Anger at Feds Drives Growing Interest in Seceding From the Union



Secession is a recurring theme in recent years. Remember all of those petitions to the White House to Let My People Go signed by ticked off residents of mostly red states, but some blue ones, too? Well, perhaps sparked by all of the debate leading to the failed secession vote in Scotland, Americans have a continuing interest in the idea—so says a Reuters/Ipsos poll. According to Reuters, "Some 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away."

Interestingly, what many of the would-be splitters seem to be hankering for is an equivalent of the promise that UK politicians made to head off the secessionist vote in Scotland: greater autonomy, with fewer top-down policies and more local decision-making.

Again, from Reuters:

"I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done," said Roy Gustafson, 61, of Camden, South Carolina, who lives on disability payments. "The state would be better off handling things on its own."

Respondents also said they resented Obamacare, federal meddling, and what they see as a fumbling White House. They think their states could do better. Once upon a time, we called that sort of state-level decision-making "federalism"—back when we indulged such a radical idea.

While more Republicans (29.7 percent) favor taking their states out of the union compared with Democrats (21 percent), the results were flipped just a few years ago. When Zogby polled Americans in 2008 during the Bush Administration, 32 percent of mainline liberals said they agreed that states had the right to leave the union, compared to 17 percent of mainline conservatives.

It seems that a desire to flee the federal government comes hand in hand with a forced feeding of unwelcome policies from on high. Who could imagine?

Partisan/ideological positions on secession changed places from 2008 to 2014, but a specific desire to leave the union has risen from 18 percent to 23.9 percent. Those numbers may not be in spitting distance of sparking a Scottish-style referendum anytime soon. But it's probably not too early to give some thought to that autonomy talk.

It used to work pretty well, and the Scots seem to find it tempting.


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  1. While its still far from 50%, maybe, just maybe, those 23% plus those who just favor federalism, can get together and, you know, enforce federalism on the federal government.

    1. Venn Diagrams — 38% Vote, 23% favor federalism, the overlap is probably on the order of 4%. We’re fucked.

  2. I would like to see the US break apart into 300 million sovereign units. But I’m more than happy to start with 1 or 2 break away regions.

  3. Can I split off and become a 1-person independent state?

    1. I already have. 355 people, counting my minions.

      1. Can I be a henchman?

  4. Rather than succession, er, I mean, secession, wouldn’t it be better for the hicks in Dumbfuckistan to kick the chessmasters in New Europe out of the country?

    1. I’d rather stick them with the debt. If they wanna keep the “USA” brand rights I’m OK with that as a trade.

  5. When I am king, things will be better.

  6. Secede? How did that work out for Robb Stark?

    1. Shut up, I haven’t found out yet.

      1. Its GoT, just assume it was horribly painful.

        1. Then multiply the horror and the pain by 75 or so.

  7. If a state were to secede, I assume that the US Government would still consider the people who lived there to be “US Citizens” and therefore obligated to pay income tax?

    1. If history is any indicator, the federal government would invade a seceding state, burn its cities, and slaughter its inhabitants to show them that they are better off in the union.

      1. But, there would be drawbacks, too.

      2. Yes, and the resulting disruption of society would tear down the various elite structures laying the groundwork for it to do better in the future.

        That is what happened in the South at least. If the South had one the world it would have turned into a giant slave holding shithole. Instead, it got rich.

        1. What a delightfully collectivist perspective. I’m sure the people whose lives and land were destroyed are comforted by the knowledge that other people nearby got rich as a result.

          1. As far as the ones who were slaveholders go, they got what they deserved. For the ones who were not slave holders, they didn’t deserve what they got but have only the slave holders to blame.

            No one made the South go crazy and start shooting. Also, the North would have never been so willing to go to war to save the Union had the South not been so aggressive and imperialistic. In the 1820s, no one in the North cared about slavery and probably wouldn’t have cared if it had spread west, provided the people out west voted for such. It was only after the South started doing shit like launching armed raids into Northern states to kidnap free blacks, got the Supreme Court in Dred Scott to judicially mandate universal slavery, launched a guerrilla war in Kansas to ensure it went slave, and passed the fugitive slave act that made every person in the north subject to being drafted into the service of any slave owner looking for a lost slave, that the north was willing to start killing to keep the union together.

            The antebellum South was just despicable. I will never understand anyone who is not completely ignorant of the history can say anything in defense of them.

