Ron Paul on Secession – CNN American Morning

Date: 4/21/2009
Show: American Morning
Channel: CNN


Commentator: What would happen if Texas filed for a divorce from the United States? Congressman Ron Paul thinks the idea of Texas leaving the Union should be taken seriously. He will tell us why when we talk to him live, coming up. It’s 23 minutes now after the hour.

Kiran Chetry: Well, for 10 years Texas was a sovereign territory before joining the United States in 1845. It’s the stuff of legend that the lone star state could end its ties with the U.S. if its constituents want it that way. Well, recently Texas governor Rick Perry, who has been highly critical of President Obama’s stimulus package, raised that possibility that his state may one day secede from the union.

Rick Perry: We got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it, but if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what might come out of that.

Kiran Chetry: Well, the governor isn’t the only one suggesting secession isn’t out of the realms. Joining me now is Texas Congressman Ron Paul who’s live this morning in Winston, Salem, North Carolina. Thanks for being with us, Congressman Paul.

Ron Paul: Thank you.

Kiran Chetry: So how serious is this secession talk?

Ron Paul: I don’t think it’s very serious. I don’t think anybody called for secession, I don’t think the governor called for it. But he brings up an important issue and I think the biggest surprise to me was the outrage expressed by an individual that even thinks along these lines because I heard people say, “Well, this was treasonous and this was un-American”. But don’t they remember how we came into our being? We used secession. We seceeded from England. So it’s a very good principle. It’s a principle of a free society and it’s a shame we don’t have it anymore.

I argue that if we had the principle of secession our federal government wouldn’t be as intrusive into our state of affairs. That would be very good. We as a nation have endorsed secession all along. I mean, think of all the secession of the countries and the republics from the Soviet system. We were delighted, we loved it. And yet we get hysterical over this. Just because people want to debate and defend the principle of secession that doesn’t mean that they’re calling for secession. I think it’s that restraining element of secession that would keep the federal government from doing so much. In our early history, they accepted the principle of secession all along.

Kiran Chetry: And you said “it’s very American to talk about cession, it’s how we came into being. 13 colonies seceded from the British and established a new country.” Are you likening the current situation to life under King George?

Ron Paul: I think a lot of people are thinking that way, and I think that is what is important. People are angry and if we don’t sense that then we don’t know exactly what is going on there. People are angry. What I am anticipating though is that it’s going to get a lot worse when the dollar collapses and the federal government can’t fulfill any of its promises. What if they send you dollars and they don’t work? People are just going to… they’re not going to have a violent secession. They’re just going to ignore the federal government because it will be inept.

We’ll be bringing our troops home and our empire will end and that’s a different story. So, I think it’s something that we should about but we shouldn’t institutionalize this principle. New England wanted to secede and nobody challenged New England that it was unconstitutional in our early history. What if people applied this…?

Kiran Chetry: I just want to… you guys said that you guys are talking about it more as a principle and saying that it will be a counterweight to what you guys are calling federal government intrusiveness and I get that. But you’re not really saying that Texas is going to secede. So I want to move on to the bank bailouts because this has been a source of a lot of contention. You have been opposed to them. It looks lately though there have been some signs that perhaps it’s working. We were talking about Bank of America turning a profit, Wells Fargo now saying they are able to pay back the Federal Government and return some of that bailout money. In the end, could this have turned out to be the right move?

Ron Paul: Well, if a gangster steals money and is successful you don’t celebrate. They might be, but this is just going to make the people angrier and say, “Ah ha, they ripped us of, they took all of our money and now they’re making bundles”. It’s just an unfair system to penalize average people, inflate the currency and bring on another crisis and undermine the whole system. So I would say a bank success here and there is not necessarily something to celebrate.

But you know, it’s still pretty early. I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet to celebrate bank successes right now or something else. What you have to realize is that a lot of people stashed away a lot of money and they took care of their bonuses and what not and you’re not going to erase the anger that has come from that just because a bank made a profit. Matter of fact, like I said, I think it might make things worse.

Kiran Chetry: Alright, Congressman Ron Paul, always great to get your take. Thanks for joining us this morning.

Ron Paul: Thank you.

  • If texas succeeds color me texan!!! I trust their governor, paul and even bush more than pelosi, biden and obama… hellofa lot more.

