Walter Williams is one of the rare thinkers whose opinion needs to be taken seriously. What he recommends cannot be dismissed, even if it is startlingly radical.
He writes that a crisis has developed in the United States for which the only good remedy would be a break-up of the union.
I believe our nation is at a point where there are enough irreconcilable differences between those Americans who want to control other Americans and those Americans who want to be left alone that separation is the only peaceable alternative. …
Our rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them. These constitutional violations have increased independent of whether there’s been a Democrat-controlled Washington or a Republican-controlled Washington.
There is no evidence that Americans who are responsible for and support constitutional abrogation have any intention of mending their ways. …
Let’s look at the magnitude of the violations.
Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution lists the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. Nowhere on that list is there authority for Congress to tax and spend for: Medicare, Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank and business bailouts, food stamps and thousands of other activities that account for roughly two-thirds of the federal budget. Neither is there authority for congressional mandates to citizens about what type of health insurance they must purchase, how states and people may use their land, the speed at which they can drive, whether a library has wheelchair ramps, and the gallons of water used per toilet flush. The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end. Our derelict Supreme Court has given Congress sanction to do just about anything for which they can muster a majority vote.
James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, explained in Federalist Paper No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
Our founder’s constitutional vision of limited federal government has been consigned to the dustbin of history.
Americans have several options.
We can like sheep submit to those who have contempt for liberty and our Constitution.
We can resist, fight and risk bloodshed and death in an attempt to force America’s tyrants to respect our liberties and Constitution.
A superior alternative is to find a way to peaceably separate into states whose citizens respect liberty and the Constitution.
My personal preference is a restoration of the constitutional values of limited government that made us a great nation.
We take his point. We agree with his analysis of the problem. But his last sentence, it seems to us, begs the question. How are those values to be restored?
If by secession, which states should secede? He does not say.
And if some do, what will be the consequences, within those states and in the nation as a whole?
Last time there was a movement to “peaceably separate the states”, there was a fight over that very issue, with much bloodshed and some 750,000 deaths.
The crisis may well be as severe as he says. A radical remedy may be necessary. But is there a mood in the country for it?
Of course we cannot be sure, but we guess Americans are far more likely now to “submit like sheep” to the growing tyranny of the federal government than risk life (such as it will be), and property (such as will be allowed), for the sake of regaining liberty.
The Daily Caller reports:
On Nov.7, the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected, the White House’s website received a petition asking the administration to allow Louisiana to secede.
If 25,000 people sign the petition by Dec. 7, it will “require a response” from the Obama administration …
The Louisiana petition has collected more than 12,300 signatures in four days. A separate effort from Texas has 15,400 supporters.
Similar petitions from 18 other states began arriving Nov. 9, bringing the total — for the moment — to 20.
And this is from the Washington Times:
From states across the country, Americans have filed petitions on the White House Web site seeking to secede from the union and form new state governments.
While most of the petitions come from states that supported Mitt Romney in last week’s election, a few swing states and even the deep blue Northeast are represented.
Petitions have been filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
“We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government,” reads the Alabama petition. The following text is the same in most of the 20 filed so far:
As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation … Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government …”
Most of the petitions have a few thousand signatures … Under the “We the People” program, launched last year, the White House will respond to any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days. Anyone over the age of 13 can create a petition.
The petitions from Louisiana and Texas … are approaching the threshold for a response. They were the first two states represented, followed by Alabama. Petitioners only have to put a first name and last initial on the site.
We feel their pain.
David Solway, whose insights often impress us, has today done us the honor of linking to one of our posts in a new article of his.
The article is at Front Page, titled Is the U.S. Too Big to Fail? Here’s a part of it (but read it all). The link to our post, Speaking of Secession, [April 7, 2010] comes with the words “parting of ways” in the third paragraph:
The Bridge Mix of social, political and economic programs—redistribution of wealth, a bloated bureaucracy, reduction of military power, amnesty for illegals, toleration of inimical communities, government takeover of the marketplace, ideology supplanting pragmatics—adopted by the American liberal-left and rapidly being put in place by the current administration are hurtling the nation toward its moment of truth when it will have to decide whether it survives as the United States of America or devolves into something that, until just a few years ago, would have been almost unimaginable.
Often what seems to be inconceivable is only the prelude to what may well become unavoidable. And in the case of America such a scenario is all too possible. For America has only three options looming before it in a rapidly foreclosing future. The best case scenario is that, assuming a concerned citizenry, the growing Tea Party movement, a return to strict budgetary rectitude and a revival of the wisdom of the Constitution and the Founders, the United States may weather the storm of social and political dismemberment it is presently undergoing and recover its essence as a constitutional republic. To accomplish this aim, however, the policies of the Obama administration must be resisted at every turn. What Henry David Thoreau wrote in On the Duty of Civil Disobedience in 1848 has a proleptic ring to it and is truer today than it ever was: “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”
On the other hand the calamity of disintegration, as happened to the Soviet Union not so long ago, is a deeply troubling likelihood. The drive toward secession or what is called “disunion” along red state/blue state lines appears to be acquiring strength by the day. It is in the air. The threat of dissolution cannot be wished away or conveniently ignored. Whether such a parting of ways can be achieved peaceably and rationally or would entail violence and bloodshed remains an open question. But what resembles a bitter marriage between cultural incompatibles, the statist Left and the conservative Right, who have nothing to say to one another and disagree on just about everything, makes an eventual divorce by no means unthinkable. The clash between a pervasive scavenger mentality of collective entitlement and the ancestral belief in the values of personal initiative and individual responsibility cannot, it increasingly appears, be resolved amicably.