            1. That’s funny, I tend to blame the people that actually set the fires and destroyed the property. Not the people they were fighting against.

              1. Designate,

                I tend to blame the people who started a war for the damage the war causes. The South started the civil war and thus the slave holders who did that deserve the blame for the resulting harm. No one made them fire on Fort Sumpter or attempt to steal all of the federal property in their states.

                The libertarian excuse affair for the old South always amazes me. I wouldn’t call it a love affair. They don’t love it. But they will excuse anything the South did. I will never understand it.

                1. Horseshit John, I didn’t excuse anything the South did. Where the Confederate Army did the same thing, they were obviously wrong as well (that should go without saying).

                  I understand in total war you want to break the spirit of the people supporting the enemy. When the enemy are your fellow countrymen, you should probably try a different tack than raising cities and killing civilians.

                  I mean, I hate progs with the fire of a 1,000 suns but I don’t think we should nuke Sacramento and NYC to break them. (If the above map were ever to come true.)

                  1. If Sacramento did what the South did and we got into a war with them that lasted years and took hundreds of thousands of lives, yes, I would support going in and burning the place down such that the people there no longer had the ability to wage war.

                    1. Well, that’s why I don’t make war decisions I guess.

                2. The South started the civil war

                  Nope. Lincoln merely got the result he wanted at Fort Sumter when he sent warships to reinforce it. (Consider that they arrived during hostilities but did not fire a single shot. Also, no one was injured or killed during the bombardment.)

                3. Federal property in their state belonged to their federal government…the csa.

                  1. Rob, that’s only the case if you view the South Carolina state government or the CSA as a legitimate institution. Considering the majority of the population in SC had no say in the matter and were enslaved due to the government’s policies, I don’t think that’s the case.

                    1. The US government considered the SC government legitimate up until secession, so your argument is moot. If it wasnt legit in 1861 it wasnt legit in 1789 either.

                      Thus the csa is legit IF you believe states have a right to secede. Pre 13th amendment both nations had a constitution that allowed slavery. If that makes the csa illegit, then ditto the usa.

                    2. I don’t think it was legit in 1789. Nor do I think the US government was very legitimate at the time. However, the US government didn’t have the power to ban slavery without the cooperation of the Southern states. South Carolina could have banned it any time they wanted to, and the CSA’s constitution protected slavery far more explicitly than the US Constitution did.

                4. No one made them fire on Fort Sumpter [sic] or attempt to steal all of the federal property in their states.

                  If Scotland had voted to secede, would England have promised to continue manning the UK forts and dockyards and customs houses, and sent in the Royal Navy to resupply them? Or would they have withdrawn their forces and ceded the “federal” lands to Scotland?

                  Sure, the CSA could have filed suit in the courts and sought a peaceful solution, but you can’t say Lincoln didn’t provoke them. South Carolina and Texas and a few other states voted to secede. Why didn’t Lincoln respect the results of the vote?

                  1. That was actually a big issue in the Scotland debate, especially concerning the fate of the nukes there. I don’t know what the UK was planning on doing in the event of secession.

                    In any case, Scotland and South Carolina are not comparable. In Scotland, there was a democratic vote on whether or not to secede. In South Carolina, the legislature, which was elected solely by white men (and even then, some were excluded due to property considerations. Black people were actually a majority in the state) voted to secede to protect slavery. You can criticize Lincoln’s motives for not respecting secession, but he should not have respected it (for reasons other than his stated ones).

                    1. That is what democracy or at least representative government meant then. If only white men voting renders political decisions moot then what on earth where the Federal forces doing following the orders of president elected with only white male voters.

                      Scotland didn’t let six year old black people vote how is that democratic?

              2. Hey, whatever happened to the old “Fuck off, slaver” exhortation?

            2. You’ll notice that I have never defended Southern actions or policies or slavery. I just criticize the people who marched in and burned the South down.

              1. That shit tends to happen in war. Maybe they should have thought of it before shelling Fort Sumter.

            3. Also, they didn’t care about slavery because they were profiting off of it and had their own slaves as well (never mind continuing to practice indentured servitude).

              1. Indentured servitude ended before the 1830s and is nothing like slavery. It was not generation, was voluntary, and was not based on race. You are grasping at straws if you are calling a voluntary contractual agreement for a set number of years anything like generational slavery.

