Secession: Are We Free to Go?

Is all the recent talk of secession mere sour grapes over the election, or perhaps something deeper?   Currently there are active petitions in support of secession for all 50 states, with Texas taking the lead in number of signatures.  Texas has well over the number of signatures needed to generate a response from the administration, and while I wouldn’t hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.

Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States?  Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War.  On the contrary; the principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding.  Clearly Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit as a last resort. Writing to William Giles in 1825, he concluded that states:

“should separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers.”

Keep in mind that the first and third paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplate the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical.

Do we have a “government without limitation of powers” yet?  The Federal government kept the Union together through violence and force in the Civil War, but did might really make right?

Secession is a deeply American principle.  This country was born through secession.  Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those “traitors” became our country’s greatest patriots.

There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.  That is what our Revolutionary War was all about and today our own federal government is vastly overstepping its constitutional bounds with no signs of reform.  In fact, the recent election only further entrenched the status quo.  If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.

Consider the ballot measures that passed in Colorado and Washington state regarding marijuana laws.  The people in those states have clearly indicated that they are ready to try something different where drug policy is concerned, yet they will still face a tremendous threat from the federal government.  In California, the Feds have been arresting peaceful medical marijuana users and raiding dispensaries that state and local governments have sanctioned. This shouldn’t happen in a free country.

It remains to be seen what will happen in states that are refusing to comply with the deeply unpopular mandates of Obamacare by not setting up healthcare exchanges.  It appears the Federal government will not respect those decisions either.

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?

If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free.


  • michael

    how ron paul can still be elected president of the us in january of 2013: Barack Obama has not yet been re-elected president. Yes, the election is over – but remember, a presidential election in America is not by popular vote. We vote for the candidate, but what we are really doing is voting for the electors who will meet on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December. That is when the actual re-election of the president occurs. Is there a way to stop this? Yes, there is. And the best part – this is totally constitutional. The 12th Amendment of the Constitution as well as Article II of the Constitution govern the Electoral College. According to the 12th Amendment, for the Electoral College to be able to select the president, it must have a quorum of two-thirds of the states voting. If enough states refuse to participate, the Electoral College will not have a quorum. If the Electoral College does not have a quorum or otherwise cannot vote or decide, then the responsibility for selecting the president and vice president devolves to the Congress. The House of Representatives selects the president and the Senate selects the vice president.
    Since the Republicans hold a majority in the House, presumably they could vote for Ron paul if people phone then and email them telling them they want them to vote that way , and if they do he would be elected president. Can this work? Sure it can.Democrats have actually set this precedent of refusing to participate to deny Republicans a quorum. They did this in Wisconsin and in Texas. Why can’t we do this with the Electoral College? So how do we do this? Mitt Romney carried 24 states. We need to have conservative activists from all over the nation contact the electors, the Republican Party and the secretary of state in all of these states and tell them not to participate in the Electoral College when it meets on Dec. 17. If we can get 17 of those states (just over one-third) to refuse to participate, the Electoral College will have no quorum. Then, as the Constitution directs, the election goes to the House of Representatives. That is how we can still pull this election out and make Ron paul president in January of 2013.

  • I think Ron Paul is saying to take back our Republic from Global Elite owned Federal Reserves like when we the people fought in Revolutionary War against the British, who both enslaved the American people.
    Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death ~ Patrick Henry


  • “Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white” is a codeword for retarded white supremacist virgin degenerate that doesn’t realize that white people prefer to have less than two kids because they see it as a financially beneficial not genocide.

  • what happened the last time a bunch of states tried to leave the Union? get real and quit living in la-la-land. no one is leaving the Union while the federal govt has the power to stop them. that is just a pesky fact, sorry. if any state doesn’t believe it, they’re welcome to try and see what happens.

  • Secession is treason. The American Civil War settled it. Like it or not, once in the Union, always in the Union. Or has senility robbed you, Mr Paul, of your memory of the Pledge of Allegiance? Shameful. Truly shameful…

  • Secession is treason. The American Civil War settled it. Like it or not, once in the Union, always in the Union. Or has senility robbed you, Mr Paul, of your memory of the Pledge of Allegiance? Shameful. Truly shameful…

  • Nice ben

  • Are you serious? Every State has a right to leave. It is called the United States, Not the Federal Country.

  • huh?

  • Mixing races creates diversity, but I don’t care either way. Color of skin is shallow, diversity of mind is far more interesting and will endure as long as humans do.

  • Great. He can run for president and turn the newly-seceded country into Somalia-WEST.

  • There isn’t one, and the Founders stated that the states had every right to secede. Only totalitarian, fascism-loving idiots want you to be enslaved to a gang of criminals like them.

  • Because liberals are the biggest racists of all. They obsess about race and turn any issue that has absoulutely nothing to do with race, about race. Ignore them, they don’t matter anyway. They’re the same zealous idiots that supported such wonderful leaders as Hitler, Stalin and Mao-Tse-Turng.

  • It doesn’t have to happen again. 20 years ago when the Soviet Union fell, the states peacefully broke up because of economic collapse. Things are going to get much worse in this country, so we may see a similar situation.

  • Ron Paul’s genius lies in his ability to eloquently express his thoughs. And his thoughts are so consistently honest, lucid and wonderful. How can it be that there is only one such honest man among the entire 535 persons of our legislative branch? And now even he has retired from the field, leaving the carcass of our country to the scavengers.

  • Liz

    I say let the states leave. Most of them receive way more in federal assistance than they provide back to the federal government. Most of them have deficits and this wrong-headed decision will send them further in the red and deprive their citizens of federal benefits which they earned over their lifetime.

    But go ahead, extremists, forget fiscal conservatism and just take your crazy ideology and run with it. I’m sure the USA will do fine without you.

  • The masses don’t want nor do they deserve freedom. I’m just staying home, minding my own business, feeding the government animal when it tells me to and hoping it eats me last. I know it’s pathetic, but only in sound. What’s really pathetic is hanging onto hope when EVERYTHING that is real says the USA is dead. 9/11 says it all. Obvious inside job and no one really cares. If you’re not shooting at them right now, then don’t judge me, because all you can do is shoot at them. No one cares.

  • are you a fantasist? do you really believe when states joined the Union there was ever any chance of them being allowed to leave again? do you remember the civil war? what do you think will happen if states try to leave the Union again? are you only able to respond with questions?

  • Oh-oh, Uncle Ron is having his wet dream about The United White States of America again…

  • You like drones, NDAA, HR347, Patriot Act, TSA, and on……. what about this is working so well for you? What about the white race why bring that into the conversation? Isn’t there enough to talk about?