    I was a bit stilted by the banks reporting of higher profits. The numbers just don’t jive with what was reported just a few months ago… so when were the books skewed; a few months ago or as of late? It just doesn’t make fiscal sense, no matter how you look at it it is impossible. One or the other report was fabricated. Quite frankly I could care less which one was a lie; just that there is a lie is enough for me. I have had it. Ron Paul was right, it has only pissed me off more.


  • RogerWDavis

    Contemplating succession even for the effect of pretense would acknowledge that our un-Constituted Undergovernment of Civil Servant Socialists have a legitament association with our Constituted United States.

    The Democrats and their multiple denominations as well as the Republicans and their look-a-like sissies (Jer 51:7; Matt 10:34-36; 26:27; Jer 51:30-33; Gen 11:9) have and are boasting their roles in our public’s confusion (Matthew 12:25).

    To openly curse any man who acts like the son of a single parent household by swinging on the hormonal yo-yo of politics is the only answer to our nation’s return to liberty (Isaiah 3:12-15).

  • Christopher Quinn

    The parastic rich elite are bailing themselves out of their own failures and dumping the bill on the backs of all the rest of us and generations yet unborn.

    If the bank cartel’s parasitic fractional reserve system and increasingly worthless fiat currency via the Federal Reserve and its D.C. cronies continue their current madness, the U.S. dollar will crash and burn and buy nothing.

    Should this occur, the states will have no recourse but to secede to save themselves – that or be subsumed into a Socialist North American Union under a global tyranny.

    As it is, the 10th Amendment will continue to become increasingly popular amongst states as a viable way to bail themselves out of the bank cartel bailouts, the Federal Reserve’s hyperinflation and D.C.’s over-reaching Socialism.

    So, if the U.S. Constitution is to be ignored, violated and even vilified, then the USA will fast diminish itself into a Third World tyranny, but with lots of nukes and high tech weapons.

    The elite want freedom for themselves, and unwitting slaves to make life comfortable for them. The people will want freedom and a chance for thrive.

    The Lakotah tribes have already ended their 150 year treaty (the USA continually violated) with the USA.

    With the Fed’s and D.C.’s bailouts and massive Socialist spending programs and power grabs, Oklahoma and Texas and other states are already flirting with the idea of secession. And why not? The U.S. Constitution is on the side of the people and the states, not the Fed.

    If D.C. tries to force the issue through martial law as the U.S. dollar crashes, there will be state secessions and those states will reorganize themselves, cooperate with each other and create their own viable currency. And lots of people seeking freedom and opportunity would migrate to those states. I would be one of them.

    • Two thoughts:

      The Federal Government has already effectively seceded from the Constitution. Is there a part of the Constitution it hasn’t violated? I’ve already begun to think of the Federal Gov’t and the Constitution as separate.

      It’s ironic that so many intellectuals consider the Constitution a “living document” yet the Republic is dying because of that very concept?

      I do not believe the US Military will oppose the population in the event of a financial collapse. I just can’t see them starving or shooting their mamas. Even the Soviets couldn’t pull that one off.

      One more thought – after being taught the greatness of our country all these many years, I find it quite surreal that I’ve likely lived to witness its greatest crisis and possibly its dissolution.

      • Christopher Quinn

        Well said, Steve. I feel as you do on this. It is surreal, even heartbreaking, to have to witness the possible dissolution of our Constitutional republic and the utter collapse of our once productive and thriving economy. I agree with all you so eloquently said.

        The only caveat being that, though most returning American troops will not fire on their own people (which is why they are currently being vilified in the media as possible “terrorists” – like everyone else who might dare disagree with the current Fed madness), it is clear that hired mercenaries and recruited non-military young brigades and foreign troops might be brought in by the Feds who will.

        By covertly and incrementally seceding from the U.S. Constitution, the central bank and the Federal government are refashioning the U.S.A. into a bankrupt Socialist tyranny designed to be subsumed into a global tyranny. And so, when the dollar crashes to the point of worthlessness, the states will be forced to secede just to have a hope of surviving, and the people will have to chose between (on the one hand) rebellion or emigrating to a seceding state or freer nation and (on the other) mandated servitude or FEMA camp (or secret overseas) incarceration and premature death.

        For those of us who cherish, and even risked our lives for, the (once real now imagined) freedoms protected by our U.S. Constitution, this is a nightmare come to life.

