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What Price Secession?
David Solway • 18 Dec, 2020 • 6 Min Read
Once more unto the breach.
The United States now finds itself at a historic crossroads. Following the documented and undeniably massive electoral fraud that has indelibly tarnished the 2020 American election and the supine refusal of the Supreme Court to intervene, preferring hypothetical “stability” over Constitutional justice—though it will get neither—the country has devolved into a condition of internal dissension and fracture greater than at any time since the 1860s. The specter of secession is in the air though few want to admit it.
Rush Limbaugh worries that America is “trending toward secession,” that the culture is becoming “distant and separated,” and that there are “two completely different theories of life, theories of government, theories of how we manage our affairs.” But he is reluctant to go further.
Texas GOP chairman Alan West suggested that law-abiding states should “bond together and form a union of states that will abide by the constitution.” Many outlets, commentators and pundits (e.g., Law and Crime, YouTube, Slate, ABC, etc.) read West’s statement as an outright call for secession. These people may get their knickers in a knot but, given the greatest electoral swindle in the 244-year history of the United States—the “corrupt bargain” of 1824 that cost Andrew Jackson the presidency is not even close—they have, to use the Supreme Court’s evasive language, “no standing.” They are profoundly complicit in fraud.
It should be noted that West asserted “I never say anything about secession.” Others assure us that West’s proposal—and Limbaugh’s assessment—are by no means cries for civil war or even for states seceding to form independent nations. Rather, disaffected states would come together as a civil society, “to talk things over, to put ideas together, to create fellowships,” as Monica Showalter at American Thinker recommends in her interpretation of Allan West’s suggestion. Similarly, Stacey Lennox at PJ Mediaargues that “States joining together to litigate and push back against [contentious] issues will slow or stop this encroachment on our civil liberties… This alliance could make full-throated and joint objections in court on various issues.”
Disclaimers fly thick and fast, as if “secession” were soon to become the new S-word, as if many are unable or unwilling or afraid to grasp the enormity of what has happened. As Shakespeare wrote in his play, Julius Caesar:
There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures.
I regard these heuristics as highly dubious. For one thing, it is highly unlikely that so tainted a court system or such sensible “civil unions” would deter an illegitimate government from weaponizing the IRS and the FBI, as did Obama, or prevent it from ramming through its chosen policies. For another, domestic pushback against various pieces of legislation will have no effect on a geopolitical situation in which China moves to replace the U.S. as the world’s dominant power, America’s allies and partners drift away from its sphere of influence, and the Iranian mullahs begin fine-tuning their nuclear arsenal.
Moreover, the conviction or hope that a restoration of republican virtue will ensue with the 2022 midterms and the 2024 election assumes that the means to accomplish these laudable goals will not already have been corrupted out of existence, as—given the Democrat track record—they assuredly will be.
It really is time to recognize that the United States as we have known it is truly broken and cannot be repaired by civil confabulations and men of good will gathering together to make reasonable arguments that the left will not heed. Sometimes one must bite the bullet, and even the whole cartridge belt, if one wishes to lead a decent life and provide a stable future for one’s children.
It should be obvious that a marriage in which the partners have grown to have nothing in common, are constantly squabbling to the point of irremediable hostility, do not understand one another’s “languages,” and have taken to living in separate parts of the house must inevitably divorce—a situation as unfortunate as it is necessary.
It should be no less obvious that in modern times—since, let us say, the socialist administration of Woodrow Wilson, the New Deal of FDR, the domestic conflicts of the '60s and the “long march through the institutions,” accumulating with greater intensity into the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama until the present moment with an imminent Biden certification—the American marriage is effectively over.
One can temporize, try to put a saving face on savage disagreements, adopt a “cautious approach,” try to soft pedal a looming disaster. But such expedients are ultimately doomed to fail, and the supposition of engaging in “civil” discussion is like visiting a marriage counsellor to paper over the cracks in a relationship, which are not cracks but an unbridgeable chasm of Grand Canyon proportions.
