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.


  • An oz of gold was $35 all my life until Nixon took us off it in the 1970’s. Se dice que that was due to the failure of Bretton Woods. Maybe you can enlighten us about all that?

  • I would rather we swept out the corruption, but secession could be damage control.

  • Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, won the highest vote total ever of any Libertarian running for President against the Democratic and Republican nominee. He captured over one million votes! America is waking up!! Who knows what would have happened had Johnson been allowed to participate in the presidential debates? He might have even defeated Obama and Romney!!!

  • You don’t listen to radio or watch TV? So what DO you do to follow current events? I have actually been observing Obama trying to lead this country out of the woods after the disastrous recession that came about during GWBush’s last year in office. I have never seen a Pres get as little cooperation as has Obama, but I saw similar sabotage occurring when Carter and Clinton were Pres. The GOP seems clearly into scorched earth politics rather than representing what the people want.

  • There’s that term “statist” I’ve encountered recently sometimes. Makes me wonder sometimes what planet some of these folks come from.

  • I will laugh so hard when Texas finally secedes and the leaves the rest of the US economy to implode on itself. Wait a minute, I live in California…please stay, Texas! We need you!

  • Yes, the US was on the gold standard until the 70’s…in what way does that support any of your points?

  • Where do you live where Obama has been effective in helping the economy?

  • 50.4%. Since when is 0.4% a substantial majority?

  • The US remained on the Gold Standard = $35/oz for years until Nixon took us off it in the 1970’s. Go read up. Anyway, all I do is go around in circles with you and I’m just tired of it. I have other things to do. There are some people who are like a computer ROM. You could try and program it all day long but at the end of the day, no change. Waste of time, unless it’s some kind of PROM.

  • IMHO there is such a chasm now between the two parties that you almost have to go along with one party or the other. It’s not like it was when you had John Lindsay of NY or Charles Percy, Bob Packwood, etc. The GOP has been turfing out their moderates in the primaries now for decades and now the ones they have left are so stubborn, they won’t negotiate on anything. A recipe for gridlock. Moreover, the media has been almost totally taken over by the right wing, i.e., the guys with the money.

  • ب_ب look I don’t care. I am a registered democrat but I vote for who ever the fuck clearly is the better person. I don’t believe in parties, however it seems that there are more same democrats that fight for our freedoms than republicans, so I go with that.

  • ಠ_ಠ you really do not get it? I was pointing out how fail your statement is. future of what? if it had any type of future you would see people left and right reminding and voting as such, which clearly has and probably won’t happen.

  • It’s easy to make troll-like statements but if you have no reason or logic to back them up, it’s hard to remedy your faulty thinking.

  • Somehow it has escaped you that it was Bush who got us into 2 wars OFF BUDGET, and there were reports of huge amounts of cash being dumped in people’s laps with no accounting going on. That’s what I call blowing up the deficit. Then when Obama is about to take office, there is the AIG problem, and also when Lehman Bros. is allowed to fail, sending the US into a big recession. So emergency measures were taken, avoiding a Great Depression that would have dwarfed the 1930’s.

  • Unlike you, I have been actually OBSERVING Obama these last 4 years, as well as knowing how congress works. How the filibuster works, etc. Sorry that’s all over your head. 😛

  • Unlike you, I have been actually OBSERVING Obama these last 4 years, as well as knowing how congress works. How the filibuster works, etc. Sorry that’s all over your head. 😛

  • You can’t even see the inescapable history right after WW2, when the US had the biggest debt (in terms of REAL dollars). The fact that the top income tax rate bracket was 91%, and corporate tax rates were much higher than now. I can’t help it that you don’t BELIEVE in Keynesianism, but you’re just following a current fad because for some reason you are too fond of austerity to see the problems with it. It is not working in Europe either. Austrian school is crap. Like supply-side.

  • That’s such bullshit. The idea that basic rights of classic liberalism, are inherently contradictory to a socialist economic system stems from the ill informed opinions of the McCarthyist era. The fed reserve is fucked up i agree but its been like that for decades. but the EPA? the EPA is bad? i don’t know if you know this but corps. don’t care about people or the environment. If the EPA was gone our rivers would be on fire again and ALL of our water tables would be contaminated.

  • Surfisher

    Faced with a MANDATORY Response to the Secession Petitions — two top chickens from the White House have flown the coop — Barack Hussein left for Asia, and Hiltlery Clinton is Israel bound!

    These two may run, but won’t be able to escape how their underlings respond!

    • Surfisher

      Ron Paul: You’re Not FREE if you Can’t Secede from an Oppressive Government

      “In a free country, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. When the people have very clearly withdrawn their consent for a law, the discussion should be over. If the Feds refuse to accept that and continue to run roughshod over the people, at what point do we acknowledge that that is not freedom anymore? At what point should the people dissolve the political bands which have connected them with an increasingly tyrannical and oppressive federal government? And if people or states are not free to leave the United States as a last resort, can they really think of themselves as free?”

      Spread this 4 minute message like wildfire!

      My Take:

      The District of Columbia (Washington, DC) — where the White House and all Federal Governmental Agencies reside — have passed the point by their anti-American-anti-Constitution ACTIVITIES that they have FORFEITED THE RIGHT to be called the USA. De facto, THEY have already SECEDED from the Union by constitutional default, and any State that wants to secede from THEM is a State that wants to RETURN BACK to the original CONSTITUTIONAL USA!