What I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks may be considered by some, perhaps many, seditious at the least, treasonous at worst. Fortunately we still enjoy freedom of speech in this country and political speech in particular. This will not be the time or place to argue the methods of secession. Should a state currently operating under the contract of the Constitution of the United States find these arguments compelling in the future, or if the national government continues its slide into tyranny and obligates free men to act to preserve their freedom, it is my hope that the attitude of Thomas Jefferson would prevail; “Let them part by all means if it is for their happiness to do so. It is but the elder and the younger son differing. God bless them both, and keep them in the Union if it be for their good, but separate them if better.”
Since the “Civil War”, or the War for Southern Independence, established the preeminent place of the national government over the states, eliminating their ultimate sovereignty and right of self determination guaranteed under the tenth amendment of the Constitution, and the continual implementation of the progressive/statist agenda beginning with the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, the people of the various states in the union have been “disposed to suffer, while the evils are sufferable...” In recent years, more and more Americans are no longer finding the evils “sufferable”. We are tired of having our money confiscated for “redistributive justice” or wasted on pork barrel projects. We are tired of distant politicians thinking they know better than we how to raise our children, take care of our own health and well being, and spend our own money. We are increasingly worried that the national government will treat our God given rights as merely privileges to be exercised at the whim and direction of those in power. We are continually offended by politicians who treat us with contempt and disdain. We are fearful of the results of out of control spending and debt accumulation. Many of us believe that if we continue along the path we are on, our children and grandchildren with inherit a country that is merely a shadow of its former self. We believe that the greatness of the United States of America rests in the morality and industriousness of its people and the wisdom of a system of government whose chief aim is to secure their liberty. In a world where tyranny and oppression have been the rule rather than the exception, the United States has demonstrated the great things that can be accomplished by a people unencumbered by class, strict religious ideology or oppressive rulers. To see all that made this country the beacon of light to the world that it has been under attack by the very government we entrust with its perpetuation has become insufferable.
To even contemplate secession brings tears to eyes of every patriot who admires the courage of the men who formulated this Union, remembers the sacrifice of those who gave their all to preserve it, and takes pride in the accomplishments such a great nation has given to the world. Many of the original patriots said the same about Great Britain. It was the best system then available in the world but had become increasingly tyrannical, marring all that was good about it. To see the Union dissolve after all these years is a distressing thing to contemplate. Yet free men are under no compulsion to yield their freedom to perpetuate a government that no longer secures their liberty and happiness, no matter what their affection for its history.
There are those who say “This is America, love it or leave it!” Some among the dissent, myself included, have formulated “escape plans” to be implemented when the confiscation of our wealth or restrictions on our liberty become too great. For a small minority, of which we may be, this would be the moral and proper thing to do. However, if the majority of the people in a state or region become dissatisfied with their government, no longer willing to endure the “long train of abuses and usurpations”, finding no reasonable redress for their grievances and envisioning only despotism in the end, then the secession of that state or region becomes reasonable, just and proper. Why should a people who have invested their lives in the soil of their ancestors be expected to pick up and leave because an oppressive government seeks to reduce them to servitude? Do not those who have toiled to reveal the wealth of the land for their own prosperity and that of their progeny have a right to stay on that land without the expectation that they or their children will be brought into bondage? Do we not have the right to stay in an area where our history and culture have developed in conjunction with our geography to make us unique, without subjecting ourselves to the policies of a government that embraces the antitheses of our culture and values?
Most will object to secession with the idea that we still elect our representatives, we just need to put the right people in office, we need to change Washington from the “inside”. Do we really believe that’s possible any longer? Let’s say that in 2010 we “threw the bums out” and there was a historic fifty percent turnover in the house and senate. Would anything really change? Thirty years ago we had the Reagan Revolution. Twenty years ago there was the Contract with America. Where are we today? Did anything change? Is government smaller, did it shrink even a little? Tom Daschle was voted out and replaced by Harry Reid. Wishy-washy Republican leaders are replaced by other wishy-washy Republican leaders whose best plan of action is to give ground slowly and whose worst is to cooperate to give away our freedom. There is a systemic problem in Washington and it is that the two parties are entrenched in power and the radical party leadership calls the shots because they hold the money for everyone’s reelection in their hands. If ignoramuses like Nancy Pelosi, criminals like Charlie Rangle and Chris Dodd and just plain weirdoes like Barny Frank can be reelected time and time again in their gerrymandered districts, the system is broken and there is no hope for real change in Washington. The parties and the huge Washington bureaucracy are holding us hostage and that is not going to change before the economic and moral damage becomes irreparable.
Finally, consider the fact that the liabilities and obligations assumed by our national government are unsustainable and will, in the near future, result in the destruction of our currency and economy. If our ship of state is like the Titanic and some of us can see the iceberg ahead, Obama, Pelosi and Reid have just given the order for full speed ahead. Some may say deliberately, and not just out of ignorance or stupidity. If the national government is going to commit national suicide, are the people of the many states obligated to go down with the ship, particularly if the people in those states have been continually dissatisfied with the policies that brought us to the point of impact? Would it not be a wise course of action to get into a lifeboat now so you are assured a seat when the ship goes down? A state that secedes before the ship strikes the iceberg, develops a sound currency and economy based on free market principles and an efficient private sector utilization of resources will not only survive the catastrophe, but thrive, because it will have recaptured the ideals and values that made this country great.
I have written this introduction and what will follow based on the idea that a single state or a few that make up a region of the country with similar values and culture would choose to leave the union. If a larger number of states would seriously consider this course of action, then we need to ponder the consequences of a constitutional convention. If the many states choose to, in essence, form a new government under a revised contract, restoring freedom and common sense in government, then perhaps this nation can remake itself in the image of its former glory.
Why consider this now? Although this is not the place to consider the history of the secession movement in this country or its legal ramifications, suffice it to say that a country founded on the right of secession has had secession movements throughout its history. Massachusetts was the first and the southern confederation was the last to be taken seriously. The events of the last two years have awakened many people to the deficiencies of their government, while their government has flaunted those deficiencies as if they were a badge of honor. There are those of us who believe that our national government, with its entrenched leadership and bureaucracy, is incapable of relinquishing power. Perhaps the grab for power and control has become too blatant to ignore but it is only the acceleration of a pattern that began with Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Even if we put a stop to the current attempts at tyranny like health care or cap and trade, it will only be a temporary reprieve. The vast majority of the people in our national government, and many state and local governments as well, believe that they can do a better job of managing everything than the people can. Democrat or Republican, they believe their job is to fix things the government was never meant to fix, many of which are not broken or are broken because they broke it!. Such an attitude will only lead to more tyranny, more absurdity and the absolute ruin of our economic and moral foundations. The ship is steaming full speed ahead for the iceberg. It may be ten yards or ten miles from hitting but it will hit. The laws of economics and the lessons of history make it certain. Will we jump over individually, swimming for safety as best we can? Or will the people of several states rise up and declare their right to liberty and self determination? If the latter is a consideration, the following essays will provide some powerful ammunition to make a case for secession and provide some of the philosophical foundation for building a free state based on the principles that worked so well for so long in the United States.