Sign of the Times: Secessionist Talk in Modern America

As Americans brace for the turbulent times the next four years will bring, some have opened up the discussion of secession. It happens from time to time, and it is usually fairly controversial. I’ve tried to ride this wave out and let everyone get it out of their system, but it’s lingering around a little longer than normal, so maybe we should discuss it…

First and foremost, I am a strong proponent of states’ rights. I believe our founders intended for us to operate as states with a loose, administratively-minded federal government to help us to collaborate on issues that need more attention than any one state can provide. To me, there are few things so obvious as the glaring deviation from this initial principle represented by our monstrous, Frankenstein-esque federal government we have now. However, we should be asking ourselves, “Is secession a good idea, or are we just throwing a fit?”

The answer is a complicated one. First, we must ask if states have the right to secede. To that, I stand firmly with a resounding, “Yes.” Now, I also believe everyone has a right to own a gun. However, with that, I also believe that there are many who ought not to own one because they’re just not responsible enough. Likewise, though I believe any state has the right to secede, I do not, necessarily, believe it to always be the best course.

As states petition for the right to peacefully secede, these efforts are being mocked on the right and left. That is wrong. We should always be willing to have these discussions and be continually encouraging people and states to weigh their options when fighting for the right to self-determination.

These pundits on the left who mock these efforts do so because they cannot fathom a nation comprised of fifty states who largely govern themselves; so to them, such talk is as absurd as it is radical.

Those on the right who mock these efforts do so from fear of being labeled radical. They should focus their attention on explaining why these efforts are not a good idea instead of attempting to undermine the concept of states’ rights. If one believes secession is a bad idea, then speak up. However, we should not aim to discourage the weighing of options as we head towards ruin. We need an open forum to discuss ideas- both good and bad.

Perhaps a better idea than secession is a revisiting of past concepts, relegated to brief mentions in history textbooks. While it still remains somewhat of a controversial topic (even in its own time), perhaps we should review the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that sought to clarify the sovereignty of states. The Resolutions, in short, were declarations that stressed nullification of federal laws that states found to be unconstitutional. While this may sound radical, nullification is a grey-area of constitutional law that could allow states to function more autonomously without outright secession.

Again, I am not advocating merely one idea. I am, however, urging Americans everywhere to open this dialogue with government and activists and explore our options as states and, more importantly, our options as citizens.

I am for fixing the problems of our nation, first and foremost. I believe there are valid reasons why these states look to separate from an obnoxious and power-hungry federal government, especially in the case of Texas, who was an independent Republic before being a state.

This talk of secession is a manifestation of frustration by the American people, and we need to view this as an opportunity for discussion, not an opportunity for division. I am not convinced we are at this junction yet, so I still continue to advocate for political involvement. Instead of fleeing, we should work within our system to try everything to scale back the oppressive overreaches of the federal government. I thoroughly understand the frustration, so I will not cast condemnation on any man who feels that secession is the answer. However, I believe that we should not be looking to separate, but looking to get involved in causes and campaigns that seek to remedy the problems here in America first.

It is a difficult thing to be called a radical. I have encountered it, and it is never uttered as a matter-of-fact, but almost always as either a pejorative or a compliment. Some of the world’s greatest heroes and villains have been radicals. We must advocate discussion and ideas over frantic action.

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10 Responses to Sign of the Times: Secessionist Talk in Modern America

  1. John Roberson says:

    Wouldn’t it be better just to give California back to Mexico and to throw in Mass. for honest measure?

  2. dusterdog says:

    The tenth amendment will not work to nullify;Why? because the feds will with hold funds that a state needs to function.Now if the states had the balls to stand up to the feds by saying,if you with hold funds from our state we will not allow you to collect federal personal income tax or federal gas tax in this state and the death tax.Then it would work.However this author should look at secession through the eyes of a southerner not a yankee’s eyes.It sure looks different.

    • William says:

      Actually it would be Amendment 14 that blocks a state from “legal” secession.
      And just for the record, the only thing that Texas can “legally” still do is to split the state into 4 sections that would then be 4 seperate states. But it cannot secede “legally”. This being done in 1868-1869 with Amendment 14 to the Constitution. Amendment 10 is irrelevant in the discussion of secession.