        If anyone is a “traitor” it is NOT those who love and demand we preserve, protect, defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution, or even those forced to invoke one of its Articles or Amendments, like the 10th, and even secede, if driven to it; but it is those who willfully ignore, violate, vilify and purposefully misinterpret it to further their anti-Constitutional, elite globalist, ends.

        Freedom works for everyone – but the parasitic elite want freedom only for themselves, not the rest of us.

        So, if we restore and follow the U.S. Constitution, I will want to remain; but if we do not, I will want to secede or emigrate where ever freedom for all is a reality.

        • I believe the time for our having choices in this is well passed and I think it will be all or nothing – no two separate nations.

          Also, I expect the military would protect the citizens from any mercenaries and such.

          I’m not much into conspiracy theories; I’ve never believed the government was smart enough to pull one off. As Krauthamer said, “if it’s a choice between conspiracy and stupid, go with stupid”.

          I really wish this weren’t happening. The EPA thing is making me furious. This is a good example of a the bottom of a slippery slope initiated by a Supreme Court decision.


          • Christopher Quinn

            Here are four more quotes that apply:

            “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
            — Thomas Jefferson

            “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
            — Mohandas Gandhi

            “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
            — Will Durant

            “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.”
            — Dr. Ron Paul

  • Dr. Paul:

    I haven’t heard anyone mention the possibility of the states exercising their rights under Article V. It seems this would give the states the upper hand while avoiding secession.

    A year ago, the thought of this would have scared me to death but relative to our current situation it seems a bit less frightening.
    I suppose it’s like comparing Pandora’s Box to a coffin.

    I do believe we would have more success working with our respective governors and have them deal with the Fed. We need to become more state focused and less so on the Fed. since dealing with Washington is simply overwhelming. Actually, this is the way it was supposed to work.

    I would be interested on your thoughts on this. It’s probably moot as I doubt we can outrun the collapse of the dollar anyway.

  • Matt

    Who has said these comments are ‘treasonous and un-american’? Maybe the fringe left to the fringe right.

    Most conversations where this topic of ‘texas secession’ comes up, people are not labelled as ‘un-patriotic’ nor are the legal merits and world courts weighed, honestly it is viewed almost humorously. Akin to as if he said ‘We need to throw California out of the Union’.

    And certainly noone I have heard, except Ron Paul, draws any comparison between a Texas governor mentioning secession and the original New England colonies actually seceding. That is just silly and confusing. I am sure there is some term describing this fallacy of an argument I have forgetten from Logic class in college.

    All this talk just obscures and confuses the original issue of big federal government. It shouldn’t be ‘if texas goes i am sure there will be mass rioting and civil disorder because i think the people out there are ANGRRRYYYY’.

  • Maybe someone should have listened to Mr. Paul 5 or 10 years ago and the U.S would not find themselves in trouble today.
    Go back and see that he has been right on most things.
    I believe that if he had been elected 8 years ago instead of Bush who by the way was a complete idiot things would be a lot better today.Get your heads out of the sand especially Iraq where you should not have been anyways.

  • texas should leave the the u s it would teach this socialist gov a lesson

  • TC

    Ron Paul is a modern day Joseph McCarthy. He’s an exploiter of the angry extreme right and will eventually drown in his own ego and misguided ambition.

    He and his followers should read a few books on the Civil War before espousing the idea of secession. I guess when your angry and out of ideas the easiest thing to do is try and break something?

    • Pheonix in Flames

      you demonstrate the character of an individual who criticizes whist lacking a prior knowledge towards their subject. I would encourage you to consider Ron Paul’s character, and you will be sure, assuming that are have any semblance of a rational and intelligent human being, to recognize that he is an exceptionally mannered and genuine individual, far from the egomaniac that would so assert him to be.

      Your assessment of the movement as being inline with the “angry extreme right” seems to follow in similar accord. It’s easy to categorize something based on a hyperbolic statement, its an entirely more difficult task to really consider what you find opposition to and make legitmate criticism.

