seems that every cloud really does have a silver lining. The current
recession and the federal government’s unpardonable reaction
to it have sparked debates that just last year would have been unthinkable,
the most notable recent one being the debate over secession.
Rick Perry made national waves at an April 15 Tea Party when he
seemed to express sympathy for Texas secession, but even before
that, a spirit of decentralism has been slowly creeping into the
national discourse. The 10th Amendment movement has been urging
states to pass state sovereignty declarations – with surprising
success – asserting the constitutional power of the 50 states
in the face of federal usurpation. Even Bob Barr, quite the milquetoast
libertarian, said at a recent speech at Emory that he believes states
have the right to secede from the Union.
The idea of
secession seems alien to us; it seems un-American, maybe even evil.
It shouldn’t. Secession is based on inherently American values.
We believe in the right to choose our own rulers and the right of
self-determination; why then do we not believe that a free people
can leave their country when they would rather be ruled by someone
else? The American Revolution was fought by people to do just that,
to secede from Great Britain. Secession is the greatest safeguard
of liberty that we could possibly devise. There is nothing that
should scare central power more than the idea that, if it doesn’t
behave, then a huge section of the country can just get up and leave.