Talk of secession is in the air. A number of internet petitions from several states, asking to be allowed to leave the Union, have garnered tens of thousands of signatures. Unsurprisingly, Texas leads the list, and Ron Paul has endorsed the idea. According to him, “secession is a deeply American principle.” True enough, which is why it is a deeply impractical and even impossible goal in the present era.
“This country,” Paul continues, “was born through secession. . . . There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.”
Yes, this country was born through secession—but what Paul leaves out is the minor fact of the American Revolution, a bloody conflict that ended only when the British got distracted by Napoleon and wisely decided they had bigger fish to fry. Is Paul saying we should take up arms against the federal government, as our ancestors did against the British crown? I doubt it.
“If the possibility of secession is completely off the table,” Paul complains, “there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.”
Welcome to the real world, Ron. You’re right: There has been no recourse for those who are sick and...