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 don’t think secession can solve America’s problems as well. Half the unconstitutional stuff is done on state levels and it takes the Feds to get them to uphold unalienable rights. But it’s nevertheless an American principle to talk about. Just, it will not help us now because state and Fed, are all complicit. Rather we should do this:


  • If secession is racist then so is Tibet…

  • As there is a federal law against aliens crossing over the border of the United States, there is also a federal law against secession. So, it isn’t a matter of whether it is legal to do so. The entity of the United States has dissolved to the extent that it no longer has legal borders transcending instead to be more the esoteric level in essence.
    How did you like that last part? Pretty sophisticated huh? That’s right, my friend. I took a cognitive science course!

  • That is a valid and amusing hypothesis.

  • Putting words in somebody’s mouth – a common way to try to make an argument – FAIL.

  • I think one major problem is that each one of them that thinks himself as libertarian has a different idea about it and with the stubbornness associated with individualism, they would find it hard in the real world to combine forces – sort of like herding cats, or porcupines.

  • No, you were being a moron. Trying to associate my statement with the idea that secession is idiotic, and then prescribing that I therefore must also agree with the rest of your moronic statement. You failed.

  • If you knew current events, you would know that North Dakota has the best economy in the nation. If you understood my point you would realize I know that entire regions do not think uniformly as if they were one individual, but some individuals think they know best for entire regions and try to speak for them. Isn’t that arrogance? Meanwhile, why not let the malcontents “secede”?

  • I was being ironic, something a literate person should have been able to pick up.

  • I don’t think he has that kind of support in Texas, but if that happened I would definitely move there!

  • I didn’t say secession is idiotic… I said these secessionists haven’t thought this out well. Way to manipulate plain English. Are you illiterate?

  • Texas has tried to secede multiple times, but the Federal government wouldn’t stand for it. The Texans wanted to secede. The other people wanted to control them by binding them to the US.

    You do realize Texas historically has the healthiest economy in the country. The state would be much better off without the burden of the Federal government.

    If you knew your history at all, you would know that it’s not individuals that want to secede, but entire regions.

  • I know right? Secession is idiotic. That’s why the US should still be a part of England. Also, most of South America should still be owned by Spain.

    You’re right, independence sucks. We should all unite under a world dictatorship, ruled by a resurrected Hitler. Concentration of power is way better than keeping power in check by maintaining independence.

  • And you betray your ignorance: his name is Rand.

  • Do you honestly think Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are on the same page? Romney wouldn’t even allow Paul to speak at the GOP convention. You really need to do some research before you make such ridiculous conjectures.

    p.s. If you think secession is unpatriotic and against democracy, then I suppose you would have been rooting for England during our war for independence?

  • Yeah. It would be great if we could have everything we wanted. Some people just don’t seem to understand that injecting “money” into the economy doesn’t make more money; it just inflates the dollar and redistributes value.

    Paper isn’t worth anything inherently. Capital and labor are what have value. But some of these guys think we can make more money without any capital!

  • Ron’s following will quickly switch to his son Ran who also happens to pretend to be a libertarian but runs under the GOP flag.

  • Ron’s following will quickly switch to his son Ran who also happens to pretend to be a libertarian but runs under the GOP flag.

  • It’s obvious that the secessionist haven’t thought this out very well… lol… Kind of like an immature depended child threatening their providing parents to run away and live on their own independently.

  • It’s obvious that the secessionist haven’t thought this out very well… lol… Kind of like an immature depended child threatening their providing parents to run away and live on their own independently.