                And so what if the North made money off of slavery? That didn’t give the South the right to send armed invasions into the North to kidnap free blacks or force northern states to treat their slaves as slaves when southerners traveled or even moved there.

                1. I admit that I typed that out before researching when IS ended and how long Northerners actually owned slaves.

            4. Wouldn’t secession have solved all of those problems?

              1. No. See sarcasmic’s point below. The south was too agressive and expanionistic to have ever lived peacefully with the north. War would have broken out either over the North’s harboring of fugitive slaves or over the two countries expanding west.

                The South’s economy depended on slavery expanding west. Cotton and tobacco farming had ruined most of the land in the Southeast. The plantations in places like Virginia and Georgia were by the 1850s more in business of breeding and exporting slaves than anything else. Cotton wore out the land so you just moved west and got new land and then the people who owned the old land made money selling slaves to cultivate the new land. The system had to constantly have new land. This is one of the reasons why the South viewed Lincoln’s election as their death nell. Lincoln, as every Southern apologist points out, didn’t want to end slavery. He did, however, want to prevent it from spreading west. And that was a mortal threat to the Southern slave economy.

                1. The south was too agressive and expanionistic

                  Was it the US gov’t or the CS gov’t that waged a war of genocide against the plains natives in order to fulfill “manifest destiny”? (rhetorical)
                  Also, W.T. Sherman says ‘hi’.

                  1. The CSA didn’t exist when that war was waged. Do you honestly think ti would have done anything different? The South had plans for a slave empire stretching into South America.

                    1. Humorously, less than 50 years after burning the South to the ground. The Northern dominated US states government embarked an imperial expansionist policy. As rapacious as the evil southerners were I can’t imagine they would have made it all the way to the Philippines.

            5. Slavery was legal in the north. So it was slaver vs slaver.

              1. No it wasn’t Rob. Slavery had long ended in the north by the 1850s. It had once been legal but that was no longer the case.

                Of course Dred Scott did make it effectively legal again. But the North didn’t get a vote in that.

                1. John…you are ignorant. Slavery was still legal in the union states of KY, MO, and maybe MD.

                  1. Those states weren’t the north. The union and the north were not synonymous. They were border states that remained in the union, although pro-confedrate factions existed in those states and there was some violence as a result. Slavery was banned in those states right after the war ended.

                  2. Rob,

                    Those are called the border states. They were Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware. Yes, not every slave state left the union. Of course the Union Army moving into those states had something to do with that.

                    Beyond that, so what? That didn’t make the rest of the states in the union pro slavery. Moreover, the fact that some slave states stayed makes the South’s stated reason for leaving that much more of a lie. Lincoln wasn’t going to end slavery. There was no reason to leave other than because the South wanted to aggressively expand slavery into the West.

                    I am not ignorant on this.

                    1. My point is that slavery was legal in the usa. If it wants to fight wars to end slavery in foreign nations, that is fine*. But it should take care of itself first.

                      *sld and all, it isnt fine.


                  According to this website, a majority of Northern states had slavery well into the 1800’s, with New Jersey still having it all the way till 1865 (making the argument that it was still be practiced in these places 50-60 years after it was “officially” ended).

          2. And the people to blame for that are the ones who tried to secede to protect the institution of slavery at all costs.

            1. The people–or person, more precisely–to blame is the one who started a war to save his mercantilist system at all costs.

              1. Lincoln fired Fort Sumter into those cannonballs?

                Also, people need to make it clear if they merely disagree with Northern motives for fighting the war (which I agree weren’t great) or whether the war in and of itself was unjustified, regardless of the North’s motivation.

                1. If the U.S. declared it wanted out of the UN, and by the way we want our building in NY back, and the UN sent troops to garrison the building, who is the aggressor?

                  1. Who owns that building? If the UN owns it, I don’t think it would be just to seize it from them. This is also a flawed analogy, as the UN isn’t a country and the US government today, for all its faults, is a lot more legitimate than the South Carolina government was at that time.

        2. What if the South had been allowed to secede, but then the North refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act?

          Slavery would have broken down real quick.

          1. And there would have been a war. The South would have invaded the North to get their slaves back. They would have had no choice. You are right, the moment the North started welcoming fugitive slaves, the south would have played hell keeping their slaves from escaping. Also, the abolitionists would have been arming slaves and trying to ferment revolt. All of that would have led to the South making war on the north.

