Yesterday, we took a look at South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s top-polling Tea Party primary challenger, state Sen. Lee Bright, who thinks the income tax is something out of Nazi Germany and is concerned about women with nice nails and pocketbooks getting food assistance.
It turns out that Bright doesn’t just want to eliminate a host of core federal programs…he’s also itching to refight the Civil War.
In a series of speeches to Republican and Tea Party gatherings this year, Bright has riled up crowds with the states-rights rallying cry, “If the Tenth Amendment won’t protect the Second, we might have to use the Second to protect the Tenth.”
Bright is a proponent of nullification, the unconstitutional idea that states can “nullify” federal laws that they don’t like. This year, he sponsored a bill in the state senate to nullify the Affordable Care Act.
At a gun-rights rally in front of the South Carolina statehouse in January, Bright stood before two confederate flags to offer his view that while he finds slavery “morally reprehensible,” President Lincoln’s Revenue Act of 1862 – which introduced a progressive income tax in order to fund the Union Army – “was when government started becoming God and taking over this country.”
Later in the speech, Bright declared he was ready to “lay down my life” fighting the federal government: “We don’t want to have to use the Second Amendment, we’re a peaceful people. But we will not be the generation that lost our liberty. People ask me all the time, ‘I don’t know what I’ll tell my children, I don’t know what I’ll tell my grandchildren.’ Well, I’m not going to have that problem, because I’m not going to be here. I want to lay down my life for my liberty just like my forefathers did.”
At a February “Day of Resistance Rally” in Greenville, Bright warned that Justices Kagan and Sotomayor might even want to dissolve the states, and expanded on his view of 19th century American history…adding that it is Americans today who are in fact under “the chains of slavery.”
“I went to public school,” he said, “and I was taught about the Civil War, and then I learned it was the War Between the States, and then I learned it was the War of Nullification, and then finally I learned out it was Lincoln’s War.”
He then accused President Obama of wanting to be a “king.” “I’ll say what my forefathers said,” he added. “No king but Jesus.”
“We have got to be organized, we have got to participate in these elections,” he said. “Because I’ve got to tell you, if we don’t, we might have to use the Second Amendment to defend the Tenth. And let me tell you, I want peace. Listen, peace is sweet, but it’s not so sweet for the chains of slavery.”
In another speech in February, Bright went after President Obama, claiming, “The man has never had a challenge, everything has been handed to him. We don’t know how his education was paid for, but it looks like it was handed to him, and we can’t even find out.”
He then offered his standard threat of violent revolution, speculating that in the hypothetical conflict President Obama wouldn’t send troops to South Carolina because armed forces from the state would turn against him.
“We want to use the Tenth Amendment to protect the Bill of Rights, but if we have to, we will use the Second Amendment to protect them. We want to be a peaceful people, but we can’t sacrifice liberty for peace,” he said.
“I’ve talked to plenty of soldiers, and these soldiers don’t much like what’s going on with Obama. I mean, these are our troops, these are our family members, and I just don’t think he’ll have federal troops coming down here. to South Carolina.”
One audience remember responded to the criticism of Obama by shouting “Vote him out!” Another can be heard responding, “Vote with guns!”