Leaning to the Left

Writing from a liberal persuasion

Posts Tagged ‘secession’

The Growing Secessionist Tide

Posted by Beau Winiger on April 17, 2009

The year is 2009, and amazingly enough the topic of secession has made its way back into the public discourse.  There appears to be an alarming number of citizens that are starting to support their state pulling out of the Union (in the mind of this writer, any number greater than zero is alarming), and these citizens seem to have the support of some very high level officials.  Gov. Perry (R-TX) has recently made very strong statements in support of secession, and Gov. Palin (R-AK) is married to a former member of the Alaska secessionist party, in addition to making recent statements in support of secession.  Apparently Republicans, who for so long during the Bush presidency shouted down the left with cries of “Love it or leave it”, have now decided to leave it.

Those who cheer the idea of secession from the Union need to pause to take a quick look at themselves, and where such ideas place them on the sliding scale of Americanism and patriotism.  The oft repeated theme of the secessionists seems to be that the government has ignored the American people, and since a majority of Americans are being ignored they now have the right to secede and revolt.  This idea is based in the very root of American history, as well as the general root of government as we know it.  Unfortunately for secessionist’s, they are the same people who loudly proclaimed leftist protesters during the Bush era as un-American.  The Bush protesters, angered by court-decided presidential elections, wars fought in the absence of evidence, and a government that only 30% of Americans approved of, were called radicals who did not love this country.  And now, the very same group that threw about charges of anti-Americanism so cavalierly, are literally becoming anti-American.  There is no better definition of being against America than saying that you no longer want to be a part of America.

What the secessionists are truly saying when they claim that the government is ignoring Americans is that the government is not doing what they want.  According to a recent Gallup poll 70% of Americans believe that the President will do a better job handling the economy than Republicans.  So now you have that same 30% that approved of the Bush administration realizing that they are powerless. That 30% has now been out of power for almost 3 months, and they still claim that they speak for the majority of Americans. 

Perhaps they had grown so used to the Bush presidency that they forgot what a majority truly looks like.  A majority is what voted for the current President, and an overwhelming majority at that.  A majority is what swept into Congress in 2006, and was greatly added to in 2008.  A majority is not simply defined as your beliefs.  When those that hold your beliefs are soundly voted out of office it does not mean that you have had your rights taken away.  It means that democracy has decided that your beliefs aren’t working, and they aren’t worth trying in the present situation.

The Civil War was fought over two intertwined issues, slavery and state rights.  Slavery was a deeply moral issue that wrenched this country apart, something that touched the very core of who we were as people and what direction we wanted this country to move in.  The state rights piggybacked upon the slavery issue, struggling to give a redeemable gloss to the issue of one man owning another.  The current secessionist are thumbing their noses at all those that fought and died to keep this great country together.  Rather than wait for the election in 2012, they want to take their ball and go home.  In their minds an America that believes in democracy, justice, peace, and a collective sharing of the economic burden placed upon them by a very rich minority (which belongs to which political party…) is not an America that they want to be a part of.  This writer has had the term un-American thrown in his face many times since 9/11, and it is not a term to be used against someone lightly.  Unfortunately, when one group says that they no longer want to be a part of America, no other term fits.

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