By Mark David Blum, Esq.
Y’know, I was thinking. 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 … O wait, someone already said that. Thomas Jefferson and his merry band of terrorists and government opponents, decided that the real estate upon they lived was now theirs and no longer the property of the King. Adams, Washington, Hamilton and a cast of thousands actually took up arms because they didn’t want to be part of the mother country anymore. These rascals who all pledged their names, their fortunes, and their sacred honor said our lives are our own and the land upon which we sit will no longer be taxed or subject to the laws or authorities of that other country. “No taxation without representation”; a bale of balderdash was that tale since a lone backbencher voice would never be heard over the legislative din.
The rest, as they say, is history. We, the People did attempt to form a more perfect union. No mind of that era was more attune to liberty and where is the fundamental flaw in the very concept of government. Mr. Jefferson and that rascal Adams, a lawyer for whatever cause came along, brought about this new and never before (or since) attempted structure of government. A new political theory was implemented. Power flowed from the People up and Power in government was to be as fractured and scattered as possible to prevent domination by any one. They didn’t even have police at the time; the first Cop did not come into being until 1800’s London. The fathers of our forefathers signed onto the new ideas and here we are today. I wonder what the womenfolk of the time would have brought to the table.
Now, it really wasn’t our forefathers who signed onto this new social contract. It was our colonies who upon joining, officially became States of the new nation. John Doe who lived down yonder in the paw paw patch did not become an American. No, as a citizen of the colony, he had his own government to represent him and representatives of his negotiated the establishment of a relationship between the singular political entity and this new confederacy of States. Thus became the United States as one by one, these other parcels of land out there organized their own governments and some of them asked to join the union while others went another route. Some of the land the country bought. Other properties were just taken by military fiat. In the end however, the United States of America became 50.
Let me post that again. The United States of America. That is our nation’s official name. We call ourselves ‘Murricans. Everywhere we go, we holla “YOU ESS AYE, YOU ESS AYE, YOU ESS AYE”. America is a continent, divided by a canal. We the United States of America are but a gaggle of states who agreed to organize around a central government. We did not do so to be supervised or be boss. A central government was put into place to handle common problems and needs and to mediate disputes amongst the several of us.
About sixty years after the first shots were fired at those white British eyes, in 1835 a great mind of his own generation, Alex de Tocqueville wrote in reference to the United States of America that, “if there ever are great revolutions there, they will be caused by the presence of the blacks upon American soil.” [Note: he said American and not the United States]. “That is to say, it will not be the equality of social conditions but rather their inequality which may give rise thereto.” If only he knew how very foreboding he was.
Thirty years later, our nation was embroiled in a great civil war. More Americans died in that war than in all subsequent wars combined. A lot people will say that the war about slavery. It was not. Many can point to economics as the cause. It was not. What it was centered on the idea that the then federal government could dictate to a State how it was to treat its’ citizens. Who decided who had what rights? (As an economic model, slavery is destined to failure anyway because it costs less to pay minimum wage than to house and feed someone. That is another discussion for another time). The war was about one thing; who was in charge here in these United States.
Along comes President Abraham Lincoln, the most revered son of the Republican Party and loved and cherished by all. With President Lincoln, comes shots fired at Fort Sumter and a war began. Brother against brother; citizen of the United States versus citizen of the Confederate States. “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.” (A. Lincoln).
Now, we got to the point of bloodshed after a lengthy and hard fought political battle. One by one, several states in a particular region of the United States concluded that they didn’t want to be in this more “perfect union” anymore. They held state elections and state governments held votes and some decided by majority will that they didn’t want to play anymore. These states decided to honor Mr. Jefferson’s own words and said “to hell with it, this is our land and we want to form our own country. We no longer want to be a part of the big country.” Sound familiar? Giving the United States of America the finger, these States turned their backs and walked away. They formed a new nation, one that today would have quickly been recognized by the United Nations; the Confederate States of America. A new constitution was written, a President elected, and they went on to live happily ever after.
Not quite. Setting an attitude for the then newly formed Republican Party, President Lincoln felt that the big daddy federal government was more important than the opinion of any one or group of States. President Lincoln (R) issued an edict to the newly formed Confederacy. ‘Come home. All is forgiven. Do it or die.’ We can all agree that the Confederacy fired the first shot to evict non Confederacy troops from Confederacy soil; the same way colonists chased out British Garrisons from the new nation conceived in liberty. Had President Lincoln brought soldiers of the United States of America home instead of having them hold fort in a foreign land against the will of that nation, a war could have been averted. If some nation fired on an American base [Note: American], I would hope we would unleash the fire of hell upon them. At the same time, I would hope we would not annex that nation.
So, along came President Lincoln who in face of the establishment of the Confederate States of America, fundamentally changed the very nature of the United States of America. His actions forever made the federal government the monstrosity that it is today and one so very offensive to our Founder’s original intent. We became America; one nation under God.
