Why We Don’t Need Permission to Secede

 

by Dallas Brooks

Secession! It’s a common battle cry in election years, especially when we’re about to elect a new president. The left likes to decry calls of secession, saying it’s a matter of settled law since the Civil War. The right tends to support it only if their guys are losing. Over 60% of Trump supporters in Texas recently said they’d vote to secede from the Union if Hillary Clinton becomes the next president of the United States. On queue, statist journalists jumped out in defense of the government like a mama bear defending her cubs.

“Secession is illegal!” they shout.

“The South LOST the Civil War!”

“Sorry, Texas, but there’s probably no way you can secede from the US.” (They’re not sorry).

They can barely hide their glee as they laugh at those they consider to be fringe lunatics. While it’s true that there’s been a debate over secession from all angles since before our nation was founded, it’s false to assume that it’s a settled matter. It’s disingenuous to dismiss the notion as political heresy.

To those who laugh at the notion of a state like Texas seceding, would you consider the United States to be nothing but a rebellious group of colonies to Great Britain? Should Texas not still be under Mexican rule? Is Ireland an independent nation state, or not? What about the Czech Republic and Slovakia? Are they really separate states? Does Israel have a right to exist? The problem with the logic of the anti-secessionists is that they don’t define when secession is acceptable and when it isn’t.

Because the South lost its war for Independence, anti-secessionist pundits fall victim to the post hoc ergo propter hoc kind of argument. States that attempted to secede failed; therefore, in their minds, it’s “settled” that secession is off the table.

Leading up to the beginning of the American Civil War, many people held the opinion that it was the right of any state to leave the union. In February of 1861, the Detroit Free Press said that “An attempt to subjugate the seceded States, even if successful could produce nothing but evil – evil unmitigated in character and appalling in content.” In fact, Senator Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment in March of 1861 that effectively banned secession. The amendment failed, but why would there need to be a change to the constitution so that it could prevent states from seceding if they were already precluded from doing so?

Imagine a battered woman standing in front of her bathroom mirror. She’s applying a second layer of makeup to hide her latest black eye before she sets out to face the public again. Her friends and co-workers whisper behind her back, and they ask her if she’s alright. She isn’t. She’s married to a monster. Does she have options? Is that holy union dissoluble or not? Should she be forced to remain with the man because it’s a “union?” No sane person would say so in contemporary society, but there are still numerous people who fail to understand that a union is by definition voluntary. Those who don’t see that have a lot in common with extremists who favor arranged or even forced marriages.

The voluntary nature of a union is what makes it so impressive. When two people want to be treated as one family unit, or when several states want to be associated for a common purpose, it’s a powerful statement of their intentions. If the relationship requires bloodshed to leave, then you don’t have a union at all. You have a gang.

The right of self-determination is as American as baseball. Mr. Declaration of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson, said after his time in office that “If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation … to a continuance in the union … I have no hesitation in saying, ‘Let us separate’.” It’s well documented that many states in their declarations ratifying the constitution of the United States made it clear that they reserved their rights, and that the right of self-determination would not be given up by virtue of their decision to come together as one nation. Virginia’s convention said that “The powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.” Virginia wasn’t the only state to do this. The declarations like this by many states is precisely why the 10th Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights. It means that in our federal republic, powers are shared, but even that authority is borrowed from the consent of the governed at each and every level.

The idea of borrowed authority is nothing new, either. In 1320, Scotland wrote the Declaration of Arbroath in an appeal to Pope John XXII to recognize its own independence. Among other things, it stated that if Robert the Bruce, whom the Scottish considered their rightful king, ceased to provide the kind of leadership the nobility believed they deserved, that they would, in turn, elect a new king. This idea of choosing your leadership by popular sovereignty rather than by divine right, and then being able to oust a bad leader from power, is the most important thing to happen to politics since Og the Caveman grunted out his plans to share the Sabre-Toothed tiger meat with his fellow hunters.

The freedom to choose doesn’t mean choosing from a set of options that you didn’t pick. Not taking part in the process, if it is corrupt or oppressive, is a perfectly valid choice, as is leaving the situation altogether.

Today, secession talk is taboo, for all political parties. The late Supreme Court Justice Scalia, a rock star in his lifetime within the Conservative movement, said that “There is no right to secede,” and that it would be impossible to even sue the United States government over the issue without it first granting permission.

When Liberals and Conservatives agree that something can’t be done, that it’s “unconstitutional” (a cry often used by people who have never read the document), or that it shouldn’t even be allowed in the public discourse, that’s when Libertarians and all freedom-loving Americans should give it just a little more attention.