      Peace and Love

    • Ray

      TC, you understand nothing about Ron Pauls character. He is not exploiting anyones anger, he is merely expressing his understanding of the United States Constitution to anyone who wishes to listen. The man is one of the only politicians in government today who actually understands and practices the constitutional restraints on the size and scope of government, and he is one of the only persons in government today who actually votes according to the principles and guide lines set forth by the Constitution. He is also not espousing the idea of secession, he has simply stated that it is not un American to discuss the idea of secession. Please take some time to read and understand the constitution before attacking Ron Pauls character. You will see that they both make perfect sense. (Ron Paul and the Constitution).

      • Sean

        you must not watch cspan. ron paul is a great man, but there are many many like him that share his concerns in the congress. just because they aren’t on tv and don’t run a campaign doesn’t mean that they don’t exsist.

        • Sean

          so you think the dream will die after ron paul retires?

          • Ray

            You see sean, when bush was destroying the constitution as well as worlds respect and the publics trust by torturing prisoners of war, spying on American citizens, Attacking iraq, a sovereign nation who had an evil dictator who our government put into power but who had (nothing) to do with 911, and while bush was ignoring Constitutional laws to suit his agenda while spending trillions on an illegal war with iraq, the republican party was telling their colleagues that you are either with us or you are against us and their is no middle ground. That of course is when Rush limbaugh got all pissy faced over bushs massive spending, then did a 180 after having a personal talk with the mighty bush, then rush spent the next several months trying to convince the conservatives throughout America that bush was some sort of a genius. That he was spending this money in order to keep democrats from having an issue to show the American people that bush was an uncaring Butt head. But in reality, everyone was told to put their Conservative ideas on hold, support the parties leaders and do what the party demands of them and don’t question the supreme authority, So that is exactly what the wanna be conservatives in our congress and senate did. They put their Conservative values on hold and gave the heil hitler salute to the Bush Administration and they followed orders. The following election, many republicans who were not conservatives got their sorry a$$es thrown out of office. George Nethercut from washington state was one of them who was removed because he was seen as a non Conservative Bush butt smoocher. So again I will say this. Government is full of conservative wanna be’s but ya usually don’t hear a peep out of them until the democrats take control of the white house ,the congress and the senate, then all of a sudden the conservatives are everywhere screaming waste, fraud, corruption and all those things that the Bush administration wrote the book on.

        • Ray

          Sean, I am not sure if you are speaking to me or not but I will say first of all, no I personally do not watch c-span. I watched the government balloon to a massive size under the bush administration and I have seen trillions spent by both Republicans and Democrats. I am also not aware of even the slightest reduction in the size of the federal government from either of our two parties in the five decades that I have been alive. The federal government has expanded many fold in fifty years, so if the Ron Paul look alikes are out there, they certainly haven’t been making much noise. I guess they might want to speak up so that we can hear them. And as to your other post, The dream will surely die after Ron Paul retires if we don’t start replacing Republicans in government with true Conservatives, whether they be Republicans, Libertarians or anyone else who wants to practice true conservatism. I agree that there are many who believe in conservative ideas in our government, but when bush was in office, Not too many Conservatives were screaming, stop the spending bush. Bush actually gave massive amounts of money to churches when he first took office. Not only did that destroy the separation between church and state, the conservatives in government were nowhere to be found. Thats just one example of our current government conservative makeup. They might be hiding amongst the Republicans but Ron Paul seems to be the only one making any significant noise.

  • T Reamonn

    I’m pretty sure that if one state breaks off from the Union, other states will be sure to follow.

  • Lawrence Ekdahl

    What will Texas do when Obama sends in his elite SS troops?

    • Ray

      Add to the size of their existing cemetaries to make room for the troops ????

      Put up a sign that says, Don’t mess with texas ????

      Put up signs that say, entering old mexico ????

      I’m not sure. 🙂

  • Susan Fiore

    Dear Representative Paul,
    If you establish a Texas Secessionist Movement, I’ll make a contribution. It’s the best idea I’ve heard in years.

    • erik james

      i concur. I’ve never set foot in texas, but if the citizens of Texas gain freedoms and peace by seceding from the union, I welcome it. Liberals (in general) don’t even like Texas, so they should welcome this as well. Once again, Ron Paul is the only politician making any sense.

    • Dear Dr. Paul,

      If you establish a Texas Secessionist Movement, I will contribute time and money. I’d move there tomorrow.

      Please run again in 2012.
      I think the American people will be ready for you then. We will have woken up from our over-consumerism, and will be ready for the truth.