The third possibility is that America under the stewardship of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party will become an impoverished, socialist, Muslim-friendly country, much like the United Kingdom today or Sweden tomorrow, with devastating consequences for the majority of its citizens. As David Horowitz remarks of the U.S., “its constitutional order is threatened by a political left whose values remain socialist and whose agendas are subversive.” Such is the fundamental transformation promised by the Democratic candidate five days before his election: the intent to legislate outcome at the expense of input, to ensure a syndicalist homogeneity of status among the population while installing a privileged managerial class in the seats of power, and ultimately to transform America’s most industrious entrepreneurial sector into over-taxed and over-regulated obsolescence. Where have we seen this before?
These, then, are the three alternatives between which America will have to choose: recovery, dissolution, socialism. Regarding the latter two, to cite Aeschylus …, it’s “either way, ruin.” Clearly, the moment of decision is not far down the road. Even a one-term administration for Barack Obama and his cohorts may be sufficient to wreak irreparable damage; a two-term presidency would probably spell the end of the noble and unique American experiment in republican democracy. For there can be little question that Barack Obama and the Democratic ascendancy together form the single greatest disaster to befall the United States in the modern era. If the country does not right itself sooner rather than later, it will find itself broken down the middle or wake up one day to discover that it is now nothing more than another socialist or quasi-Marxist Republic, which is a republic in name only.
Thoreau is on the mark again. Deploring the effects of a “wordy” and ever-compliant Congress which had “not yet learned the comparative value of free-trade and freedom” and which was devoid of “talent for comparatively humble questions of taxation and finance, commerce and manufactures,” he argues that without the “seasonable experience…of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.” And we remember, too, that the United States was a much smaller political entity in 1848 than it is in 2010.
Now is not the time to take refuge in the smug conviction of indestructibility. America is not too big to fail and it may well be too big not to fail. But one thing is undeniable. As it approaches the eleventh hour, its survival depends on a determined and informed citizen “army” of genuine patriots capable of restoring the practical ideal of limited government …
The great divide between those who want socialism and those who want freedom is unbridgeable. The federal government is imposing socialism, the American people are determined to resist it. What remedies do the people have?
A year ago, Governor Rick Perry mentioned the possibility that Texas might secede from the union, but added that he “saw no reason why it should”.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up an anti-tax “tea party” Wednesday with his stance against the federal government and for states’ rights as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, “Secede!”
An animated Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall — one of three tea parties he was attending across the state — that officials in Washington have abandoned the country’s founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt. …
Later, answering news reporters’ questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.
“There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”
Washington has continued to “thumb its nose” at the people. Now 13 [update, 18] states, including Texas, are suing the federal government over issues raised by the health care legislation it pushed through against the will of the majority of Americans. And there is talk of 37 states doing so.
Is secession again in the air?
The Tea Party movement is named to revive the memory of revolutionary secession.
Walter Williams, not for the first time, raises the topic of secession, considers the idea favorably, and comes close to advocating it – though he stops just short of doing so.
Ten years ago I asked the following question in a column titled “It’s Time To Part Company”:
“If one group of people prefers government control and management of people’s lives and another prefers liberty and a desire to be left alone, should they be required to fight, antagonize one another, risk bloodshed and loss of life in order to impose their preferences or should they be able to peaceably part company and go their separate ways?”
The problem that our nation faces is very much like a marriage where one partner has broken, and has no intention of keeping, the marital vows. Of course, the marriage can remain intact and one party tries to impose his will on the other and engage in the deviousness of one-upmanship. Rather than submission by one party or domestic violence, a more peaceable alternative is separation.
I believe we are nearing a point where there are enough irreconcilable differences between those Americans who want to control other Americans and those Americans who want to be left alone that separation is the only peaceable alternative. Just as in a marriage, where vows are broken, our human rights protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them.
The Democrat-controlled Washington is simply an escalation of a process that has been in full stride for at least two decades. There is no evidence that Americans who are responsible for and support constitutional abrogation have any intention of mending their ways.
You say, “Williams, what do you mean by constitutional abrogation?” Let’s look at just some of the magnitude of the violations.
Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution lists the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. Nowhere on that list is authority for Congress to tax and spend for: prescription drugs, Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank and business bailouts, food stamps and other activities that represent roughly two-thirds of the federal budget.
Neither is there authority for congressional mandates to the states and people about how they may use their land, the speed at which they can drive, whether a library has wheelchair ramps and the gallons of water used per toilet flush.