The issue of legality of secession is irrelevant. No tyrannical government will ever simply allow a group of citizens to leave. Those who endlessly argue over the constitutionality of the idea of leaving the union miss the point of the constitution. It’s not a document that the government created to put us on notice. It’s the document we the people created to tell the government how it will act.

If we say that “Congress shall make no law” or that rights “shall not be infringed,” it means that under our system of government, this is what is expected. When that government makes the laws that infringe upon our individual rights, it walks a fine line. By breaching the contract the people created, the government effectively secedes. It can’t be our congress if it acts outside of its specific, limited, enumerated powers.

As citizens of this nation, it’s important to understand that it was a group of states that came together to form a nation, not the other way around. This freedom is our baby, not the federal government’s. The people gave it life. The people saw it through tough times. We the people decide what options are on the table, and we don’t need permission from the government we created to ensure that it continues to serve us as we see fit.

 

 

Jefferson Quote Source:

Thomas Jefferson, letter to W. Crawford, 20 June 1816, in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, ed. (Washington, D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States, 1905), vol. 15, p. 27

Related posts

34 comments

online casinos usa July 1, 2020 at 12:24 pm

slots online

slot games

cheap viagra online July 3, 2020 at 3:11 am

order viagra online

what is viagra

online casino real money us July 5, 2020 at 3:59 pm

casino online games

live casino slots online

online casino slots no download July 7, 2020 at 6:11 pm

slot games

online casino games for real money

tadalafil 40 mg July 10, 2020 at 6:57 am

purchase cialis

cialis online reviews

personal loan July 15, 2020 at 8:05 am

installment loans

cash loan

short term loans July 18, 2020 at 10:25 am

cash advance online

loan online

viagra pills July 21, 2020 at 12:28 pm

viagra 100mg

viagra cost

Nursing Writing Services July 21, 2020 at 9:53 pm

Nursing Writing Services

[…]Here are a number of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

cialis to buy July 24, 2020 at 2:39 am

generic cialis

20 cialis

generic for cialis July 27, 2020 at 12:38 am

generic for cialis

cialis internet

cialis buy July 28, 2020 at 9:24 am

buy cialis

cialis generic

cialis 20 July 30, 2020 at 10:11 pm

cialis internet

cialis 5 mg

new cialis August 2, 2020 at 11:08 am

cialis 20

generic cialis

cialis 5 mg August 5, 2020 at 10:14 am

cialis internet

generic for cialis

viagra sample August 8, 2020 at 11:55 am

sildenafil citrate

cheap viagra online

chumba casino August 11, 2020 at 9:03 pm

casino online slots

play for real online casino games

best casino online August 19, 2020 at 2:46 pm

slot machine games

online casino games

viagra online canadian pharmacy August 22, 2020 at 10:00 am

viagra online canadian pharmacy

viagra generic

what is viagra August 25, 2020 at 3:37 am

order viagra

buy cheap viagra

generic viagra online August 27, 2020 at 10:53 pm

viagra online

female viagra

mksorb.com August 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm

mksorb.com

[…]Every the moment inside a whilst we select blogs that we study. Listed below are the most up-to-date websites that we pick […]

Premium August 30, 2020 at 4:49 am

Premium

[…]the time to read or visit the content material or websites we’ve linked to beneath the[…]

buy generic cialis online August 31, 2020 at 7:11 am

buy cialis online

tadalafil 20 mg

canadian pharmacy cialis September 3, 2020 at 10:03 pm

cialis online reviews

cialis 5 mg

generic cialis tadalafil 20 mg from india September 6, 2020 at 11:00 am

tadalafil 5mg

generic cialis reviews

buy tadalafil 20mg price September 11, 2020 at 3:51 pm

cialis buy cialis online

tadalafil 20 mg

casino slot games September 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm

casino online real money

online casinos

online casinos real money September 17, 2020 at 3:00 am

casino online games

casinos

Buy viagra cheap November 13, 2020 at 6:14 am

Buy pfizer viagra

United healthcare viagra

MKsOrb November 21, 2020 at 9:29 am

MKsOrb

[…]we prefer to honor a lot of other net websites around the web, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

mksorb.com November 22, 2020 at 9:31 am

mksorb.com

[…]one of our visitors just lately recommended the following website[…]

CBD Oil For Dogs December 10, 2020 at 10:43 pm

CBD Oil For Dogs

[…]check beneath, are some totally unrelated web-sites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

Masum January 14, 2022 at 12:55 am

Masum

[…]Here are a few of the websites we recommend for our visitors[…]

Leave a Comment