|Posted on June 13, 2015 at 8:00 PM|
We Can Still Be Friends, Can't We?
America is restless and on the move. Lots of conservative-leaning Americans are moving away from Blue-State America. The mass exodus of businesses and conservative-minded Americans from California is probably the best example. But others aren’t willing to leave. They love their state, but they are fed up with the people who govern it. They are increasingly inclined to consider the unthinkable, or at least the unspeakable. Secession.
There was a brief epidemic of secessionist fever across the land immediately following the 2012 presidential election. No one took it very seriously. But the very fact that such a concept had crept into the national dialogue, however briefly and tenuously, is astonishing. And it is becoming apparent that it was more than just a knee-jerk reaction to the election.
Five counties in Maryland (Garrett, Allegheny, Washington, Frederick, Carroll) are contemplating secession. They have more in common with West Virginia than Baltimore and Annapolis. Their main issues are gun control, high taxes, energy policy, gay marriage, and immigration.
Ten counties in Colorado (including Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld, Yuma) want to secede and form the 51st state. Their issues are gun control, restrictions on oil exploration, and gay marriage.
The northern California counties of Modoc and Siskyou are considering secession and formation of the new state of Jefferson. They are hoping to bring a dozen other counties into the movement, as well. Like their counterparts in Maryland and Colorado, they are conservative counties with rural small towns. They have little in common with Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Sacramento.
A single bridge, not common values, binds Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the state of Lansing and Detroit. They plan to name their new state Superior.
Vermont has long had a case of secession fever. They aren’t motivated, however, by conservative values. They want to escape the clutches of the American Empire. So they apparently are inclined to secede and form a new country, not a new state.
Are all those people crazy? Are they just right-wing radicals or anarchists? Are they rabble-rousers, rogues, malcontents, and trouble-makers? Well, don’t forget that American colonists were so characterized by the British leading up to the Revolutionary War. Secession didn’t turn out to be such a bad idea in 1776. It even worked out pretty well for England, even though they would be slow to grasp or accept that.
But there have also been secession successes right here in the US. Four states (Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, and West Virginia) were carved from other states. All parties have flourished quite nicely. There is really no reason to assume it wouldn’t have worked out well also for the Confederacy and the Union if the North had been willing to just give secession a chance.
I contend that many of the problems we face today derive from Lincoln’s unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, and unnecessary invasion of the Confederacy. He knew better than anyone else in the country that the South had the inalienable right to secede. He just decided to ignore that fact, ignore the constitution, and ignore the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Instead, he enforced his will using military might rather than moral suasion. He killed 650,000 Americans and destroyed half the country (as well as the constitution) – all for money and power.
Hopefully, we have learned from that disastrous and disgraceful episode.
If you still aren’t convinced that secession isn’t necessarily a kooky idea, consider this historical evidence.
What was once the USSR is now: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Then Transnistria seceded from Moldova, and Abkhazia seceded from Georgia. How many of you would like to see the USSR put back together again? How many of you would have preferred the use of military force to prevent any or all of those secessions from taking place?
Why do we favor secession in the rest of the world, and sometimes here in our own country, yet look with reverence to Abraham Lincoln who slaughtered 650,000 Americans to prevent the South from exercising the same right? You tell yourselves it was because of slavery, but that has long been exposed as a lie.
We fought to keep South Korea free from North Korea. We fought to keep South Vietnam free from North Vietnam. Separation was so important in those places that we were willing to lose thousands of American lives. Yet in 1861-1865 Yankees killed 650,000 of our own people to prevent what we later fought for in Korea and Viet Nam. How does that make sense?
Yugoslavia gave birth to Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo. It wasn’t without violence, but the secessions did happen, and it wasn’t such a bad thing. Scotland wants to be free from England. Dutch-speaking Flanders wants to separate from French-speaking Wallonia in Belgium.
Secession fever is spreading throughout the world. Why? Why would people want to separate from nations they have been a part of for generations or centuries? Ethnicity, economics, culture, history, and language. People seek out their own kind.
It’s the same here in the US. People are increasingly alienated from our national government. We are increasingly estranged from the people around us who support what we consider the most egregious aspects of that federal government. If we don’t like a state’s laws or policies, we can move to another state more to our liking. And many people are doing just that. But moving to another country to escape an oppressive and increasingly authoritarian national government is not an option for most of us.
For people who are unwilling or unable to sever family and cultural ties and move to another state, and who are unable to change the state, secession may be their only option. It is not something to be taken lightly, and secession fever is not born of capricious, whimsical, petulant, quixotic, or impulsive sentiment. Those people know they are giving up a lot, and they have reluctantly concluded that it is worth it.
When people react to secessionist thinking with derision, contempt, and hostility, it only confirms and reinforces the need for secession.
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