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Election Results Ignite Secession Petitions Across America

Across the United States, from Louisiana to Montana, the cries of secession are sounding. The motives behind them vary and the same may be said for their opponents. But, more importantly, these requests for secession force us to ask fundamental questions about our government and the nature of our Constitution. And, if we probe even deeper, we must come to face tyranny and liberty.

To be completely specific, there are now petitions to the White House for all fifty states to peacefully withdraw from the Union. They have not taken votes inside of their own states and then nullified all Federal ties. Nor are all these states Southern. But, before we analyze the current situation, some historical background is necessary.

Secession is an old idea in American political philosophy. It may be traced before the Civil War, to the actions of Virginia and Kentucky against the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Alien and Sedition Acts, blatant constitutional violations, were nullified by Virginia and Kentucky. Those who worked in favor of these nullifications were the hallowed Founders Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They believed that, in times of the Federal government’s overreaching, that the states may take actions against them, so as to protect their citizens’ natural (i.e. Constitutional) rights.

Even though these actions were not secession, they evidenced a decentralized governmental philosophy (i.e. the Federal government is not supreme). By doing this, the states asserted their place in scheme of American government. They peacefully stood up to the Federal government’s act of tyranny and ensured their own citizens’ freedom.

There is a central historical event to this question of secession. Obviously, this is the Civil War. While a very complex topic that likely could never be given the due attention it deserves, the Civil War also forced our nation to question under what philosophy the Federal government would operate. Except this time, things were not peaceful.Violence is abhorrent and brings unthinkable suffering upon a nation. Before there is any discussion about the Civil War, it is necessary to note that the South was wrong to fire on Fort Sumter. Yes, in their view, the Federal aggressors were intruding upon their land, but some foresight and realism should have been applied. It was clear that a war would have started and that the South’s weak economy, due to reliance on slavery, would destroy the Confederacy.

Was the South right to secede? Let us strip this matter down to pure philosophy, taking away all of the opinions that we have on the South. Yes, slavery was a great evil and stain upon American history, but that is not necessarily what the Civil War was fought over.

Most people in the United States continue to think that the Civil War was fought to free the slaves. And, to a certain extent, it was in the North. But that was not the root of the conflict. Slavery did play a major role in the Civil War, but it did not spark the war. Conflicts between seceding states and the Federal government did not begin in 1861, but in 1832. In this year South Carolina nullified Federal tariffs it found to be unjust. The constitutionality of South Carolina’s nullification was fiercely debated in the Senate. President Andrew Jackson believed that no such power could exist in the states. The basic, underlying conflict in this crisis was whether our nation and Constitution was one of an all-powerful Federal government, or one that had power vested in the states as a last resort against Federal tyranny.

The current question is very much the same as the past. We as citizens are faced with a looming Federal government. The Federal government commits wholesale robbery to keep its own quixotic system functioning. The Federal government has power to indefinitely detain Americans, with no charge, through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The government’s spies and agents regularly monitor innocent citizens, rather than actual terrorists. In economic matters, the Federal government has struck Atlas so many times that his shrugging is inevitable. And, of course, Obamacare casts a shadow upon any thoughts of snuffing out Federal despotism. Therefore, we must ask what we may do as lovers of liberty. Is it acceptable, and a good idea, to try the “normal” solutions first (i.e. solutions at the Federal level)? Of course. Trying to fill the White House and Congress with our fellow conservatives and libertarians is never a bad idea. But we must also question the time of it all. These threats to our liberty are not small, nor are they slow-moving. Thus, can we afford to wait and try again during the next cycle of elections? Perhaps we may, but we must guard our liberties. Or, perhaps it is better to phrase the question in another manner. At what rate will our country decay and erode until the next elections? If those precious God-given rights are ever taken by the government, then there is little or no chance of ever getting them back. That is not to say, though, that secession should be jumped upon as a solution.

Secession is not a mystical answer that will solve all problems, and we must continue to build and expand movements based on natural rights and free markets. No government will ever be perfect, nor could it ever be made so. But, we must realize that secession will not likely work. Perhaps, then, it is best for conservatives to view this rise in secessionist sentiments as an excellent teaching opportunity. We may use this to point out the philosophical aspects of secession, and use it to bring more lovers of liberty into our ranks.

Regardless of election results, educating our fellow citizens about liberty and free markets is of vital importance. We must use every chance to do this. Secession, again, will not bring about numerous independent states. This is only realistic. But, we must also be practical. For, it is our liberal and collectivist opponents who are idealoges and utopians. Although we must never fall into the pragmatic trap, we also must never forget that our God-given rights are the foundation of our philosophy.

Christian Lopac | Wabash College | @CLopac

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20 Responses

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  1. *enchante*
    Nov 26, 2012 - 08:55 AM

    Although sucession sounds good BUT WHAT would happen if we are three countries instead of one? Especially in this time when the middle east is having so much unrest. The problem IMO is that we need to repent…yes, i’ve said that. There will be NO FISCAL HEALING AWITHOUT MORAL HEALING…many people will know what that means, others wont: we need to strengthen our families, and in that, the work ethic. We wouldnt have so much need for taxes to pay for the citizens if the out of wedlock birth wasnt so high. YES YOU TOO GENTLEMEN! Just because women have these children you are NOT BLAMELESS

    Reply
  2. Jim Prokop
    Nov 20, 2012 - 02:06 AM

    Sorry about the bad spelling/grammar on the previous post. Was too wrought-up to check prior to posting.

