Ron Paul: Secession Is an American Principle

Ron Paul: This weekend I got a couple of calls from the media asking me questions about Rick Perry, our governor here in Texas and the statements he made about possible secession. Now, he didn’t call for secession, but he was restating a principle that was long held and at least in the original time of our country, and that is that there was a right to secession.

Actually, after the Civil War, nobody believes there is a so-called right to secession, but it is a very legitimate issue to debate because all of the states that came into the Union before the Civil War believed they have a right to secede and New England in the early part of the 19th century actually considered it, and nobody questioned them about whether they had the right to do it or not.

Since the Civil War, it’s been sort of a dead issue, but he brought it up. It stirred the media and believe me, it really stirred some of the liberal media where they started really screaming about what is going on here. “This is un-American”, I heard one individual say, “This is treasonous to even talk about it.”

Well, they don’t know their history very well because if they think about it, it’s an American tradition. It’s very American to talk about secession. That’s how we came into being. Thirteen colonies seceded from the British and established a new country, so secession is very much an American principle.

What about all the strong endorsements we have given over the past decade or two of those republics that seceded from the Soviet system? We were delighted with this. We never said, “Oh no. Secession is treasonous”.

No. Secession is a good principle. Just think of the benefits that would have come over these last 230-some years if the principle of secession had existed. That means the federal government would always have been restrained, not to overburden the states with too much federalism, too many federal rules and regulations.

But since that was all wiped out with the Civil War, the federal government has grown by leaps and bounds and we have suffered the consequences, and we need to reconsider this. It’s not un-American to think about the possibility of secession. This is something that’s voluntary. We came together voluntarily. A free society means you can dissolve it voluntarily. That was the whole issue was about.

Just remember one of the reasons that Wilson drove us in unnecessarily into World War I. He talked about what we have to give, have every country in the world the benefit of self-determination, a good principle. Of course, I don’t think he really believed that. But self-determination is a good principle. It’s a very American principle, so to me it’s a shame that we can’t discuss this.

You know, it’s interesting that so many of us have been taught for so many years, and as long as I can remember from the first grade on up taking the pledge of allegiance that we have a republic that’s “indivisible” and we have been preached that and preached it. So therefore, there is no contest, no question since the Civil War that we have even the thought that this could happen.

But you know what a lot of people don’t talk about and they really don’t even know about is who wrote the pledge to the flag. The pledge to the flag came from, for instance, Bellamy, an avowed Socialist who wanted to put into concrete in the pledge this principle of being indivisible, and he did it, you know, for the celebration ironically 400 years of the celebration of the landing of Christopher Columbus, so it was in 1892.

I mean, the pledge of allegiance has not been here, you know, all our history. So I think it’s worth of discussion. I think people should discuss this because right now, the American people are sick and tired of it all and I think the time will come when people will consider it much more seriously is when the federal government can no longer deliver. That time will come when the dollar collapses.

No matter what they do and how many promises they have and how many bailouts they have, they can’t do it if the money doesn’t work. So then, the independence of the states will come back and it doesn’t mean that you’ll be un-American to even contemplate what might have to be done once the dollar crashes.

While this video was originally recorded on 4/19/2009, Ron Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills confirmed earlier today (11/13/2012) that Ron Paul “feels the same now” about secession as he did in this video.


  • I thought that had been tried and deemed a loser.

  • I kind of wish obama didn’t run for office, it kinds of gives racist a black guy to pin our nations problems on.

  • Just remember how totally free you will be after you pass on. No need for food, water, shelter, etc. To sleep, perchance to dream….

  • If you don’t like democracy, maybe you are a subversive.

  • Agreed. Seems like when the GOP wins, they want to dictate the terms of everything. But when they lose, they want to wreck the system and rebuild it in their own image.

  • You may not realize that many of our founders were Deists. This country was founded on freedom of religion, even freedom FROM religion. You may note that the people who lived in the US before it was founded had their own beliefs which apparently you would supersede. I have to respect their knowledge of natural laws that have worked for many more centuries than yours.

  • My wife and I both served for similar reasons. I hate for some of these young squirts thinking America has gone all awry and during such hard times want to blow everything up and bring America down around our ears? Those of us who have been dedicated to the American ways for many decades HATE to see things being blown up by a young, clueless wrecking crew. These young would leave us penniless and homeless.

  • People with simpler minds tend to place heavy emphasis on individual words rather than on ideas. People with a more nuanced sense of language realize that in using language to communicate, words tend to define each other in context. And who among us has forgotten all those “I speak for democracy” contests held in our public schools for years? Have we forgotten Lincoln’s Gettysburg address where he spoke of this country “of the people, by the people and for the people”? Stop blowing things up

  • Texas would REALLY need a defense industry if it wants to go to war with the rest of the US. It looks to me like some people really are trying to sabotage the US while pretending to come to its aid.

  • Much of Texas’ economy is based on military (government) contracts. And what about the space program? That doesn’t belong to Texas alone, despite their outsize egos there.

  • This is a silly thing to say. Clearly he tried this entire session to get the Repugs in congress to support tried and true methods of priming the economic pump. Obama was up against McConnell whose mantra was to make Obama a one-term Pres. and who filibustered more initiatives than anybody in US history. If you say the same thing 3 years from now, you will have learned nothing.

  • It’s hard for me to take Dr. Ron Paul seriously when he wants to criminalize the rights of women to manage their own bodies, their own health and life. This makes me wonder if he couldn’t get enough patients who trusted his judgment in medicine.

  • If America is to be corrected, wouldn’t it be better to correct it when it is in an otherwise fairly healthy state? To attack when the US is having a struggle to get back to positive growth suggests a desire to sabotage America’s best hopes. It doesn’t take much to suspect secessionists of a hidden, dark desire to do ill, especially to those most vulnerable, such as disabled veterans and retired seniors who have invested their entire work lives in our current system.

  • If corrections be needed, let them be corrections without bringing the whole country down around us. Sheesh!

  • You’ve been brainwashed by the business community. Such people need correction by the philosophical community, which have more human values. Human beings have existed far longer than banks.

  • …cont…. And so governments get suckered into selling bonds to banks to finance programs that should be payed for w/ tax revenue. In turn public property gets privatized with the help of right-wing politicians and the working class gets shafted with austerity.

  • Failure to pay taxes is what I was alluding to. You’ve got a wealthy class with all this lobbying power in democracies all over the world. They are lobbying to shirk their responsibilities to the society that made their prosperity possible in the first place because they’ve got this entitled, self-absorbed, Ayn Rand complex. …continued…

  • Oh, ok. So private banks and large Greek businesses are the only ones to blame for the country’s woes?
    Then maybe you can teach this International Business Degree graduate what exactly happened, because according to my Greek International Finance professor, there were 2 major problems w/ the Greeks: over spending on Government programs and not paying taxes.

  • Poor Ron (who really knows his history!) thinks those seceding Soviet Republics had helped create the Soviet Union (you know, like Virginia helped create the United States) and then changed their mind. Occupation by the Red Army had nothing to do with it. And hating American democracy has nothing to do with signing a secession petition. Ron Paul versus Abraham Lincoln here… like the United States versus the slave states

  • I’m not waiting for the dollar to collapse! It’s on!!