            1. That’s a war that I could see as justifiable. Fighting the South for invading to get their slaves back that is.
              Unlike a war to end state sovereignty.

              1. This.

            2. Slavery was abolished in the vast majority of western countries without violence. Why then was the American Civil War inevitable?

              1. In no other western country did slaveowners have the power that they did in the South. Slavery was abolished in Haiti through revolt, and in many places in Latin America was abolished as a consequence of their wars of independence, so that statement isn’t nearly as true as people think it is. And in most other places, it was abolished by the British and French empires in places where the salve owners were very few in number and had absolutely no chance of resisting those empires, or even their own slaves without the backing of those countries.

                1. In most of the Caribbean and the Middle East, slavery was abolished by the Brits and enforced by the Royal Navy and Marines.

              2. The American Civil War was not fought to end slavery.

                It was fought to end state sovereignty.

                1. That wasn’t the north’s motivation, but it was why the south seceded, why they bombed fort Sumter, and they were willing to go to any lengths to protect it. The south seceded because a president who wanted to end the spread of slavery in the west got elected. Why would they have given up on those ambitions after they seceded?

                  1. Secession was indeed motivated by slavery, but the North’s conquest of the South was not.

                    The South could have seceded because Northerners talk funny, and Lincoln still would have waged war to prove that states have no sovereignty.

                    1. The north’s motivations weren’t pure. But the south did start the war at fort Sumter. The southern states were not deserving of sovereignty. They protected the mass enslavement of millions of people, in some cases most of their population, and tried to force pro-union areas to go with them. How can those governments possibly have a right to self-determination in those circumstances, where they were doing so in a manner that completely disregarded everyone else’s right to self-determination. The people to blame for federalism having a bad rap among the population today are the ones who used it to justify stuff like slavery and segregation. Regardless of the outcome, the modern US would not look highly on secession.

                    2. You realize you’re making a good argument for why we should nation-build in every third world shithole right?*

                      *Again, obviously I don’t condone slavery, or picking fights with someone who can kick your ass militarily.

                    3. Were those countries a part of the US that seceded to protect their oppression of the people living there? If Iraq had been a US state, and Sadaam seized power and seceded so he could run a dictatorship, then I wouldn’t think the Iraq War was unjustified.

                    4. That is a valid counterargument.

            3. The South would have invaded the North to get their slaves back.

              Not likely. I base that assumption on the fact that during the war that actually occurred, the southern army was fighting a defensive (as opposed to offensive) war (Lee could have taken D.C. early on if he had any mind to.). Also, most people did not own slaves and, instead, competed with slave labor. I do not believe they would have supported an offensive operation to retrieve the runaways.

              1. You are wrong Rev. The South already had launched repeated raids into Ohio and Indiana to get their slaves back and also to kidnap any black person they found.

                The fact that the Southern Army stopped doing that when they were otherwise occupied fighting the war doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have continued.

                1. The South already had launched repeated raids

                  Were the states still in union when this occurred? This merely sounds like enforcement of the fugitive slave act. Incidentally, Lincoln enforced/supported this throughout his presidency. (Well, until the emancipation proclamation that did not emancipate anyone)

                  1. Kidnapping free blacks was a part of the fugitive slave act?

              2. Did you forget Gettysburg? What the south did in the circumstances that did happen doesn’t tell us they would have done the same thing in different circumstances that necessitated different action. A third of southern white families owned slaves, it wasn’t a tiny minority, and the institution had the support of most of the population. The slaveowners had the political power and would have tried to maintain it at all costs. Which is evident by the fact that they seceded and fought a war to protect it just because a guy who wanted to stop the spread of slavery got elected.

                1. they seceded and fought a war to protect it just because a guy who wanted to stop the spread of slavery got elected.

                  “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” – A. Lincoln

                  What was it that you were saying?

                  1. That quote supports exactly what I said. “Where it exists.” Lincoln didn’t even have any plan to ban slavery in the south, and the south still seceded because he wanted it banned in the west.

                    1. No, the south seceded because it preferred not to be economically plundered by the north. (See: tariff taxation and how it was explicitly outlawed in the CS constitution, as was the importation of slaves.)

                    2. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.