The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end. Our derelict Supreme Court has given Congress sanction to do anything upon which they can muster a majority vote.
James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, explained in Federalist Paper No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
Americans who wish to live free have several options. We can submit to those who have constitutional contempt and want to run our lives. We can resist, fight and risk bloodshed and death in an attempt to force America’s tyrants to respect our liberties and human rights. We can seek a peaceful resolution of our irreconcilable differences by separating.
Some independence movements, such as our 1776 war with England and our 1861 War Between the States, have been violent, but they need not be. In 1905, Norway seceded from Sweden; Panama seceded from Columbia (1903), and West Virginia from Virginia (1863). Nonetheless, violent secession can lead to great friendships. England is probably our greatest ally.
The bottom-line question for all of us is: Should we part company or continue trying to forcibly impose our wills on one another? My preference is a restoration of the constitutional values of limited government that made us a great nation.
With the federal government taking control of one sixth of the economy by means of ‘health care reform’, America is on the road to socialism and consequent decline, and it’s hard to see how the damage can be undone. Once entitlements are granted in law it becomes well nigh impossible to take them away again, as Europe has learnt the hard way.
Has America gone over the ‘precipice’, to use Obama’s word for this change? (We suspect he didn’t know what the word means, but it’s more apt than he could have intended.)
What sort of world is emerging with the connivance, or the capitulation, of the new weaker socialist America, which will no longer protect Western civilization?
Will America no longer be ‘the last best hope on earth’?
Is global government, the tyranny from which there can be no escape, inevitable?
Is there anything dissenting Americans – apparently a majority if the polls are right – can do to recover their liberty? Or is it too late to do anything?
Is there any point in looking to the Republican Party? Seems not, with its present leaders.
What if it had stronger leadership?
Here’s a suggestion by JB Williams at Canada Free Press:
This morning on Fox Sunday with Chris Wallace, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) conceded that Republican senators won’t be able to stop Democratic health care reform legislation from passing the Senate before Christmas.
“We will fight until the last vote,” McCain told Chris Wallace. “We owe that to our constituents, because we must do everything—we must look back and say we did everything to prevent this terrible mistake from taking place.”
I beg to differ with Senator John McCain… (which is nothing new) …
Another useless NAY vote is NOT everything they can do! …
McCain is right about one thing… Congressional Republicans have NO “legislative” POWER to stop the current assault on all things American taking place in Washington DC today. That’s because there is NO legitimate legislative process taking place in Washington DC today.
In the good old days, when the three administrative branches of the federal government kept independent checks upon each other, politicians were able to hide behind their NAY vote as a demonstration of opposition to anti-American and unconstitutional policies.
Those days are gone!
There is NO legitimate legislative process taking place in Washington DC today and even those who support this anti-American nonsense know it. More than 60% of American citizens strongly oppose every policy coming out of DC today – President Obama’s personal approval rating is in the toilet and still sinking, as is the approval rating of the leftist controlled congress.
Still, the left accelerates its rush into unbridled Global Marxism as if totally unconcerned with the “will of the people”, their limited constitutional authority, or the objections of Republicans in congress.
Republicans have only ONE chance left!
To save themselves from being painted with the same Marxist brush appropriate for today’s Democrats, stop the current slaughter of Americans sovereignty, security and prosperity, and unite the 60% of Americans in desperate need of leadership, congressional Republicans have ONE play remaining.
WALK OUT and STAY OUT!
Walk out of congress TODAY!
Force leftist Democrats to destroy this nation all alone!
Publicly name every vote bought off with state pork in the last ten months!
Call it what it is, a complete sham and rape of this nation!
Refuse to provide any form of cover for this sham and return home!
Once home, meet with state legislators to erect Tenth Amendment walls of defense at the state lines!
Once state defenses are erected, begin meeting with Tea Party and Town Hall patriots to begin the process of reclaiming the free republic.
Go down in flames with all other anti-American leftists in DC, currently running roughshod over the vast majority of American citizens opposed to everything going on in that sinking cesspool of political corruption called the federal government. …
Obama’s policies are set to tip these states and maybe others, over the brink in early 2010!
Trust me when I tell you, Congressional Republicans have NO other viable options.
But we have entered a new era in America… The enemies of freedom and liberty are in full control of all three branches of the federal government. There is NO legitimate constitutional process in Washington DC today. Republicans have NO “in chamber” power to stop the dismantling of America and only three defenses of the free republic remain.
Republicans MUST separate themselves from the sham immediately or go down in flames with the Democratic Socialists of America in charge!
The state legislatures MUST erect Tenth Amendment walls of defense at the state lines.
The people MUST unite in patriotic resistance, with or without Republicans!
The Republicans in Congress are very unlikely to take such bold action. So what remains? Many recognize that this is a critical moment for America and the world. Even among the well-behaved, mild-mannered Tea Party protestors there are some who talk of secession, and some even of revolution.
Many Americans are arming themselves. Is the revolution, if it comes, likely to be a violent one?