Were I an American—and after having studied at Berkeley, lectured in the U.S., spent some years in the country, and written extensively on American subjects over the last dozen years and more, I sometimes feel that I am—I would understand that the secession of conservative states, however challenging, is far preferable to remaining under the national control of a neo-leftist orthodoxy that will lead to higher taxation, energy depletion, rising unemployment, subservience to foreign powers, outsourcing of industries, a Soviet-style media and Big Tech censorship, diminishment of personal freedom, illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, historical revisionism, Title IX extensions, betrayal of its own military and drastic reduction of Constitutional rights for all its citizens—though, on the bright side, it will not need to “pack the Court” since the Court has demonstrated that it is already packed.
Secession need not mean civil war, given three major factors:
A Washington establishment under Biden and the Democrats would be distrusted if not despised by the majority of red states; in consequence, its power to obstruct secession would be limited.
The blue states are, by and large, distracted and riven by internal violence and are, in any case, embroiled in fiscal disarray.
A secessional coalition of a significant number of red states presents a muscular power bloc, economically, culturally—and militarily as well when its citizen-soldiers are repatriated.
A feasible sessional movement would likely have to begin with Texas. The terms of Texas admission to the Union are complex and debated, but as Showalter points out, “Texas is the one state in the union that actually does have the right to secede. It was embedded in its agreement to enter the Union.” The Texas State Library and Archives Commission writes:
No requirement exists -- either in the Reconstruction Acts governing the rebel states or in the document readmitting Texas to full statehood -- for the governor of Texas to sign a document reaffirming Texas' position as a state within the United States republic. The only ongoing requirement of Texas government was that no constitutional revision should deny the vote or school rights to any citizen of the United States. A thorough check of the volumes of federal statutes for the entire period of Reconstruction (1865-1870) and through 1872 revealed no other legislation requiring further proof of submission to the U.S. government on the part of Texas or any other of the ‘rebel states.’
Looking at the map, one notes that Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Nebraska, Mississippi, Louisiana and other southern-central red states could align with Texas to form a powerful and coherent nation, say the Free States of America (the FSA), with two open coastlines, a vast energy sector, adherence to the original Constitution, and a local industrial, agricultural and maritime base. Other non-contiguous states, such as Alaska and South Dakota, could opt to join the new Union. The problem of leadership could be resolved by inviting Donald Trump to be its first president while the governors of the participating states would assume important portfolio positions. The faint of heart will demur since the difficulties would be formidable, which is true. The difficulties would be formidable, but bear no comparison to what's coming down the pike.
Of course, an alliance of this nature could not happen overnight. Time would be required to iron out the complexities, form a political consensus, educate and persuade the public, and engage in bitter and protracted negotiations with Washington, but a coalition of this magnitude and strength would be bound to succeed. What is needed is the political will and an unwavering belief in the possibility and viability of the project. It is eminently doable, especially in light of the undoubted fact that these states would have no future in a corrupt, fundamentally illicit and quasi-totalitarian oppressive artifact as a Constitutionally defunct United States
In personal life, surgery, however unpleasant, is often necessary to ensure one’s very survival. The same is true in political life. The consequences of indefinite deferral can be terminal. There is no decorous or elegant way out of the crisis; it must be met head-on with mature and determined resolve if liberty is to be defended and political integrity to be affirmed. Courage must be found and a hard decision has to be taken. One recalls John Weissenberger’s pungent remark that “an acceptable conservative [is] one who could be counted on to lose gracefully.” For America -- and the rest of the world -- this can no longer be an option.
David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His most recent volume of poetry, The Herb Garden, appeared in spring 2018. His manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry & Politics, was released by Shomron Press in spring 2016. He has produced two CDs of original songs: Blood Guitar and Other Tales and Partial to Cain, on which he was accompanied by his pianist wife Janice Fiamengo. His latest book is Notes from a Derelict Culture.