                      Lincoln explicitly threatened bloodshed to maintain federal control over the States, which are supposed to be sovereign in every capacity except for the powers delegated to the federal gov’t of the US. Among which does not include the power to prevent any State from leaving the union for any reason. Consider your arguments to be null and void. (disclaimer: none of what I argue is a defense of slavery)

                    3. I would also add that the South did not secede all at once. NC, VA, TN, and AR decided to remain in the Union, until Lincoln called for an invasion of the Deep South, at which point it became clear that he had no regard for the Constitution.

                    4. I would also add that the South did not secede all at once.

                      Right. My home state (VA) did not vote to secede until Lincoln called on it to raise an army to invade the states that had seceded up to that point.

                    5. That is a load of crap. Here are direct quotes from the Declaration of the Causes of Secession of every Southern state that gave such a document:


                      “The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war. Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason, and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of separation.”

                    6. Georgia was one of the first states to secede. Georgia seceded to preserve slavery.

                      Virginia, on the other hand, seceded as a reaction to Lincoln’s indication that he would aggress against the lower South.

                    7. Cavalier – my posts are a reply to Rev-Match. While it’s true that Virginia did secede after it became clear that the Deep South would not be allowed to leave, that doesn’t change the fact that they were still protecting the right to own slaves, and willing to risk their citizen’s lives to do so. It’s not a coincidence that no state that didn’t have slavery seceded, and that the four slave states that stayed had the least amount of slaves.

                    8. Mississippi

                      “In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

                      Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin …

                    9. …The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

                      The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

                      The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

                      It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

                      It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

                      It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

                      It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

                      It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst …

                      …It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

                      It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.”

                    10. South Carolina

                      In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

                      The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”

                      This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River …

                    11. …The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States … We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection … On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

                      …the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.”

                    12. Texas

                      “Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

                    13. The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.

                      By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.”

                      There’s more in all four documents, but you get the point. There’s also the Cornerstone Speech by Alexander Stephens, which I won’t even bother quoting. Furthermore, tariffs are a cop-out, since you cannot separate the two issues (tariffs and slavery) in the context of the time. The South complaining about economic plunder is also rich, considering their entire economy was based on the plundering of human lives and labor.

                    14. Calidissident: My overall point was that the federal government of the united States was never granted the authority to attack any state that seceded for any reason. If a State voluntarily joined the union, it could (and can) voluntarily leave. We could debate to the end of time what the reasons for secession were (controlling for all states involved), but the PRINCIPLE is that the right of secession from the united States is inherent and undeniable.

                    15. Oh come on, that was not your overall point, you explicitly stated that the South seceded over tariffs, and when I proved that you were completely wrong (seriously, there is nothing debate – slavery was by far the #1 reason behind secession, and every peripheral issue, like tariffs, was significantly related to slavery in one way or another), you decided to shift the goalposts.

                      I agree with the right of secession in principle (I think the Founders should have been more clear about it in the Constitution btw) – but not as it was practiced in the South in 1860. For secession to be a right, it must be agreed upon by the populace at large – that clearly did not happen. Slaves (and free blacks), who were 40% of the CSA population and a majority in some states, had zero say in the matter, could not immigrate to the North obviously, and their continued oppression was the goal of secession. Also, areas of states that were overwhelmingly pro-Union (West Virginia, East Tennessee) were not allowed to leave. (This is less important and more of a side point, but I also don’t think secession is legitimate when done by state legislatures – if the whole point is about how the government has lost the consent of the governed, isn’t that something the populace should decide, not the state government? There’s a major conflict of interest there).

                    16. I have said multiple times that it’s fair-game to criticize the Northern motives for the fighting the war. That doesn’t mean the South had a right to do what they did or that any Northern invasion, for any reason whatsoever, would be unjust.

          2. The North should have allowed Southern secession, repealed the FSA, and provided arms to a slave rebellion.

            1. The North should have allowed Southern secession, repealed the FSA, and provided arms to a slave rebellion.

              Works for me. A lot better than waging a war to prove to the states that they have no sovereignty.

            2. Had the North not gone to war, it is a pretty good bet that that is what would have happened. Of course if Haiti (the one place on earth where there was ever a successful slave rebellion) is any indication of how that would have gone, the South should be thanking the North for invading them instead. A successful slave result would have likely been a hundred times worse for the South than what happened. The slaves would have likely just murdered their white masters. Why wouldn’t they have?

              1. The slaves would have likely just murdered their white masters.

                Works for me.

