So Barack Obama won the election and a lot of states are calling for secession. Usually I would take this in the same vein as someone saying “if the other guy wins, I’m moving to Canada”. But this time, I thought I would take a deeper look into the matter.
First of all, one must ask if secession is actually legal. The answer, not only is it legal but it is plainly stated by the US Constitution as well as being out rightly encouraged by the Declaration of Independence.
Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Declaration of Independence:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government
That pretty much covers the legality of it. Since there is no actual prohibition to secession in the Constitution, in fact 3 states specifically (Virginia, New York and Rhode Island) reserved the right to secede when they ratified the Constitution, it can not be construed as anything but legal.
And what was the American Revolution if not a secession from the British Empire?
Speaking of warfare, you may be wondering about the Civil War. Doesn’t that prove that secession is illegal? No, it only proved that, when allowed to act outside his lawfully limited authority, a U.S. president is capable of unleashing horrendous violence against the lives, liberty, and property of those whom he pretends to serve.
Unlike what Richard Nixon would later exclaim (“When the President does it, it’s not illegal”), if the President does something that goes against the Constitution or that he has no lawful right to do, it doesn’t all of a sudden make it right and legal.
So not only was the Civil War an unjustified response for the Union it also crippled States Rights forever. Because at the end of the day, if a state cannot leave a government that becomes destructive and that it no longer believes in, the State itself becomes a slave.
The founding of this nation was that of Colonies seceding from a government it found intolerable. Less than 100 years later the government formed would play out the same dance, but this time it was the oppressive government that would win. Now, it is ironic that I call the Union oppressive as they have been characterized as acting in the war with the pretense of freeing slaves but in truth it was to keep the South in the Union and the fertile Southern plantations as a part of the United States.
Don’t believe me? This is what ole Abe Lincoln had to say on the matter in a letter to Horace Greeley in 1862:
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.
Was slavery an issue? Yes. Was it the main one? No. To think it was would be akin to thinking that the first Gulf War was about protecting Kuwait and not about oil.
Oh, and by the way, what were the southerners using to defend themselves from Northern Aggression? That’s right, firearms.
So now we know that it is Constitutionally legal, is encouraged by our Founding Fathers and can only be stopped by a federal government that puts itself above the will of the people and its states (sorry abe but its true) let us look now as to whether it is feasible.
Since the election last week, citizens from all 50 states have started petitions to secede. Now, while I do not understand the notion of sending a petition to the White House, who will now have your name and information, should they want to try and hang you for treason (yeah, secession is legal if you win, its treason if you lose. Founding Fathers understood that, the South faced that truth) lets discuss some of those states.
Just because you WANT to secede from the Union does not make it possible for you to actually survive if you did. Take for instance Kansas. What if ONLY Kansas seceded to make its own country. It is a land locked state with no waterway access. It ranks 32nd in the nations GDP and is not tremendously popular as a tourist destination. Plus, depending on the wrath of the US Federal Government, the corporations that make their headquarters within Kansas may be forced to relocate if pressured by the US. With these factors piling up, Kansas could quickly become like an interior African country without the bloodshed and genocide.
If we take North Dakota on the other hand, they are facing an energy boom, are known as the Saudi Arabia of Wind Energy and can continue to export that to the US or to Canada. Though land locked like Kansas they have the option of opening up relations with Canada who may not be seeking retribution like the US might. With the energy production and low taxes North Dakota could resemble an economy similar to those found in the Middle East.
Those are bad and neutral economic outcomes for two states. Now its time for a good outcome and with that I turn to the state that is the namesake of this article; Texas.
Texas has a thriving economy and no state income tax. They have a varied economical model that includes energy, industry, technology and tourism. Plus they have access to the Gulf of Mexico and have a history of being their own Country. If Texas was their own country all ready, their GDP would rank 14th IN THE WORLD. If any state could not only survive but thrive without being a part of the United States, it’s Texas.
Other states would most likely have to band together and make a larger government than their one state in order to survive. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just the reality of the matter.
Legality and feasibility aside the next question faced is SHOULD a state secede? Maybe I should rephrase, is it worth it to secede because a man like Obama is driving this country into the toilet known as European Socialism?
This one is a little tougher to answer. I think that just because the man wants to destroy what America is all about; capitalism, individuality, self reliance etc., doesn’t mean that he can necessarily extend it past the next four years. So is secession a knee jerk reaction in order to temporarily avoid an un-American ruler that will be removed from the position of leadership or is it a reaction to the trend in which one sees this nation moving.
If it’s the latter I can understand the notion of secession. With Obama packing the courts with like minded individuals, and entitlement programs that will be politically costly for a politician to remove (Obamacare) and the fiscal cliff that Obama is driving us full bore off of, maybe casting off the shackles of the Great Experiment’s mutation and returning to the basic formula is the right move.
I mean, between his abject disregard for the Constitution, his hatred of guns, his willingness to hand over American sovereignty to the United Nations and the fact that a majority (small though it was) of Americans thought that was a good idea might be an indication that this country has become too divided.
If some people want to take their state of like minded individuals and peaceably leave this sinking ship that is Obama’s America then I don’t blame them. With luck, we have learned enough in the past 260 years to improve on the formula and not make the same mistakes.
First thing a new nation should do? Nice clear language for the Bill of Rights. As plain a vernacular as possible so the meaning cannot be construed 2 centuries hence by those looking to subjugate the people’s protection of liberty. After that, keep on with the no income tax Texas, you’re doing fine there. Other than that, Texas seems pretty good to go.
I doubt anything will come of it, but if Obama spends the next four years killing this country like he has the first four years, and in 2016 the ignorant elect someone to maintain his direction, then maybe some states jumping ship might not seem so far fetched.
Though I am inclined to finish this off with “Remember the Alamo”, I think it is better to remember the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Too many seem to have forgotten.