Friday, December 7, 2012

Successful Secession

I'm not a particularly crazed secession nut, but I do sympathize with those who no longer wish to be in these United States. Many reasons exist for which dozens of groups have formed to support the secession of their state from the Union, but frankly I don't think the reasons for secession really matter. If the majority of a state wants out, why is that state prevented from doing so, regardless of justification?

Certainly there are practical issues. Each state must assume some measure of the debt this country has incurred. There are many more details like this that are beyond my scope of understanding. I just believe that we should question the ideology which states that the issue of secession "has been settled by the Civil War." Really?

Brion McClanahan wrote an interesting article for The American Conservative, which really should be read in full. On whether or not the issue of secession has been settled, he writes:

The Union, then, through a declaration of war could attempt to force the seceded States to remain, but even if victorious that would not solve a philosophical issue. War and violence do not and cannot crush the natural right of self-determination. It can muddle the picture and force the vanquished into submission so long as the boot is firmly planted on their collective throats, but a bloody nose and a prostrate people settles nothing.
I've heard the argument that our Pledge of Allegiance contains the word "indivisible," which is evidence for the impossibility of secession. But why is it that many of the people who cite this word "indivisible" are so quick to ignore the words that precede it, namely "under God?" On this, Mr. McClanahan writes:

His “Pledge of Allegiance” analogy is the most absurd argument of the bunch. The modern pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a socialist minister who wanted to indoctrinate American schoolchildren with a nationalist message, one based on the “great speeches” of Daniel Webster and Abraham Lincoln in relation to the “One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove.” Sprinkle in some “liberty and justice” from the French Revolution and you have a message that any good leftist nationalist can embrace. The founding generation would not have said such a pledge, if for no other reason that most did not view the United States as a “nation” in the strict sense of the word, a single people.
While secession is a touchy subject and something terribly difficult to fathom for those of us who have grown up with fifty starts on our flag, it's a discussion worth having.

Secession and interposition—nullification—are healthy discussions to have in a federal republic. There mere threat can, and has, spurred the central government to reform. The American people are not ready for secession.

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