Third Party & Independents Archives

Breaking up is hard to do. Or is it?

One of the few things about which many liberals and conservatives are in concordance is that Washington is a grunting, stinking, rampaging pig that’s devouring states’ rights with untamed abandon.

The Wall Street Journal ran a feature last weekend about the United States devolving into smaller regional republics. You have to admit: the idea has appeal.

The vision of a heterogeneous polity rising up and telling the local federalis to go screw themselves—along with the horses they rode into town on—is just too intoxicating, regardless of your political predilections.

Stage left, Vermont is one of the country’s most liberal states and boasts one of the most vituperative secessionist movements, its denizens especially pissed off about Washington’s hawkish foreign policies. Can’t say I blame them.

Stage right, there’s considerable secessionist sentiment in Texas: the only state once its own country, and they don’t call themselves “The Lone Star State” because they want to play nice with Nancy Pelosi.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, local politicos from San Diego County, Imperial County, and Northern Baja, Mexico are daydreaming about a new republic called “Cali Baja.” How cute is that?

More ominously, there’s a religious group calling themselves Christian Exodus who are hell-bent to transform South Carolina into a Christian State. What that means, I don’t know, but you might want to dump the timeshare at Myrtle Beach.

On the East Coast there’s something called Middlebury Institute, which advocates re-purposing New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia into something called “Novacadia” with Denmark as its role model. (Go figure.)

Meanwhile, in the Upper Midwest, there’s a group called North Star Republic whose mission is to establish “a socialist republic” in what today consists of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. (I wonder what country would be their role model?)

Actually, I think the secessionists have the right idea, but reversed. Instead of seceding from the country, they should instead advocate building a wall around DC. And a moat. Make that two moats… with alligators.

Better yet, send Congress to Gitmo accompanied by the Executive Branch. That would add a new sense of urgency to the whole waterboarding debate, no?

Posted by Stephen G. Barone at June 16, 2009 10:53 PM
Comment #283083

Hawaii and arguably Vermont were once independent countries, too. Not just Texas.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 17, 2009 8:00 AM
Comment #283084

Also, here’s a map of some of the current secessionist movements.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 17, 2009 8:03 AM
Comment #283085

Back in the 80’s this book proposed North America become 9 separate entities.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 17, 2009 8:16 AM
Comment #283113

Too bad the founders didn’t have the fore sight to put limitations on the power of the federal govt.

Posted by: kctim at June 17, 2009 1:34 PM
Comment #283116

I believe they did tim with Article V.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 17, 2009 1:54 PM
Comment #283118

President Dwight D. Eisenhower also supported an Article V Convention saying:

“Through their state legislatures and without regard to the federal government, the people can demand a convention to propose amendments that can and will reverse any trends they see as fatal to true representative government.”

That’s giving We The People a voice and power in a lawful manner and keeping this great Union a Union.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 17, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #283130

The Southern Confederacy claimed there was nothing in the Constitution that said they couldn’t leave.

It is interesting to talk about different parts of the U.S. but I think we are stuck with each other.

BTW - we need to pay attention to the 10th Amendment a bit more.

Posted by: Christine at June 17, 2009 8:05 PM
Comment #283178

Which of new regional governments will get the nuclear weapons, the tanks, the fighter jets and the gold at Fort Knox?

What will happen to the Progressive in the
Conservative Confederate States of America? Will she be forced to live in the closet or will there be a mass exodus of people from one political region to another?

Which of the new political regions will be the first to declare war on their neighbor?

Which country will become the new world super power after The United States Of America is no more? What will the Confederate States of America or the Federation of New England States do if Cali Baha or Pacifica is invaded by China?

Posted by: jlw at June 18, 2009 11:19 AM
Comment #283186

Stephen G. Barone-
Taking out frustrations on Washington is easy. Even the people who’re doing their damnedest to get there comment on what a terrible place with terrible people it is.

But under our constitution, that’s our central government.

The Secessionists are fighting a battle settled for the most part in the mainstream. The use of terms like “states rights” tends to deal with things like the right to be racist, to force prayer in school, to dissolve the union, to take back the country from the jews, the freemasons, etc.

