Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: Is talk of secession in America just inflamed rhetoric or a real possibility?
Sara at The Independent Sentinel: Nothing is impossible, but talk of secession is a statement, not a serious movement. The petitions have not reached even a million signatures in total. A South Carolina programmer keeps track of the petitions and you can take a look here: Lance Ingle.com.
If President Obama were to succeed on all of his agenda items as he succeeded with Obamacare, there would be some type of revolt. Even apathetic Americans have their limit. The gun issue, for one, is a real loser for the president. Too many liberals own guns.
President Obama now hopes for a House win in 2014 with Nancy Pelosi in the speakership. It’s not likely to happen, but a Pelosi speakership would give him two years of unbridled spending and power grabs. That would not go well.
The Razor: I haven’t heard too much talk of secession myself these days, so I’m not sure if I’m either missing something big or failing to see an inconsequential issue. I’ve lived in several states and I simply don’t see a North Carolinian or Illinoisan identity. There may be something to it in the big states like Texas, California and Alaska, where people self-identify with their states more so than others, but is that identity enough to warrant secession?
My understanding of pre-Civil War America was that state identification was much more common across the country, with people seeing themselves as a New Yorker before an American; now it seems the reverse with people ranking themselves as Americans above whatever state they are living in. Heck, I’ve lived in North Carolina for 4 years and I still don’t think of myself as a North Carolinian; I think of myself as a foreigner! Here I’ve seen a lot of pride about the Confederacy, but met no one who views himself as a Confederate or Rebel more than American. I’m sure there are those types of people in places where I don’t venture, but they are at the extremes. I just don’t see secession as being “in the air.” Now of course, that may change in the coming years, though I truly hope not.
I’ve joked that we should trade California to the communist Chinese to pay off our national debt they hold and to provide the communism the Leftists in that state so desperately crave. But I’d miss Big Sur, Joshua Tree and surfing off Black’s Beach in La Jolla. I guess I’d rather see California back to its collective sanity than actually gone from the Union, though sometimes I’m less sure about that than others.
JoshuaPundit: Two years ago, I would have called any notion of secession or a rebellion against the federal government tin foil hat material. These days, I’m not so sure.
I think a lot of people – and fairly sober people at that – look at the entrenched ruling elite, the extra-constitutional abrogation of power and the co-opting of the press and other institutions and have increasingly faint hopes of changing things in a political way. The declining economic and social conditions add to this. If this trend continues, a secession or rebellion might not be so farfetched, especially if elections are delayed because of some kind of ‘national emergency’ or results appear to be fraudulent.
It’s also obvious that the ruling elite believes that some sort of secession or revolt is a possibility as well. The Department of Homeland Security accumulating more ammunition then was used to fight the insurgency in Iraq, the equipping of various federal agencies with their own personal SWAT teams including heavily armored APCs all under federal control and legislation, especially in Blue States, that makes it increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain ammunition and firearms is a clear indication that they feel something’s in the wind.
In addition, I also note the extreme division in the country, something I feel has been deliberately exacerbated and manipulated for political purposes. Historically, this sort of thing doesn’t end well, especially when combined with deteriorating economic and social factors. Hopefully, this is just a passing phase and nothing would give me more pleasure. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wasn’t taking note of certain trends.
The Noisy Room: Among the majority of people who speak of secession, it amounts to hyperbole erected on the hopes that such an expression of dissatisfaction can motivate corrective change. A minority among these people contemplate an actual secession as being the only practical means of mitigating continuing and escalating breaches of the Constitutional contract by the federal governmental complex.
It is not difficult to envision scenarios where the federal government, increasingly weakened by reckless spending policies, finds itself obliged to implement the gradual expansion of the aspects of tyranny to keep individual states in line as the states realize the eventual unavoidable impending collapse of the federally conglomerated body in which they will participate, unless they can sunder themselves from the doomed greater whole.
There have been several attempts at secession in our history. If a state were going to attempt secession, it would need to be a border or coastal state, since trying to secede in the middle of a country without others following, would be almost impossible. Secession would also be met with force from the federal government and war as well as chaos would ensue, weakening the country as a whole and threatening it with dissolution and opening America to invasion through weakness as a divided country.
Secession is an ideal that has been with America, almost since her birth. Our Founding Fathers supported the concept to an extent, especially in response to oppression by the government over the people. In Texas v. White, the United States Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional, while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession. But revolution almost never ends well for either side. The cost in human life and liberty can be egregious. So, while Texas looks to be the strongest state capable of secession, in reality it is not a logical possibility. Replacing our leaders is far preferable.
The Glittering Eye: Talk of secession is inflamed rhetoric. This question was decided 150 years ago.
Well, there you have it.
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