    Reply
  3. John
    Nov 19, 2012 - 11:22 AM

    @Chell & @ Jim I think these people have every right to express there outrage with the governments overeach once again. I would like to say that the governments programs are good, but the problem is the mismanagement of them, hence our current issues with SS & Medicare to name the two more popular ones. So, if our government cannot handle its current big government programs why add, one that the our country cannot afford at the moment?? Its mind blowing that you think we have such a horrible health care system now? I dont recall extraordinary amounts of people dying because of lack of health care in our country? The cost is not the same issue as the quality. I feel your both wrong and this is not just about Obamacare, and this is also what the administration has asked for when they decided to run a hate filled, anti-success campaign? Obamacare will do more harm then good, and I think in a few short months/years you will see…..If you think America has been rigged against you, like your President suggest throughout his campaign and you want to live a European bankrupt lifestyle then please move yourself. Good riddens

    Reply
    • Chelle
      Nov 20, 2012 - 01:41 AM

      At what point did I say they didn’t have the right to express this?

      At what point did I say any opinion on Obamacare?

      And did you notice I said these people aren’t chained to America and have every right to go find another country to live?

      Oh no, you just complete disregard how I’m saying Christian is comparing apples to oranges.

      Majority rules and the majority picked Obama. You got an issue with that? You can move right on out.

      Reply
      • Jim W
        Nov 20, 2012 - 09:48 PM

        So do the leftist who are bankrupting this country.

      • Chelle
        Nov 22, 2012 - 04:52 AM

        Are you even reading what you’re repsonding too?

    • Jim Prokop
      Nov 20, 2012 - 02:02 AM

      Who their, John, you gettin a little too full of yourself.What’s all this crap-ola about anti- success? What’s all this crap-ola about hating the health care system? What’s all this crap-ola about YOUR President? I will have you know, I have been pretty successful in the business world. I will bet big money my net-worth is hirer than yours. I don’t hate the health care system except for the fact is is UNAFFORDABLE for the average American. Think of it as if the cheapest car started at say $100.000.00. The President is President of all the country even if you are too ignorant to figure it out. I had major issues with President Bush but he was still MY President. Got it!
      Again, I can’t deconstruct any one of these blogs without being accused of being something I am not. Sorry, to burst your bubble but I don’t think America is working against me but then I happen to be educated and have more than the average amount of resources. But, still, there is only one thinks I fear and that is the American medical care system…it could demand everything I have ever earned or will ever earn and still leave me in a coffin just like the poorest member of society. The irony is, the poorest member of society will dies with most of his/her bills paid because the public system will take care of it. Such a deal! Good riddance to you as well..I will bet you have never even set foot in Europe or anywhere out of the US.

      Reply
      • What the heck?
        Nov 21, 2012 - 01:29 AM

        Jumbo, I have set foot outside the US, little place called Mexico, and its coming here, fast. When it all goes south, and it will, south will be here. You can’t keep milking the cow without buying her feed. And you city folks ought to be able to figure that out! You lay up and drink he milk and let somebodynelse buy the feed? Yeah, that failed in the Soviet Union too! You folks just don’t catch on to click, do you? Always running to lick up somebody else’s failed barf puddles…

    • J. Prokop
      Nov 26, 2012 - 04:37 AM

      John, can’t you do better than this? How about you leave rather than me so I can live my European lifestyle you seem to know so much about. You probably don’t know enough about Europe to even find a European country. We will see what Obama-Care will do. My guess is you will be the first to sign up for the tax credits and suck em up while you continue to bitch and moan poor old President Obama just ain’t your kind of guy. Never fails. I watched the Tea Party idiots in my town march around with the their SS checks…VA Checks in hand. I think they scheduled the rally’s between Doctor appointments paid for bu none other than Medicare and the VA. What a country!

      Reply
  4. Jim Prokop
    Nov 17, 2012 - 07:49 PM

    Chelle: You have hit the nail on the head again. This whole succession thing is nothing more than a crock of crap promulgated by people who have nothing better to do. They could go get a job or do something productive for their community state or nation in general but instead they choose to run around like fools claiming to be super patriots and/or have a special pipeline to God. Moreover, even more unfortunate are shape-shifters such as Governor Rick Perry who will exploit these fools to get new coverage when they clearly know better.
    It is mind-blowing to me that saving peoples lives through proper medical care could be used as an excuse to buttress such ignorance. I am quite sure we will look back on this whole sordid episode say 10 years from from now and wonder what kind of insanity had afflicted a segment of our population. I am old enough to remember the whole sordid and disgusting “debate” over Medicare/Medicaid in the mid 1960′s and the hate their passage engendered in some people. Miraculously, about five years later your couldn’t find a soul aside from the old Birch Society who didn’t think these programs were nearly a gift from God. In fact the medical community where I live couldn’t rake in the money fast enough. They seemed to forget that a sort time earlier most of them claimed Karl Marx and Hitler had just moved to town and set up shop! Secession my ass….pass the money plate. Long live regulated capitalism!

