Republic Reboot IV -- "Is Secession Legal?"

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Governor Perry's reference to secession—and even his subsequent assertion that he wasn't advocating secession—has set off a fire-storm of criticism and acclaim. It has also fueled some additional thoughts in my own mind.

The objection that I keep hearing (the rational objection, I should specify, as there is plenty of moronic vitriol on every side of every issue these days) is that secession is not legal. When Texas joined the United States, it was agreed that it was permanent. John C. Calhoun tried to debate this point and lost over a hundred years ago.

On the other hand, what were we agreeing to? I think it was not just implied but sworn to outright that we were agreeing to abide by the constitution of the United States. Now, such an agreement would seem to me (and [spoiler alert] I'm not a lawyer) that such an agreement would imply a two-sided bargain. i.e. we agree to join a body and pledge allegiance to their articles of confederation and assume they will abide by them as well.

From income tax to electing senators by popular vote, there are many ways in which the original constitution has been violated. If the current suggestion goes through—that the District of Columbia be given a seat in the House of Representatives, which is a clear violation of the law no matter how many congressmen pass it—we have another grievance.

Why should we (or any state) be held to a bargain just because we kept our side and the other side has dropped the ball?

Another argument I have heard is that "states rights" is just a euphemism for "racism." Let's address this now—even though I can guarantee you is won't go away. I, personally, have said many times over the years that—even though I am from the south—I am angry that the south eventually capitulated on all issues of states rights just so a few people could try to perpetuate the abomination that is slavery. And, I don't deny that Texas was a slave state and that I am ashamed of that fact. I also realize that human nature being what it is—and, as a Christian I think it would be more accurately termed "sin nature"—racism will never entirely go away. Sinful beings will always find ways to put up walls between themselves and their fellow men and women. And, yes, I also acknowledge that racists have often tried to use the Bible and Christianity as tools for their racism—which is in violation of both.

So, by advocating secession—or even a reawakening of the 10th Amendment, and it's now virtually ignored (by the federal government, anyway) promise that anything not specified in the constitution is the purview of the states—some yahoos will try to proclaim that this is just a call to bring back the systemic racism of bygone years. I realize that most such calls are just kneejerk reactions brought about by years of the left's promotion of the idea that people of some skin colors are incapable of tying their shoes without the government's help, so I'll try to cut them some slack in their ignorance.

See, what conservatism wants is for everyone to have an equal shot—to try or to fail. Jobs should be open to everyone. A person should be able to live where they want. Everyone should be free to choose the school that they think will most benefit their child. But, in making some of these choices, some of us are going to blow it. I'm free to try a new job, but I might prove to be remarkably unsuited for it. Rats. I pick myself up and try another job. Sure, if the failure was because someone made me fail—or refused to even let me try—I should have some legal recourse. If, however, I failed because of my own inability to carry out the job, the company is well within their rights to let me go. Yes, there are some people in this world who will try to make anyone of another skin color or gender fail. Let's do what we can to keep their machinations from succeeding, but not to the point of propping up people in jobs they aren't cut out for (or loans they can't pay back); let's find the job they are cut out for and cheer them for doing it!

If a person is truly incapable of working, we'll help them out. I run into a lot of people in my line of work, however, who are dependent on the government because (for instance) a back injury twenty years ago keeps them from doing their old job of car mechanic. Instead of being encouraged to find a job they can do, they're actually encouraged by their government to NOT work and be dependent for the dole—which insures that those who "advocate" for the dole in the legislature are always going to have a loyal constituency. Some of the people I meet would like to find a job, but if they even go looking they might jeopardize their hand-out. After a while, it seems better to subsist on a little rather than taking a chance on something else.

States should be allowed to try and address this. I started to finish that sentence by adding the clause, "without charges of racism" but I know that's not going to happen. Charges will always be made.

Another comment I heard was that, should Texas go it alone, "Who would take care of their roads and infrastructure?" Easy answer to that question: Texas would. Just as many individuals have gotten used to sucking on the federal teat for all needs, many more can't imagine a city or state functioning without Uncle Sam. This is sad on many levels, not the least of which is, "Name one thing the federal government does well." Also, as I have mentioned earlier, if Texas weren't sending billions of dollars to Washington each year (and getting less back, per capita, than most other states) we'd have billions of dollars to spend on roads, infrastructure, hospitals, schools, etc.

And, finally, according to such esteemed constitutional minds as Geraldo Rivera, to even ask these questions is treasonous. Wow. I'd'a sworn the first amendment of the aforementioned constitution had something about free speech in it. We should be free to ask questions of our government and challenge the answers (and be mature enough to acknowledge when the answer given is sufficient). There's another element to free speech that is often forgotten these days: I have freedom of speech but no one is compelled to listen to me. In a civil society (which we rarely are), if I'm saying something patently idiotic, someone will listen to me then rebut. If I'm intellectually honest, I will counter their rebuttal with arguments of my own or concede their point.

Yes, I realize that's not how it works in real life, but it's how it SHOULD work. And that's what all these essays have really been about: how things should be, not necessarily how they are or even can be. I'd just like to get some talk going.

Remember the Alamo!