                1. Yeah, not really seeing a problem there.

                  1. Do you think no whites who didn’t own slaves wouldn’t have died? And if it failed, consequences would be pretty brutal for the slaves.

                    1. Do you think no whites who didn’t own slaves wouldn’t have died?

                      That happened, we call them “casualties of war”.

                      And if it failed, consequences would be pretty brutal for the slaves.

                      That also happened, we call the perpetrators “the Ku Klux Klan”.

                      If you can get the same outcome with less force, then your way is immoral.

                    2. “That happened, we call them ‘casualties of war’.”

                      Do you not realize that my entire point was a response to that argument? This scenario doesn’t in any way avoid casualties to the non-slaveowning portion of Southerners. And as bad as the KKK was, the violence they committed in real life would have been dwarfed by the violence in a slave rebellion. Far more civilians, both white and black, would have died in a slave rebellion than in the actual Civil War. More than twice as many civilians died in the Haitian Revolution than in the US Civil War, and the population there was a fraction of the Southern US in 1860.

                      “If you can get the same outcome with less force, then your way is immoral.”

                      You have not at all shown that the same outcome (emancipation) would have occurred, or that it would have involved less force in this scenario. Even with Union material support, it is far from guaranteed that the slaves would have won, nor is it likely than the CSA would have just been fine with the Union doing such a thing.

            3. Actually, I take back part of that. The North should have done nothing to prevent its citizens from providing aid to a slave rebellion.

              1. DB,

                That would have been an act of war against the South and we would have ended up right where we were. Also, a successful slave rebellion would have been a much worse fate for the South and the country at large than what happened.

                1. I don’t see how it would be worse. It is always justified for a slave to take up arms against his master.

                  1. It would have been worse because it would have ended in genocide rather than just burning down a few of the bigger cities. The civil war killed a good portion of the military age men in the south. A successful slave revolt would have killed a huge portion of the entire population, man woman and child alike.

                    1. A successful slave revolt would have killed a huge portion of the entire population, man woman and child alike.

                      Who knows? Actual history shows a quite violent response to the freedom of the slaves after the war, anyway. Not to mention the inculcation of the mentality that the solution to government problems is a bigger government (aka The White Man’s Burden writ large).

          3. Not only that, but the great migration would have taken place a century earlier than it did. We’d literally be 100 years ahead of where we are now in race relations, wouldn’t have had to rebuild the south, and hundreds of thousands of lives would have been spared.

            1. Do you really think the south would just let their slaves waltz into the north without doing anything?

            2. Well, that escalated quickly.

            3. When did the South get rebuilt by the North? We’ve spent infinitely more rebuilding Iraq than the US spent rebuilding the South.

          4. Your question points out the fact that chattel slavery is a government program.

            There is no way chattel slavery could exist without protection from the State. Slaveholders are completely dependent upon the State to protect them from their slaves, and slaves are intimated from uprising by the overwhelming force that only a State can provide.

            Libertarians should understand that both sides were assholes because the Civil War was a War Between States. The good guys were Lysander Spooner and friends. Well, I also appreciate Frederick Douglass and friends since they argued for liberty rather than a war for the purpose of union only.

        3. Shorter John: It is only through being conquered that you can know true freedom.

  8. How about all of the stats just agree to a document that creates a small central government to handle a few things that states are not good at, in particular, making sure interstate commerce flows freely, printing money, providing a common defense, protecting the borders and collecting tariffs, making treaties with other countries, and ensuring the states maintain a Democratic form of government.

    You know, its just so crazy it might work.

    1. such a document could never be thought up by ordinary people so such a thing could never exist.

    2. See, all that makes sense, but, racism/sexism/patriarchy. So you lose.


    4. Meh. The Articles of Confederation was a superior form of government, if one prefers liberty.

      1. If they had left out the “and Perpetual Union” part.

  9. You bastards, think you can take Alberta away from us and give us the Northeast and fucking California? That’s it, I’m moving to Too Cold To Care.

    1. Between Alberta, Texas and North Dakota, Jesus Land would be its own OPEC. I am thinking the other nations on that map would get very poor very quickly. California would hold out for a bit until they managed to destroy the tech industry in the name of fairness. But it would eventually turn into Guatemala with a nicer climate.

