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Right to assemble

June 19, 2009 - Blaine Hyska
You have to appreciate Americans for Constitutional Enforcement. They certainly know how to stir the pot.

Americans for Constitutional Enforcement, better known as ACE, is a Dickinson County-based group with chapters in other parts of the country.

ACE champions the Constitution as written, without judicial interpretation. That means they’re big supporters of the Bill of Rights, especially the Second Amendment.

On July 4, they plan to display a First Amendment freedom as well — the right to assemble.

By way of review, ACE organizes the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Fourth of July Parade. They have for years.

The parade had been sponsored by the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Jaycees. When the Jaycees disbanded several years ago, it looked as if there would be no Independence Day Parade.

At the last minute, ACE came to the rescue. ACE assumed the unenviable task of organizing the annual tradition. That means getting volunteers year after year to work in the hot sun on a national holiday.

This year, ACE has added a new twist to the parade — a Tea Party. ACE will have the final float in the July 4 parade (as usual), and they’re inviting parade goers to join them in marching along the parade route as a sign of protest.

ACE members don’t agree with all the changes being made at the national level. They don’t agree with the tax policy, government bailouts or government takeovers.

They want to make their feelings known.

OK. ACE certainly has a legal right to make a political statement at the Fourth of July parade.

It’s their parade. They took it over when no one else wanted it. And this is America.

Still, it’s unsettling to see a patriotic family tradition tainted by politics.

To me, the parade should express center-of-the-road values — flags, firetruck sirens, high school bands, and lots of candy for the kids — nothing more. Look. I don’t agree with everything the Obama administration has done, but on the Fourth of July, I’m just an American. I’ll talk politics another day.

You can’t legislate good taste.


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