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.


  • How about you just move to a far off island in the middle of the ocean you fucking nutjob?

  • LOL good riddance you racist piece of trash.

  • “i bet its some regurgitated rhetoric you heard on tv.”
    Shut up.

    How does he want to take us back to the 1850s?

    Well, Ron Paul believes the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to the state level, he favors criminalizing abortion (a real freedom lover huh?), he favors massive deregulation of the market, he believes congress can make a law not reviewable by federal courts, he thinks people sexually harassed at work should just quit their jobs, and the list goes on.

  • That’s funny because I feel the exact same way towards you Ron Paul disciples.

  • Ron Paul, ending his career on a totally nutty note. Simply in and out of reality for the past decade. His knowledge of constitutional law is as abysmal as his knowledge of women and their rights.

  • Just because some people find ways to acquire guns doesnt mean you let the system run wild. Ron Paul wants everyone to be able to get a gun without background checks. That’s even worse than banning guns. I respect a homeowners right to have a gun for extra protection, but if said owner has three felonies and a 90% chance of re-offending, they have forfeited that right and should leave it to the police to do their jobs. These are the consequences for commiting violent crimes.

  • What I know from economics is basically you can use two basic economic principles to bring back economic health. Can you tell me what those are?

  • OK, if that’s what it takes for you to enjoy whatever it is you do in that world of yours.

  • Only Aspies and idiots with no other point to make worry about little details like that.

    Sorry if I confused you ;_;

  • Are you okay with borrowing money from other countries, printing money which devalues our currency, a bankrupting foreign policy, corporatism and corruption? The problem is that the democrats and republicans don’t discuss the real issues, because they both equally at fault. Republicans are addicted to war (as well as dems to some extent), and democrats are addicted to welfare. It’s killing our country.

  • Your “irony” is a bit rusty, or should I say “rustic”? Seriously, making arguments by posing extreme opposites is a bit lame.

  • And you can try to ban guns, but it’s likely to fail. If a person is willing to commit the crime of robbery or murder, they will commit the crime of acquiring a firearm illegally. Also, the criminals with the guns wouldn’t have to worry about getting shot when breaking into somebody’s home, because they now know the homeowner doesn’t have a gun for protection. Happened in the UK.

  • I personally would vote against having meth legalized, but I think it should be a state issue. My point is that I think people exaggerate the potential consequences of drug legalization.

  • I don’t see any other libertarians specifying which taxes – to them apparently they all are theft.

  • no, not taxation. however, certain taxes, like the income tax, are unconstitutional

  • I’m not saying secession is racist, I’m refuting claims that it is by pointing out that Tibet wants to secede from China. We’re on the same page man \m/

  • is not racist,Lincoln was a tyrant,he only fought the civil war to keep the union together when states in the south wanted to secede.if he could save the union without freeing the slaves,he would had done it,if he could established slavery for the purpose of saving the Union,he would had done it as well.this is a fact.he wrote it in a letter to Horace greeley on august 22,1862

  • I am going to respond in a video about some subtle points.

  • The pledge of allegiance was created by a socialist? My stomach just turned…that’s terrible. Ron I was hoping so bad you won!

  • Secession in my view is like going on strike. if you don’t like what your getting you have the right to leave.