Is there really such a thing as the United States of America anymore? It has become more and more difficult to find common ground on which the majority of the population agrees.
If you study the early history of the USA, you realize that it proved very difficult to unify 13 colonies with a total population of some 4 million people, most of whom traced their ancestry to some portion of northern Europe.
Why on Earth should we assume that it is possible, or even desirable, to attempt to maintain a semblance of unity in a country of 50 states and over 300 million people that spans five time zones (and a more and more disparate collection of incompatible cultures)?
Even our Founding Fathers recognized that functional democracies tended to work best at smaller sizes. However, as with most things created by man, the nation all too soon began growing and expanding with little consideration for whether such growth was a good thing for the health of the republic and its hard-won freedom.
What we have today is little more than a hodge-podge or regional entities that share only superficially common goals and social mores. Our federal government resides in a national outpost on both the geographical and social fringe of the majority of the country. An outpost that has little use for 75% of the country other than to control as much of everyone’s lives as possible while pandering to every minority to win their votes to ensure DC can continue to rule with an increasingly iron fist, an iron fist with a velvet glove severely tattered and frayed.
The only logical solution to our national dilemma is secession.
Don’t start spouting the usual rhetoric that we fought a war that settled the issue of secession once and for all. I’m not buying it.
Don’t misunderstand me. I am a born, bred, and raised Damn Yankee and proud of it. I also lived for more than half of my 66 years in the South. Yet I retired back in the North. So, I am in no way an apologist for the defeated Confederate States of America.
Had I been president when the CSA announced its secession from the Union, I hope I would have had the wisdom merely to wish them well and work to create a viable cooperative arrangement between the severed halves of the USA. More than 600,000 soldiers would not have died. Vast areas of the country would not have been turned to rubble.
Remember, slavery was only a part of the rationale for the Civil War, probably not even the main part. The war that ripped a nation apart centered on the right of states, which had voluntarily joined the union, to withdraw just as voluntarily. President Lincoln insisted on the federal government’s right to enforce, through violence, continued participation in a compact that the states had entered voluntarily.
Historically, any contract in western law (from which our legal system stems) can be broken if its continued enforcement would prove disastrous to the best interests of one of the parties.
Today, there are far more issues – issues of conscience and morality – that divide us than there were at the onset of the Civil War. Given the geographic and population expansions since then, I have save been suggesting (for almost ten years now) that only one solution would allow the states to continue to represent their people.
Would the secession of a state, or collection of states, lead to violence and war? Only if, once again, the federal government decided to compel unwilling states to remain in a union that has become, philosophically and politically and culturally, anathema to their own views and commitment to liberty. Otherwise, it need not be either acrimonious or violent.
Which leads to the big questions:
- How would you split up the country?
- Into how many “pieces” would the country be split?
- What treaties, trade agreements, etc. would be required to prevent chaos?
- Would a majority of citizens in any segment of the country support secession? (Keep in mind that probably only a third of the population of the 13 colonies initially supported the revolution.)
Could it happen? I’d say that would depend on how far the ever-expanding tyranny of our ruling elite in DC progresses. For those of us who still view the US Constitution as the most important and concise statement of self-governance ever produced by man, the time is now. For those still on the fence, the time is coming when they will have to either kowtow to a government that, at best, ignores the Constitution or realize that there is no longer a mechanism for reconciliation.
I find it interesting that the USA supported the break-up of the USSR and actively fought in the Third Balkan War (in the 1990s) to dissolve Yugoslavia. I guess it’s acceptable to support secession for other countries (where it is none of our business) but only acceptable to put down, through violence, any such attempts to partition this country.
In fact, several of the original 13 colonies, in their resolutions to ratify the proposed constitution, specifically expressed their right to withdraw from the union later if necessary. For example, New York’s resolution of July 26, 1788, stated, “That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness.”
If you want a fascinating, erudite treatise on the underpinnings of our precarious union of individual states, I’d recommend you read Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century that dissects the question of whether the US is simply too big to govern.
Is it reasonable to assume that the form and construct of the United States of America, unlike any other nation or government in history, must somehow remain unchanged and inviolate forever? Sounds like a foolish pipedream to me.
Do you dare ask the question or even think about it? Or would rather just watch the next episode of American Idol or CSI or your own favorite gladiatorial sport?