I think it was a big mistake for California, Texas, and Vermont to give up their status as independent republics. What has it gotten them that a defensive alliance couldn’t have provided? If these states opt to go their own way, I would support that move wholeheartedly. If any state seceded, I would cheer them on.
I hope that Americans have advanced enough now not to fall for the “preserve the union” line of crap, that they would not support the use of force to keep a state in the US against the will of its people. Now that the whole campaign of oppression would be televised, could you really see the American people turning on Texans or Vermonters or whatever you call folks from Delaware?
Of course, if the secessionist movement could be reframed as advocacy of some pernicious cause, folks might be duped into suppressing it. Red Staters might be convinced to fight to “save the unborn” or “stop the homosexual agenda” or “win the culture war” or some such idiocy. Blue Staters might fight to “stop the hate” or some such thing. Secessionists should be careful to make it clear that their movement is not about any particular policy; rather, it is about self determination and freedom from centralized power.
The US is just too big now and is characterized by too much central power. Does it really make sense for New Yorkers to meddle in the affairs of Californians or for folks from Kansas to tell New Englanders what marriage should be like in their region? I don’t think so. I sure don’t want some fundamentalist nutbar from Wyoming dictating how I live here in New York, and I am sure the nutbar would not care much for my imposing my values on him either.
The state sovereignty card gets played too often in the case of some fairly illiberal causes. It’s hard to get behind a “states’ rights” argument when it is invoked to justify state sponsored discrimination or slavery or some such thing. Moreover, it is used in a hypocritical manner so much that folks may have become completely cynical whenever the card is played. If I’m for states’ rights on abortion, why wouldn’t I be for it in the case of marriage or medical marijuana or assisted suicide? Advocates of state sovereignty have got to be consistent across the board and to articulate why states’ rights are so important for freedom.
In terms of federal jurisprudence, state sovereignty is dead. The federals will never again acknowledge limitations on their power, and the Supreme Court will never again be manned by justices who give a rat’s patootie about federalism. Forget the Constitution in exile; it’s the Constitution in the trash heap now. Devolution through secession is about the only way Americans will ever see a return to decentralized, smaller government.
I don’t expect independent states to be especially liberty oriented, but I know that the huge, centralized US government is a threat to liberty in and of itself. And if there were 50 independent countries, I could vote with my feet and move to a state that was more free. The nannies could congregate in nanny states and regulate the crap out of themselves.
I am now a secessionist through and through, and I thank JL Wilson for his well reasoned arguments about this for my full conversion.