    Reply
    • Jim W
      Nov 20, 2012 - 09:46 PM

      The only problem with your argument is that Obamacare has NOTHING to do with providing proper medical care to people. Obamacare is all about power and control. If you read even the executive summary of the bill you will find that out. As for the rest, Mr. Obama has violated the constitution and run rampid over the checks and balances in our system several time during his first term as well as other issues. The only reason he has gotten away with these things is that we lack a congress with any balls.

      Reply
      • Chelle
        Nov 22, 2012 - 04:54 AM

        He didn’t violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court, who’s in charge of interpting the Constitution said it was legal.

        I’m so sick of people yelling “Unconstitutional!” just because they don’t like a ruling.

        Makes me question if they even know how this country they claim to know is really run.

      • J. Prokop
        Nov 26, 2012 - 04:17 AM

        Bullshit! The insurance companies and medical care industry already have the power and control and have for many years. Doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. If YOU think YOU control your medical destiny you are either a rube or a fool.(unless you want to fore-go all treatment and let nature take it’s course as an acquaintance of mine is doing now) The only way for this not to be true is if YOU pay for ALL of your medical care out-of-pocket and even then you are at the mercy of the doctor calling the shots. Moreover, you better have no less than $500.000.00 in reserve for each family member and even then you could still loose it all with a catastrophic illness. Sorry, but nearly anything is better than what we have now. There is no violation of the constitution except in your own mind! sorry.

    • What the heck?
      Nov 21, 2012 - 01:21 AM

      Yeah Jim, I’m old enough to remember good old Lying Baines Johnson too! How many of our troops did he sacrifice for his ego-trip in Nam? BS! He was doing what every demodumb since him does, buying votes! That we now have less than half the country working and more Boomers retiring daily, doesn’t bode we’ll for our economic future! People need to wake the hell up and realize we’re on a fast track in the hand basket to hell!

      Reply
      • What the heck?
        Nov 21, 2012 - 01:24 AM

        Oh, Chelle, for that matter those of us who pay taxes aren’t the ones who need to leave this country, wevarebhe onespaying the bills and if we did all of the liberals and lazy don’t want to works old go tits up, so be careful what you wish for, it damn well may just come true…

      • Chelle
        Nov 22, 2012 - 04:50 AM

        My dear, half the country voted for Obama and yet…unemployment is only 8%.

        That’s a shit ton of employed, tax paying citizens who support Obama, isn’t it?

      • J. Prokop
        Nov 26, 2012 - 04:28 AM

        Hey pardner, wasn’t talking about Viet Nam till you brought it up!All social spending is just buying votes? What a fuckin cynic. Don’t need to be on a fast track to hell…just need to manage and pay for what we spend. I am sure you are just one workin-sum-bitch who can pay for everything you need. I know you built it all…by yourself with no help from ANYONE or ANYTHING. A bootstrap man!

        Before you accuse me of living off the government all of my life like most on this blog, let me tell you I am retired with a high-net worth and never took a thing from the guvment cept attending public schools and universities. So, spare me and the other readers…OK?

  5. Chelle
    Nov 16, 2012 - 06:50 PM

    Except none of the State elected leaders are taking this seriously. That’s because people not revolting over Consitutational rights – they’re pissed that they lost.

    If people want to get away from Obamacare, they’re free to move to a country that doesn’t have healthcare. Which is either a second or third world country, Mexico or Turkey.

    Reply
    • What the heck?
      Nov 21, 2012 - 01:17 AM

      Chelae, that’s such a lame excuse from brain dead liberals, get your own, you’re better than that. People are pissed, and rightfully so. Pissed about a government that continually lies to us, Fast and Frious, Benghazi, Obamacare causing layoffs nationwide! Use your head, people are tired of paying a government TOO much to peoe who aren’t operating in our best interests anf paying people for sitting on their asssses. Those who think that this government is solving our problems with “free stuff” need to wake up! And learn to count, to $16 trillion! We are never going to spend our way to prosperity! It’s been tried before, little experiment in socialism called Europe, failing as we speak! BROKE! So don’t you dare say people want to secede just because the “lost”! The want to build or rebuild a customer with and for people who aren’t afraid od work and responsible spending habits! Not buying idiots votes for trinkets like cell phones!

      Reply
      • Chelle
        Nov 22, 2012 - 04:49 AM

        Hey, if people want out because of all those things…they can leave the country. No one keeping them here.

        The key here is: states are not petitioning to leave. People in states are. The Republicans elected by these people have no interest in leaving.

        Again, if you want to stop paying taxes and dealing with the federal government, move. Its not that difficult.

        Oh, and Obamacare is not causing massive layoffs. Obamacare doesn’t even take effect for another year.

        Again: people are just pissed off because they lost.

        By the way, if socialist Europe is broke, how do you explain Germany, England and France all being in the top ten higest GDP?

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