerpts from former Attorney General Edwin Meese’s remarks about John Armor’s book These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls: America — Then and Now in the Words of Tom Paine (American Civil Rights Union, 2010)

Portraying Franklin, Writing Prolifically

“John was not only a very prolific writer, but as [his wife] Michelle pointed out, and besides being a defender of the Constitution, he was also a very colorful person. And that colorful life was portrayed in his representation of Benjamin Franklin. It was a way in which he got people to be interested in the Founders. ... in full costume he would go to children's groups around the area, really around the East in various places. He would be present at the Tea Party events, and as a result, he was actually, almost became Ben Franklin… But it was really in the [North Carolina] mountaintop that Michelle talked about where his prolific pen was really at work and where, away from the city, and away from distractions, he could put his remarkable capabilities, his mental capabilities and his creative genius, and he could put that to work.

Where Rights Come From

“He wielded a mighty pen for freedom. And he understood the Constitution; he understood the importance of the Constitution and he understood that we have God-given rights that were enshrined in the Constitution, and he brought those in his many writings and particularly in the work for the ACRU, which was of course founded to protect those God-given rights.

“Needless to say we've all seen examples of how there's some in our country who use the words a “living Constitution.” You know, when you hear those words look out. Because what they're really doing is they are trying to fool us into thinking – by using the words “living Constitution” – that we should accept their views about a document that they consider dead, useless and irrelevant.

Some Leaders Find Constitution Irrelevant

“It wasn’t long ago that the Speaker of the House of Representatives was asked if ObamaCare, the legislation with Obama’s health program, was constitutional. And her response was: ‘Are you serious? Are you serious?’ In other words, too many of our leaders – those that have been elected to defend the Constitution and protect the Constitution – deem it irrelevant. Well, John Armor didn’t. John Armor realized that the real Constitution is a vibrant document which is as important today as it was when it was ratified and when it was adopted in the late 1780s and because of that, he was a thorn in the side of the ACLU [Among other things, Mr. Armor wrote the ‘ACLU Outrages’ column featured on the ACRU’s Website].

Putting It All in One Place

“… I think that Thomas Paine would be very proud of this book and the work that John did, the fact that he honored Thomas Paine and the Common Sense, the reasoning and all of the rest that was put together in Thomas Paine’s work and is now brought up to date with the commentaries that we have.”

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