TELL US: Secession Movements: Serious Issue or Just Plain Silly?

Texas is only one of the states with thousands of signatures on petitions to pull out of this United States. How should the rest of us respond?


A month after Obama's re-election, 150 years after the bloody American Civil War, the White House has been deluged with petitions for states to withdraw from the union.

Most of the petitions and signatures come from the same states which actually seceded in the 1800s and became the Confederacy. But there are would-be secessionists and their petitions from nearly all the states — even Massachusetts.

Texas is where the secession movement has gained most traction.

Even the secession opposition has a petition: to kick out secession-seekers. And the Texas state capital, Austin, has started a petition to secede from Texas if the state breaks away from the USA.

While this can all seem, well, nothing short of silly, the rest of the world is still in the midst of a flurry of separating: the Czech Republic from Slovakia, Russia from several of its former republics, and possibly even — depending on a forthcoming referendum — Scotland  from the UK are only a few examples

The whole question of self-determination is a tricky one.

If a state wants to leave the USA, what is your response — do you say there was a reason we fought the Civil War? That the secessionists are only sore losers and they'll get over it? Or do you say, good riddance — don't let the door hit you on the way out? Let us know in the comments section below.

David Chase December 09, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I'm twice Aron's age, and agree with his politics, though perhaps he could be somewhat more polite. You don't win friends by telling people they're stupid. (In my opinion) Obama's biggest problem for me is that he is pursuing policies that are far too conservative, and he is too friendly to the big banks. Our economy is still in the dumps; we need more stimulus, not less. Deficit spending is still okay for the next year or so, until unemployment comes down. Look at what austerity economics is doing in Europe; they've got horrible unemployment, and today I read that England faces the possibility of a triple-dip recession. It would be nice if we had single-payer health insurance like Canada instead of mandatory insurance. Raising taxes on the very rich will not destroy our economy; remember Clinton? And they're not really job-creators; the highest income brackets have accumulated a much larger share of the national wealth in recent decades, and we have not seen anything like corresponding job growth. Long-term, there are things that worry me but neither party seems to be talking much about them. We might run short of critical resources. Increasing automation might make many people unemployable (do we tax the robots to feed the people they displace?) Global warming might be more unpleasant for us than generally predicted.
Mike Hullinger December 09, 2012 at 01:28 PM
In the words of James Madison, “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” Read the rest of Federalist 46 for Madison's expanded comment on the role of state governments when "ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments" occurs because "the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both.”
M C Stringfellow December 09, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Actually, more study is needed. By the time your forty, your entire attitude will have changed and changed again by Sixty. Nothing stays the same. The longer you live, the more you see and question. the more you question, the more you change. It's called life. Which by the way is a preexisting condition as is death.
M C Stringfellow December 09, 2012 at 07:27 PM
What compromises and cave in to demands. We still do not have a Budget, Even his own party vetoed his budget in the senate. The man has no concept of economics. The head of the Treasury didn't even pay his taxes until he was appointed. If that had hot happened, I doubt he would have paid them. And I am suppose to listen to him tell us that the Republicans need to compromise and tax rates need to be increased. Be assured, taxes are going up, but not just for the rich, we will all be affected in one way or another.
Robert Wyckoff February 01, 2013 at 03:29 PM
I'm curious to know more about this Lexington secession in 1832. Was this related to South Carolina's Nullification act or the federal response to it? I haven't been able (so far) to find any reference to it.


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