  3. Truthsayer says:

    Something for you Tea Party Types.. A Severe Minority of the Electorate might want to think about..

    This was what George Washington said about the Whiskey Rebellion .. Right before he mustered Troops and Started Marching those Troops to Crush Resistance to Valid Federal Law.

    “if the laws are to be so trampled upon with impunity, and a minority…is to dictate to the majority, there is an end put at one stroke to republican government…for some other man or society may dislike another law and oppose it with equal propriety until all laws are prostrate, and everyone will carve for himself.”- George Washington First President of the United States and the Only Person to ever receive Unanimous Election in the Electoral College.. TWICE

    • Stringgirl17 says:

      Has anyone heard of an email that talks about Obama putting in place through the United Nations a provision that will set up law enforcement to remove weapons from citizens in our country and others? I’d like to know if it is true, and if it is we HAVE to do something about it.

  4. Lunatic Fringe says:

    I can’t say that I’m all in on seccession…yet. But the honest, patriotic citizens of this country had better figure out how we get around this disloyal and crooked regime, or there will be more of them to follow. It seems that either we have reached a tipping point where there are more people in the wagon than pulling it, or we have a government so clever and corrupt that they are able to steal elections and leave very little trace of their fraud.
    We run a middle of the road moderate, squeaky clean candidate, against THESE crooks, in THIS economy… and lose? We conservatives are diametricaly opposed to their positions, and they viscerally hate us. I just don’t see how we can ever truly get along with the Free Shit Army and those that pander to them. Something has to give. When a couple more “swing” states turn blue we will never have a prayer of winning another national election.

  5. Nick s says:

    Ibunderstand both sides from people who don’t mock secession- the group that thinks right now is a good time and the group that is saying “Not yet.” The ones that say now are jumping the gun…slightly. There will be no secession happen out nowhere, as actions that can have a great amount of impact never pop out of nowhere. The reasoning behind the “Not yet”ers is that they have realized that an idea of this magnitude must first be entertained in a peoples’ heads before ever happening. The significance of these petitions-when it is all said and done- ian.t secession, but rather making people entertain the idea of secession.
    Also, on nullification it is obviously constitutional as Thomas Jefferson(the AUTHOR of the Constitution) agreed with nullification. So the intent that had bewn

  6. Nick s says:

    Put in as Jefferson wrote the 10th amendment was for it to also support nullification. However, let us talk about the practicality of it.happenong in states that does not pay more to the federal government than it recieves, is a chance of 0. That is because thw federal government will just hold grany money use their financial leverage to break the state from doing it.

  7. Mike says:

    I can agree that some states would fare worse if they seceded, however, some would fare better. Texas would make out like a bandit. Texas only gets $.86 of every dollar paid back from the feds. Secession would automatically gain that lost revenue back. Add to that the removal of all illegals & tightened border security & you have a formula for financial success. All this is without factoring in oil & gas, trade agreements with Mexico & other countries. Texas has the 15th largest economy in the world without figuring in the rest of the U.S.
    The only entity gaining from Texas staying part of the U.S. is the U.S.
    To be fair, if other states would confederate into loose coalitions, they would lose less than if they went independent right out.
    I’m not for the balkanization of the United States – mostly for sentimental reasons – but if this many people want out, then there is a valid reason for seriously considering it. Just because it would cause some hardship isn’t a consideration because staying is going to do that with spades.

  8. Craig says:

    No, it IS time to start talking seperation of some type. Seccession IS an option, albeit very painful. I’m tired of having to fight with my money and my time, at EVERY election, just to keep my Country from going completely morally bankrupt. We don’t get the luxury of voting and campaigning for PROGRESS in the Country we love. We’re continually in a survival mode to keep our Country as it was fought for, bled for, and founded by our Constitutional Founding Fathers. I want what they wanted. I DON’T want this new “Politically Correct”, “Federal Government Rules All” society that they’re trying to, (and doing a pretty good job of), cram down our throats. If socialism is such a fantastic idea, why don’t they move to a country that is ruled by socialists? Why is it imperative that this Nation be “changed” to fit their dreams? When are we going to say “NO MORE!”? (BTW, you do have to take a stand when you still have the ABILITY to take a stand. Not after all of our Rights have been stripped away or watered down to useless drivel.)

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