There was in the civil war a battle so disastrous and horrific that the Confederate army was brought to its knees and so much blood was shed that the President himself paid a visit to the battle scene in its aftermath. Penning one of the shortest but most famous speeches in history, the Battle of Gettysburg was the turning focal point of the war. H. L. Mencken famously wrote that, “the only thing wrong with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was that it was the South, not the North, that was fighting for a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
It was this new Republican authoritarian attitude manifested by President Lincoln that not only fundamentally changed our government, but he fundamentally changed our entire country. No longer were we a voluntary association of States united for a common good. Instead, we were transformed at the point of a bayonet to a mafia-esque type organization where once you join, you were in it for life. President Lincoln made it clear no State can secede; even if the State citizens lawfully vote to empower their State legislatures to get a divorce from the United States, it became the policy of the federal government to kill you if you try. Nowadays, the very concept of ‘States’ is an anachronism when in reality the various States are little more than regional authorities defined by boundaries. President Lincoln just could not allow himself to be the President on whose watch the union fell apart. So many were slaughtered to save his ego.
Fast forward to the present and in response to a Black* man winning re-election to the Presidency, a mass movement is afoot in various States to secede from the Union. I have been arguing for years that the tension between our current population, our current political differences, while trying to function in our political structure is going to tear us apart. Three separte political entities will be what I believe the end result at some future date. With so many hundreds of millions of us Americans, our fundamental beliefs in limited government cannot survive. One of these two pressure points has to give. That is my opinion as a student of sociology. History will bear me out as a windbag or someone who should have bet more money on #17 at roulette. (*As an aside; I do not understand why we call the incumbent ‘Black’. He is as White as he is Black. If he has even one drop of White blood in him, isn’t he White? Another discussion; another time).
So what if Texas wants to secede from the Union. If they have a lawful vote by the People supporting secession and they follow whatever legislative path that is lawful and proper, and it is their decision that they want out, then I say, “so long, farewell, and be at peace.” Seriously, will we let our national pride interfere with our national foundation? Will millions again die to protect an ego? It is the right of the People to decide their own destiny. That would be my definition of liberty. If the State of New York wants out of the union, … see ya. It would then be my choice to decide whether I wanted to live in the United States of America or this new nation called We Bad.
Somewhere another Jefferson will hopefully rise whose ideas will create a still more perfect union. Would we, as true Americans, want to stand in the way of political progress? Is that to be our legacy? Our nation's founding set the standard for political evolution. Standing in the way of human progress is contrary to our most basic DNA as a nation. Sometimes, one People need to separate from another to enable that progress. Change requires adaption to survive. The whole world has changed. Political structures and ideologies need to keep up.
Did you know that the United States Supreme Court sees you as a citizen of the United States of America AND a citizen of the State in which you live. The nation’s highest Court sees you wearing two hats and having the rights and privileges (and dangers) of both.
If Texas thinks it can go it alone or wants to join with Mexico or Paraguay, why would we stop them? The old Soviet empire once held all of Eastern Europe under the point of a gun as a buffer between German and English forces and mother Russia. Unlike the United States and Her two blue oceans, Russia had no natural barriers to invasion so they created the Soviet Union and used human shields. Today’s world does not require protection from mass invasions (unless you are Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Israel, Syria). Losing Texas would pose no military, economic, or political threat to the remaining 49. They can stand as a buffer between Mexico and me.
So, let them go. A personal note to Governor Rick Perry: You Sir, are an idiot. The People of Texas and not your fat ass decide if they want to secede. You can be replaced.
The fun part is when the lawyers get involved. In reality, if a State should vote to secede and so Petition Congress, all Congress can really do is amend everything that needs amending so as to reflect the new Union as being less one State. On a moral level, cant stop a divorce. All you can really do is divide the assets and liabilities.
Let Texas be Texas. If they want out, fine. We will remove all property belonging to the United States from the State of Texas. We will demand payment for all national land being returned to Texas after Texas passed laws transferring ownership. The United States should just pick up its toys and go home. We wish our friends in Texas well. Our NBA, our NFL, our MLB, and Nascar will miss you. If you need our military, have your credit card handy. Remember, a border is a border and passports will be required. If you leave, you leave.
Oh, and uh one more thing; Texas, don’t forget to pay your check. You do owe a proportionate share of the federal debt. U.S. dollars only, please. We don’t take Texas money here.
"It is often said the Civil War answered this question: that when the South surrendered at Appomattox, the idea of secession was also defeated. In fact, no lesser authority than Justice Antonin Scalia — who would probably rank No. 1 or 2 in a parlor-game bet over which Justice is most likely to sign a secession petition — has said precisely this. In response to a letter from a citizen asking if there is a legal basis for secession — a letter that it is remarkable for being answered by a sitting Justice — Scalia wrote in 2006, '[The] answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede." (Time Magazine, 11/19/12).
I query where in it is it found that the Constitution can be Amended by bayonet or bullet?