We have a lot of site traffic due to Joe’s posts on secession and the petitions now filed from 30 different states. I agree with the sentiments and would certainly support such a thing but I am with secession as I am with a creating a third party, I’m really hung up on the mechanics over how it gets done.
There is even a new petition on the White House site to strip all citizens who have signed one of those petitions of their rights and exile them (I guess it is “us” because I signed the Florida one. Oh, well, I AM already in Scotland – it is a short trip to secession for me)…these liberals are all about tolerance and brotherhood, aren’t they?
I am witnessing a similar situation in Scotland right now as the Scottish National Party works to separate Scotland from the UK. For those who don’t know, the United Kingdom is not one country, it is made up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, each with varying degrees of autonomy.
Scotland became part of the United Kingdom in 1706, with the signing of the Treaty of Union and the subsequent ratification of that treaty by the governments of Scotland and England in the following year.
There is a move for Scotland to return to self government as an independent country with a vote scheduled for 2014 or 2015. I can tell you that it is a complicated thing to try to unwind something that has been intertwined for over 300 years and they only have two small countries to deal with – Scotland is roughly the size of South Carolina and England is about the same area as Alabama.
Imagine trying to unwind 25-30 individual states from the Union. It is a practical impossibility.
You “blue staters” ought to be all over this since you think the red states are nothing but Neanderthal leeches, what with all of our bitter clinging to guns and religion. You mock our values, you oppose capital punishment because you are “enlightened” and think our belief that killing babies in the womb is just so provincial (even though executions are only carried out after 100% proof of guilt and the victims of abortion are all 100% innocent), you condescend to us about our universities and societal organizations and you already think we are the Republic of Jesusland. You also forget that when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, he only freed the slaves in the South/Confederate territories and slavery was undisturbed in the North. Slavery was not totally abolished everywhere in the U.S.until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified in December 1865, three full years later. Chew on that one, blue boys and girls.
Since we are such a burden, I would think you would be glad to be rid of us.
What is a practical possibility is a return to federalism because that only takes three things.
I’ve said it before but I will say it again, I honestly believe that true reform is rooted in the following:
- Legal respect for the Tenth Amendment:
- “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
- Repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment and reverting to Article I, Section 3:
- Current: “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
- Former: Article I, Section 3: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
- Repeal of the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943
- This Act mandated automatic withholding of federal income tax, effectively making private employers the agents of the IRS.
These three actions, perhaps more than any others, would return the power of government to the people through decentralization of government, ending the hegemony of lobbyists in D.C., devolving the centralized socialist planning philosophy of Washington, making elections on a state level relevant to national government (it would matter who controls state legislatures due to the appointment of Senators by those respective bodies) and returning the power of the purse to the people. I maintain that having to plan for and pay taxes directly out of your bank account creates a greater degree of sensitivity for how much money government spends and why.
I’ll also state again that it is my firm belief that this revolution must start at the local and state level for it to be successful. If we really want to return the country to a true representative republic based on constitutional principles, it begins with us.
Federalism gets everybody what they want without secession. This idiotic attempt to govern a country of 312,000,000 people with a inefficient, ineffective and unresponsive central government run from Washington is the idea that is unworkable and is the problem, the Constitution is the solution.
Back in July, I proposed this:
To our Marxist (we have at least one), “progressive”, left leaning and Democrat friends (you know you read this blog, go ahead and comment, we won’t tell your friends at HuffPo, MMFA and Kos, we promise): I would like to make a proposal that will end this internecine conflict we prosecute on a day to day basis.
A modest proposal, this… one that is actually nothing new but something that hasn’t been tried in a very, very long time.
I’m willing to stipulate that there is no answer to our current political conflict because our side isn’t going to yield and apparently yours isn’t either. We both believe that our ideology and philosophies are the correct paths to walk and each try to create a nation of like believers…but all that has produced is gridlock, anger and as much pent up frustration as I feel when I look at Kate Upton (or Kells).
Locke and Hobbes can never be construed to agree. Oil and water and all that rot.
Here’s my proposal.
What do you say we give true federalism a whirl?
You know federalism, it’s established by that dusty old document that you think stops America from becoming a collectivist nirvana (the Constitution); it is what all those papers were written about in the late 1700’s by those old, white, Christian men.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines federalism as:
Federalism is the theory or advocacy of federal principles for dividing powers between member units and common institutions. Unlike in a unitary state, sovereignty in federal political orders is non-centralized, often constitutionally, between at least two levels so that units at each level have final authority and can be self-governing in some issue area. Citizens thus have political obligations to, or have their rights secured by, two authorities. The division of power between the member unit and center may vary, typically the center has powers regarding defense and foreign policy, but member units may also have international roles. The decision-making bodies of member units may also participate in central decision-making bodies. Much recent philosophical attention is spurred by renewed political interest in federalism, coupled with empirical findings concerning the requisite and legitimate basis for stability and trust among citizens in federal political orders. Philosophical contributions have addressed the dilemmas and opportunities facing Canada, Australia, Europe, Russia, Iraq, Nepal and Nigeria, to mention just a few areas where federal arrangements are seen as interesting solutions to accommodate differences among populations divided by ethnic or cultural cleavages yet seeking a common, often democratic, political order.
So what do you say that we work the original plan and throttle the national government back to its enumerated powers, put the Commerce Clause genie back in the bottle, reduce the power of the Congress, SCOTUS and the Executive to matters of true national import like defense, protection of our borders, a common currency and interstate highways and utilities? We then restore the power of the states and allow them to decide just exactly what their people want them to be…MassCare – totally cool – if that’s what Massachusetts folk want. Vermont wants to go full-on Marxist, there you go. New Hampshire votes for pure capitalism, OK by me. New Yorkers want state funded abortion on demand – killer idea (pun intended), if that’s what all the feminists want. Mississippi wants the Christian faith taught in schools – hallelujah! The people of Texas want every citizen to carry a side-arm, no problem. California wants a 75% tax on the “rich” and Utah wants to abolish taxes altogether? I smell a referendum coming.
What do you say?
At least that way, people have a choice. If they want something that their state doesn’t offer, they can relocate. Similarly, if they object to something, they can leave or work to change it. When controversial programs like O-Care are passed at a national level, people who disagree are just stuck.
See – this was the wisdom of the Founders that was destroyed by the Civil War. The original 13 colonies were settled by people from common heritages and cultures and as such there was a wide variation from the fishing and whaling seafaring societies of the northeast to the agrarian societies of the southern colonies – the founders recognized this diversity (don’t you think diversity is a good thing?) and allowed a mechanism for dealing with it. Autonomy at a state level – smaller segments of the population are more likely to share common ideas and to be able to gain continuity in governing themselves.
My take is this: the problems with our political discourses today are that the concepts being debated at a national level are just too big and complex to expect the entire nation to agree on them…and having an idea forced on half of the national population does not generate goodwill and trust. Refusing to deal with a national problem, such as illegal immigration, when the Border States are suffering the effects causes significant discord.
Federalism. This one concept is the answer to our political stalemate and for both of us to have what we want and expect out of America.
If you are so confident in your ideology and you don’t need us dumb, gun-totin’, NASCAR watching hicks, you should be all-in on this…you get to central plan your own state level Utopias.
Then 20 years from now, lets look back and see which states are prosperous and which are sucking wind.
Let me know how that works for you.