19 Nov

Forget Secession, Try Federalism.

Glenn Reynolds @ USA Today:

Since the election, we’ve seen more interest in secession. Hundreds of thousandsAmericans in all 50 states have petitioned to secede. Is the United States breaking up?

Nope. No more than in 2004, when disappointed Democrats were talking about secession, and circulating maps of America divided into “The United States of Canada” and “Jesusland.” (This formulation even inspired a not-bad futuristic novel by Richard Morgan about a United States that did split.) Seceding over a presidential election is silly.

So why talk about seceding? Well, partly to register disapproval. Though I doubt President Obama is losing sleep over it, that his White House petition site is full of calls for secession is certainly an indication that many aren’t overjoyed by his re-election.

But people also talk about secession for more serious reasons. They feel that the central government doesn’t respect them, forces them to live under laws they find repugnant and takes their money away to pay off its own supporters. You see secession movements based on these principles in places like Scotland, Catalonia, Northern Italy, and elsewhere around the world. Some might succeed; others are less likely to. But in every case they represent unhappiness with the status quo.

America has an unfortunate history with secession, which led to the bloodiest war in our history and divisions that persist to this day. But, in general, the causes of secession are pretty standard around the world: Too much power in the central government, too much resentment in the unhappy provinces. (Think Hunger Games).

So what’s a solution? Let the central government do the things that only central governments can do — national defense, regulation of trade to keep the provinces from engaging in economic warfare with one another, protection of basic civil rights — and then let the provinces go their own way in most other issues.

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About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.

7 Responses to Forget Secession, Try Federalism.

  1. another vet says: 1

    So what’s a solution? Let the central government do the things that only central governments can do — national defense, regulation of trade to keep the provinces from engaging in economic warfare with one another, protection of basic civil rights — and then let the provinces go their own way in most other issues.

    Exactly and therein lies the heart of the situation. As the last election and the ones since 1988 have shown, this country is divided 50/50 on this issue. One thing this election proved was that Obama didn’t unite the country given his lower percentage of the popular vote than 2008. His divisiveness has only served to increase the intensity of that division. Half of us want exactly what you propose, the other half want unlimited power in the central government. Right now the majority of the calls for secession are no doubt coming from the right just like the calls for secession in 2004 came from the left. Had Romney won, it would be the left calling for secession. I really don’t see how the two sides will ever be able to come to an agreement on this issue which when you think about it, underlies just about all of the other issues. Mata had a thread awhile back that addressed the issue of this division and secession and linked an article by Walter Williams who compared our situation to that of a bad marriage and asked the questioned what is better, to continue to live with a bad marriage or get a divorce.

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  2. Ditto says: 2

    @another vet:

    I believe after looking at voting statistics it’s closer to 25%-25%. The other 50% or so have pretty much given up in disgust.

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  3. when thousands of PEOPLE sign such a paper,
    it mean that the elected better pay attention,

    ReplyReply
  4. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 4

    I say, let them go. The only state that pays more to the US government than it receive is Texas—all the rest get more than they pay in. Better yet, deport them all to Texas, and let Texas secede—we’ll quickly balance the budget that way.

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  5. another vet says: 5

    @Ditto: We are definitely more apathetic. Turn out was down on both sides. The ending to this won’t be pretty regardless if we stay together in a bad marriage or go for the divorce. However, if it does get ugly, it’ll finally give the left a chance to put their money where their mouths are given how they love to get in peoples’ faces and try to intimidate those who don’t agree with them.

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  6. retire05 says: 6

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    Let’s see; you say that Texas pays into the federal government more than it gets back (true) for a net loss in return for Texas, but if Texas no longer pays more than it gets back, the budget could be balanced without the additional funds provided by Texas?

    How convoluted is that thinking?

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  7. Aqua says: 7

    @retire05:

    How convoluted is that thinking?

    Liberal math. They don’t have to carry the 1 or any of that other fancy math stuff. :-)

    ReplyReply

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