Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 25, 2013

Stumptalk: Can secession come to America?

By Phillip J. Chesser
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — If states seriously threatened secession, the President would send troops in faster than President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock in 1957, so legal secession cannot happen here even though the Declaration of Independence encourages it and nothing in the U.S. Constitution forbids it. But since Mr. Lincoln especially, presidents have rarely been bothered by the Constitution. They do what they have to do to keep power. To most presidents as with most career politicians, power is the highest good.  

Another equally powerful force against secession is the federal government’s money. Citizens and states depend on Social Security, military pensions, highway funds, education funds, and other programs of federal largesse. Dependence upon federal money would dampen secession sentiment faster than armed troops. No matter how citizens may feel about the current state of affairs in the nation, they cannot afford legal secession.

But Americans also cannot afford the out of control government now moving inexorably towards financial ruin. So, even though secession cannot happen in the near term, its feasibility is worth discussing. Contrary to what the history books teach, the first secession did not occur in the 1860s but earlier in 1775 when disgruntled American colonists decided that the king’s tax burden was too high. Compare the colonists’ taxes to contemporary America’s and some might ask, “What were they fighting about? They had it good.” Nonetheless, following the dictates of the Declaration of Independence, American colonists seceded from Great Britain and formed their own nation.

Then, following the precedent established by the nation’s founders, southern states began the secession movement that led to the War of Northern Aggression. Secession was constitutional; attacking seceding states was not, but Lincoln showed little concern for the rule of law. Lincoln, who succeeded famously in thwarting secession, killing 800,000 Americans in the process (800,000 is a new scholarly estimate based upon continuing research) is considered America’s greatest president by many. That’s a historical rule: kill more people; earn more praise; see more monuments to yourself built.

A kind of secession does exist, however. Like our continuing de facto racial segregation, de facto secession has been with us for some time. As Pat Buchanan writes, Americans are seceding from each other. The Red State/Blue State divide is real and a cultural, more than a political phenomenon. Red America is religious, culturally conservative, family oriented, hard working and frugal. Citizens of Red America believe in God’s objective moral truth (that is, the Natural Law or the Moral Law, explained simply and eloquently by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity). This truth is permanent and unchangeable and continues regardless of what human beings may think from time to time. Citizens of Blue America, on the other hand, are moral relativists, where truth is a plastic or malleable idea and changes in accordance with convenience and fashion. This difference of viewpoint creates a cultural chasm too wide to breach. More than anything, this contributes to the continuing in-migration of Americans from Blue Nation to Red Nation.

Most Americans who migrate to Red States say they move for economic reasons like lower taxes and lower housing costs. Others cite quality of life: less urban congestion and lower crime rates, but the unstated (and politically incorrect) reason argues most convincingly: people prefer to be those with whom they share common moral and cultural characteristics. The diversity police of course apply the racist label to Red America.

Enlightenment propaganda notwithstanding, human beings are tribal creatures. History and contemporary culture shows that tribalism trumps everything. What is happening in America is what happens everywhere: Balkanization based on ethnicity, religion, and race. We are now two Americas: non white and white, and as years pass, the tensions that once existed between non-white and white ethnic groups will end as each isolates itself from the other. Tensions among non-white ethnicities will increase, as is now happening in Los Angeles between African Americans and Latinos (and which, for obviously politically correct reasons, is never reported by the MSM). History shows that these tensions will escalate as white Americans, who will one day be outnumbered, withdraw to protected enclaves in Red States.

Secession is here to stay.