The constitution of this country was written as an accord between states that recognized that they had common interests and needs, but not a powerful enough government to see to those interests and needs. Certain relief valves for future concerns along those lines were put in place (Article V being one), but the idea was that while states would see to many of their own needs and interests, the Federal government would oversee and govern the interests of all where appropriate.

The argument of where to draw the line has become a heated one, but it’s a line that has to be drawn because a decentralized and fractious United States will be no more successful now with today’s concerns than it was back in the 18th and 19th centuries. There’s no return to the articles of confederation, no return to the days of the civil war.

Folks need to learn how to work and play well with others. The Right in this country has become too interested in re-inflaming the dysfunctional impulses of yesteryear out of cynical political motivations, and not interested enough in facing what the consequences of that failure to compromise did last time.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights put plenty of restrictions on them if you take it seriously.

Rodney Brown-
Article V requires the states to act with two-thirds of the states in unison. It can’t be merely a local interest. It’s got to be more concerned with overall interests of the country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2009 1:02 PM
Comment #283241

Really Stephen , New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, do you think the rest of the states would go along with that nonsense.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 19, 2009 2:15 AM
Comment #283267

Rodney Brown-
I’m not sure what you mean. I mean, there are people who are favoring secession, but are they, by any means, a majority, or even a significant minority?

If it’s Article V you’re talking about? No. I don’t think New England issues are going to inspire that much confidence from Southern, Western, or other regions of states.

I think the beauty of Article V is that it provides an outlet for needful change, without an opportunity for capricious change. It lets us change our Democracy, without having Democracy so easily turn into something else.

When Mathematician Kurt Godel became a citizen of our country, he had a tiny quibble to discuss with the judget. He said he found a flaw in the constitution that could allow everything to be undermined. Article V was it. The judge, thankfully, was very understanding, but the point is actually pretty good.

The trick is, we could decide to amend the constitution to create a President for life. Or to give up on free speech, or anything else. Article V has the power to essentially destroy Democracy.

Or save it, of course. It’s a responsiblity, and I think it is a responsibility designed to be carried by a consensus of the states, so that you don’t have whole swaths of the country protesting that they were beaten up on by the others who held the convention, and so that you don’t have the absurd outcome, as is possible under FOAVC’s claimed interpretation, of having even just one state being able to call a convention, whether or not the other 49 want it.

The Convention ought to answer something of national importance, that crosses state boundaries.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 19, 2009 12:55 PM
Comment #283271

The sound of Succession from our great Union sends chills down my spine Stephen, I had ancestors who fought in the revolutionary war and the war of 1812 and the civil war for the north and i feel for all sides, And we do know John Q Adams who died in 1848 did in fact meet with Lincoln when Lincoln was a congressman Lincoln was elected to congress in 1846 there was speculation if Adams told Lincoln directly in a conversation, As his speech of 14 April 1842 Adams indicated on the question of war with England and Mexico, when he said: “Whether the war be civil, servile, or foreign, I lay this down as the law of nations: I say that the military authority takes for the time the place of all municipal institutions, slavery among the re Street Under that state of things, so far from its being true that the states where slavery exists have the exclusive management of the subject, not only the president of the United States, but the commander of the army has power to order the universal emancipation of the slaves.” Lincoln heard it one way or another. R.E. Article V I believe you made some good points as did d.a.n. we know it’s in our Constitution and the debate will continue . I have to close up and run some errands Thank You.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 19, 2009 2:30 PM
Comment #283378

Sounds like, from all corners, a lot of people feel disenfranchised and frustrated with the present system of government. Seems only natural for people to want from a government things like fair taxation, fair and balanced trade, financial accountability, respect for sovereign issues relating to this and other countries. This government, of, by and for the corporatists, provides good grounds for wanting change.
Speaking of change, a six month review of the Obama administration is due. Let’s see. NAFTA and the AFTA’s, nothing new there. On immigration and trade Obama seems in sync with the Regan administration. Free trade and amnesty is at the forefront as I can tell. I did get $250 in my socials. That’s change to some folks.
I much prefer reform over change. I’d like a flat tax, fair and balanced trade, remove the illegal work force and begin to manufacture things again. Stop nation building and start educating our citizens at all levels. (Prision training and job placement programs, put retired professionals into the high school training curiculum)

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 21, 2009 10:02 PM
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