It’s not just the signatures anymore. Some eight states, led by Texas, are seriously considering seceding from the Union. A Pew Research Poll this week showed that fully 25% of respondents identifying themselves as Republicans favored the secession of their state from the United States. Another 19% were not sure. That translates into 44% of Republicans nationwide who are not certain they wish to be part of the United States anymore.
A majority of Republicans still find themselves loyal to the United States of America and value their citizenship. The rest do not. While this is undoubtedly related to frustration over the re-election of Barack Obama for a second term as President of the United States, and the growing ethnic and racial and religious diversity of the nation, there is also a strong surge even more to the right just since the election November 6th carrying party members to even greater extremes of reactionary politics.
Some eight states, all members of the former Confederate States of America, hold the highest percentages of secessionists. All of the states where the movement is showing strength are in Red States that voted overwhelmingly Republican last November.
Thus far, Republicans complain that the large number of people of color, along with so many women who showed up at the polls were largely ineligible to cast ballots. Many Republican leaders have issued statements suggesting that they were shocked at how many non-white urban dwellers voted for Obama. Chief among them is former Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. Building on that theme it is believed by half of all Americans that ACORN, a black civil rights organization, was responsible for delivering millions of fraudulent votes and stealing the election.
This is a most curious thing as ACORN has been shut down completely and defunct for over the past two years. Even if you accept that former ACORN members stayed in contact and worked to enlist voters to commit voter fraud they did not and do not have the resources to organize such an effort. But Fox News has been reporting this as factually correct for the past two weeks and viewers around the nation are accepting the line of thinking offered.
It is also assumed by many Republicans that we are a Socialist nation today and that Obama is leading us to communism and that the Democratic Party is largely made up of communists. This came as a distinct shock to the editor of Struggles for Justice who was forced to admit that indeed he was a communist. Judging by the positions taken by that editor, Thomas Martin Sobottke, and so many other Democrats concerning our Constitution and laws and support for democracy, and republican government tied to the founders during our revolution of 1776, it is pretty clear that the Democrats, and a small fraction of the base willing to consider themselves politically liberal are poor and sad excuses for communists.
Republicans have concluded that they did not get the white male population out in sufficient numbers particularly in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. That coupled with the failure of voter suppression efforts in a number of states made defeat almost a certainty.
The lure, luster and appeal of secession to Republicans in the coming year are that they did not get what they wanted from the recent national elections held November 6th.
For the past decade, there has been an increasing intolerance by Republicans for Democrats and especially more liberal ones even to be permitted to hold office, even when they have been constitutionally and properly by law elected to Congress or perhaps their state legislature, a Governorship, or as in the case of President Obama, the highest office in the land.
It is a position increasingly taken by Republicans on the far right that in essence Democrats cannot hold public office and if they do, they are in some way illegitimate. There is a distinct preference for one-party rule among these people who wish that the electorate were almost entirely white, male, and propertied with wealth. That would indeed take us back to the founders. But it would turn our backs on over two centuries of progress to making real the promise of the old Declaration that Abraham Lincoln held in such high esteem declaring that all men were born free and equal.
But that is not what right-wing Republicans desire. They read it, “all white men with wealth are born free and equal.” The rest of us are just left to endure and exist here at the sufferance of these people.
Of course, secession is not constitutional or legal in the United States of America since the White vs. Texas Supreme Court decision of 1875 with then Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase writing the majority opinion declared secession wherever it might be tried to be “unconstitutional and void.” In point of fact, secession would be considered to be rebellion against the United States, and any forceful leave taking by states from the Union would be high treason. It’s that simple.
There are two large practical problems with secession by a state today. First, that state would lose any Federal monies that are sent back to states in a number of programs. Southern Red States of the old Confederacy get the most money back. Texas used 21 billion dollars in Stimulus money to balance their state budget allowing them not to even consider imposing a state income tax at all for the first time.
Second, Federal facilities in the states leaving the Union would shut down and be moved to those states remaining loyal to the Union. Federal court houses, customs offices, post offices, military bases, and so many more regional facilities of all kinds would have to move out and with that any jobs and monies that are drawn to that state’s tax base.
If, on the other hand, you Republican secessionists say “we will simply take them over peacefully for our own state’s uses at the time of secession” would be likely to run into forcible resistance from the Obama Administration. It would lead to the right-wingers finally getting to get their guns and to shoot back! Such a prospect is chilling.
The problem is that beyond the killing and destruction and chaos that would ensue, those engaging in employing force to obtain Federal property would be, even if simply armed yet peaceful when they did so, committing high treason against the United States of America.
President Barack Hussein Obama no less than Abraham Lincoln would be forced to draw a line in the sand and state that if certain Federal facilities were taken by states there would be a forceful military response to that takeover. We would in essence repeat 1861 and perhaps this time there would be several Fort Sumters occurring all over the former United States. The fact is that any American who did not agree with their state leaving the Union is also entitled to the protection of the Federal Union as Constituted in the 1774 vote for Union of the old Continental Congress, the Articles of Confederation that while enshrining state sovereignty also declared the Union to be perpetual, and the later Constitution ratified in 1789 and previously cited law that makes secession rebellion, treason, and outright revolution.
Daniel Webster warned the nation in his famous Seventh of March Speech in 1850 that “peaceable secession” was not workable or tenable. He was all too correct. In 2013, secession will be just as dangerous to the people of this nation as it was in 1861.
Those people who live in the United States and are citizens of the United States who value their nation and want it to survive and thrive would rally to the colors as their forbearer’s did in 1861.
The surge for secession among right-wing members of the Republican Party Base, and an increasing number of the more moderate group in the party is a worrying sign. It used to be that we all valued the United States of America, its republican form of government; our democracy, and our active citizenship.
When the going gets a little rough, these people talking secession are no more than traitors to the nation that gave them birth and nurtured them to adulthood.
Struggles for Justice declares itself to be firmly in the Union camp where preservation of that Union and its perfection as called for in the Constitution of the United States are held aloft as inviolable principles to be defended at all costs—regardless of the sacrifice it may entail. And when we identify traitors to the United States we will name them by organization or as individuals. We condemn anyone who has signed and will not renounce their secession petition signature—you people are traitors to the United States and in rebellion against our nation.
As it was said by the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper in April of 1861 just after Fort Sumter: “Those that sow the wind will reap the whirlwind.” Or it might just as easily be said today that “he that troubles his own house shall inherit the wind.” Secessionists you have been warned!