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Once more

March 17, 2021

*Let’s note that Aesop, over at Raconteur Report, dealt with this topic in far more detail than I both here and here. I address it only because it seems to come up, at least among some people I know, on a depressingly regular basis.*

It seems to pop up periodically among those who oppose, in general or in some specific way, what they see as an unacceptable direction for the country. “It,” in this case, is secession. I want to begin by noting that I understand, in a sort of general way, the motivation. I, too, see the ongoing and accelerating loss of freedom. I see the seeminly ever-increasingly disdain for the Constitution and the liberties it seeks to protect. The problem, that is the practical problem, is that there exists no reasonably workable and achievable method of secession of one or more states from the Union. Any response to this which includes some version of “the Constitution does not even mention secession…” ignores that we’re discussing things that are practical, workable and achievable. Regardless of how I may view the rightness of secession as an idea, the reality is that there exists no legally recognized right of any state (or collection of states) to unilaterally secede. We actually fought a minor little skirmish over that issue back in the 19th century. The secessionists lost. They did not lose just because they were also supporting the vile, inhuman (and from my perspective Godless) institution of chattel slavery. They lost* because secession simply could not and would not be tolerated by the US government.

“Our state could do quite well without the federal government” is a frequently encountered argument. I hear it quite often here in Abilene. If it’s an argument you make, you need a keeper. This one is from the Texas Standard of June 23, 2020. It deals with how much just military bases contributed to the Texas economy in 2019.

A new study by the Texas comptroller’s office estimates that military installations contributed at least $123.6 billion to the Texas economy in 2019, and supported more than 630,000 jobs in communities across the state.

The point, which could be made in other ways, is that those dollars and support of jobs would either go away largely or entirely, even if secession succeeded. We can speak of how “our state cares more for liberty than dollars” all we want. In the real world, though, “it’s the economy, stupid” still reflects a basic truth. Like it or not, our state’s relationship with the federal government is a real-world Gordian knot and we lack anything approaching either an Alexander or so workable an answer. To put it another way, we ain’t gonna secede.

There are other points to be made if you favor secession, or at least questions to be asked. If the majority of the people in your state do not support some sort of real world effort, how many of your friends, neighbors and family are you willing to kill to get the others to go along? What about the people in the next town over? If you don’t know anyone there, but they don’t support “the cause,” are you willing to kill all of them, if necessary? Hey, are you ready to fight a civil war to “liberate” the arguable minority of people in California who see things your way?

Secession, you see, is rebellion. The federal government is not going to negotiate with rebels. Ever**. If those in favor of secession had that much practical power, there would be no need for talk of secession.

If you listen to or encourage the Keyboard Commandos (KC), you’re going to get people killed. If you’re one of the KC, hopefully it’ll just be you.

*NOTE: If you respond with even the hint that I support some sort of “lost cause” view of the Civil War, I should warn you now that I’ll treat you like the idiot you are.

**NOTE: There is a possible exception, but it would come at the end of a long, nation-destroying armed conflict. Even then, the odds are in favor of the existing federal government.

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One Comment
  1. Old NFO permalink

    Yep, this comes up every couple of years and it’s always BS… The losses of jobs and income would NOT be sustainable in the real world… sigh

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