Liberty Iowa PAC hosted an event with Ben Swann on Friday evening at the Embassy Suites in Des Moines in order to rally the grassroots within the liberty movement in Iowa. The event drew 183 people to listen to Swann, as well as, former State Representative Kim Pearson and State Representative Jason Schultz (R-Schleswig). Adil Khan, interim executive director of Liberty Iowa PAC told Caffeinated Thoughts that they wanted to let the grassroots understand why it is important for them to be involved at the local level and how they can make an impact on issues. He cited Iowa City’s recent ban on drones and red light cameras as an example.
Khan added, “brought in Ben Swann because he is considered a leader among the liberty movement for his journalism. He came to the aid of the movement when nobody else would ask the hard questions about NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), drones, kill lists and other atrocities being carried out by current administration.”
Swann, winner of two Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards, was the prime-time anchor with WXIX, the Fox affiliate in Cincinnati, OH. While there he was the anchor/producer/writer for a segment called “Reality Check” which made him an internet phenomenon during the 2012 presidential elections drawing over 10 million viewers who were attracted to his style of investigative journalism. He recently left WXIX to launch the Truth in Media Project to promote grassroots investigative journalism through the production of “Ben Swann Full Disclosure” episodes.
State Representative Schultz told Caffeinated Thoughts he was excited for the opportunity to address the group. He addressed the group first. He said that he wants to “preserve the Republic.” He told the group that he could not think of a more fundamental duty of a citizen than to preserve the Republic.
“We think and we hear in school all the time that as a citizen we are supposed to vote, you’re supposed to serve on jury duty, sign up for selective service… They give us all those, but they forget to tell us that as citizens given these rights not by a Constitution but by a Creator; these rights are outlined for us it’s your job to protect them and preserve them. It is your job to be upset when somebody says that they don’t exist,” Schultz said.
Pearson in her remarks quoted the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” She then said, “I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to withdraw my consent.”
“We are seeing a lawlessness of a magnitude that would make King George III blush. I see our employees, and they are our employees in positions of power and they abuse their power. I see media and partisan bloggers protecting Team D or Team R to the detriment of truth and to the detriment of liberty for all of us,” Pearson added.
Swann addressing the group stated that the Liberty movement’s job in Iowa is not to be the majority, but (quoting Samuel Adams) “to be tireless in setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” He said it doesn’t mean winning every argument or to get people to agree with them on every issue, but to “challenge this one piece of the status quo, that one thing that makes people say, ‘maybe.’”
Swann paid special attention to drone strikes that have taken place against U.S. citizens and others all over the world. He issued a special challenge to evangelicals. He said “most evangelical are not really pro-life, but pro-fetus” calling on what he saw as inconsistency within the evangelical community who will protest abortion, but laud the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists.
He also took media for their failure to hold those in power accountable.
“The one group that is tasked with, supposed to, given the authority to really stand up for you the people and hold those in power accountable is media, and we don’t do it, we don’t even sort of do it” Swann stated. “Not only do we focus on all the wrong things, the entertainment things, the cheap laughs, whatever it might be, but on top of that when actual, legitimate news comes along not only do we not know how to deal with it, but we ignore it if it challenges the status quo. It is a lot easier to go along to get along in the news room than it is to challenge the group think mentality of a news room.”
He said that neither the political left or the political right are protecting the rights of American citizens, “At the end of the day, political parties and media, they’re playing the same game with the Constitution.”
“The right is not regarding due process or privacy rights in this country, nor is the left quite honestly. The left is not protecting privacy or Second Amendment rights. So liberty must rise to protect the full rights of American citizens,” Swann added.
Anita Morrill attended the event told Caffeinated Thoughts afterwards that she attended because she is concerned about what she sees as the rapid loss of personal liberties especially within the last six months. “To be honest, I’m quite pessimistic about whether these rights can be salvaged and the country turned back to our Founders’ intent, but I did come away with a bit of hope after hearing him,” Morrill said. “I don’t think the Republican establishment takes these concerns seriously, and I’ll be looking for candidates in 2014 that do. I appreciated Swann’s message of ideological consistency.”
Sarah Brooks attended to support Liberty Iowa and to hear Ben Swan speak since she’s been following his work online for the last several months. “It’s amazing what one person can do when they investigate and share the truth through media. I loved what Ben Swann had to say about challenging the status quo, to have people rethink their viewpoints and positions on certain topics and issues. I agree with Ben Swann when he said that it only changes when we decide to change it. This event was really inspiring, seeing so many Iowans here to support liberty, truth, and to hear Ben Swann speak. I look forward to what truth Ben Swann will continue to report in the media, and am excited to see where I can help to be a change in the future, because liberty is rising here in Iowa,” Brooks stated.
Khan said that Liberty Iowa PAC plans to host similar events around Iowa.
You can watch Swann’s full remarks below:
Photo credit: Heather Gresham (used with permission)