      1. Well, until IdleNoMore starts blowing up pipelines in Jesusland. They’re fairly non-violent now but there’s been standoffs between native paramilitary groups and the Canadian government before.

        1. I suspect Jesusland would deal with domestic terrorists in a quicker and more decisive fashion than the current United States of Ineptitude.

          1. Yes. Jesusland would have all the Jeffersonians who don’t pick fights but do finish them.

            1. Or is it the Jacksonians? I forget. Either way, we got ’em. (I would be moving there)

  10. I’d like to see the US stay together.

    But rather than good people and business leaving to avoid taxes, Progressives should leave to find a place with Higher Taxes and cradle to grave nanny state already in place.

    That’s what they want, right?

    1. Let Quebec go from Canada and then send all of the Progs there. Montreal is just like Europe. The progs will love that. They can have their little shitty socialist Euroland and leave the rest of us the fuck alone.

      1. The Mohawks and Cree will understandably flip their shit if Quebec ever becomes independent. Half of Montreal also wants to secede from Quebec if that happens. Basically, a ‘sovereign Quebec’ would be filled with minority groups that hate French nationalism and would want their own autonomous regions.

        1. The progs are really good at killing people. So, I bet they would wipe the Mohawks and Cree out. As for the rest, well that is the Progs problem.

          1. No. They are really good at getting conservatives to kill people. Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms may house an entire division of Marines in Southern California, but not many of them are actually from CA – and those natives tend to be the conservative fringe.

        2. I, for one, would pay to see them go Mogwa on their French asses.

          1. Yeah, don’t feed those guys after midnight, for sure.

    2. If progessives wanted it just for themselves, I’d just say, “I hear that North Korea is lovely at this time of year; do send me a postcard.” But progressives want it for everyone, at gunpoint if need be.

      1. The entire planet, without exception, must become progressive because … global warming.

    3. That’s what they want, right?

      No. What they want is to rule over you.

  11. If the government actually abided by the constitution as it was written the states would have all autonomy they want and then the grumbling of the masses would quite down a little.

    1. Exactly. The progs would never agree to going back to that however because their states would quickly run out of other people’s money. Also, they would play hell stopping the resulting outflow of capital from their states. If you think California or New York are uncompetitive now, imagine if there were no federal taxes and they were their own countries. It would allow businesses to move to say Texas and escape all of that without having to deal with going to a radically different culture.

      If the country ever split, one of two things would happen, either the prog areas of the country would go broke and have to rejoin the rest of the country to pay their debts (IE Scotland joining England in the early 1700s) or the prog parts would go fascist and try to invade the other countries in order to loot them and keep the scheme going.

      1. The second one is the more likely scenario.

        1. What would the progs invade with? How much of the current military would live in Snowberia? Who would program the drones, the same people who brought us

          1. I’m not fully convinced that at least part of the military wouldn’t side with the progs.

      2. You never know, but Snoberia will have a hard time mounting a credible invasion of Jesusland.

        1. A rifle behind every blade of grass.

        2. Still, the Snobberians have the advantage of wanting to rule everyone else, which means the war will likely be fought in Jesusland, to the detriment of the Jesuslanders.

          Though, that said, the Jesuslanders will probably return the favor, and the population and capital densities in Snobberia are going to make mass-destruction much more efficient.

  12. “Some 23.9 percent of Americans said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away.”

    Any State that attempts to peacefully secede from the union that it voluntarily joined shall be invaded by the federal government of the united States and have it’s citizens murdered by the hundreds of thousands in order to “preserve the union”. Lincoln says so.

    1. A house divided cannot stand. Of course, that’s called “begging the question.”

      1. In fairness, if that is the case then Christ was responsible for that logical fallacy. I’m not sure why its begging the question though.

      2. A house divided cannot stand.

        Sure. But, what if I leave said house to build a new one of my own?

    2. On the other hand, the US has a lot of enemies, and is trying to burn as many bridges as possible. It’s likely that other nations would see some interest in secretly aiding a US secessionist movement.

  13. “I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done,” said Roy Gustafson, 61, of Camden, South Carolina, who lives on disability payments. “The state would be better off handling things on its own.”

    Dammit. So close.

    Correct answer: Individuals would be better off handling things on their own.

    1. Note that the guy lives on federal disability payments. He wants government to do something.

      1. The dude is getting paid by FedGov to sit around doing nothing. I should think he would be rather well satisfied at the current state of things.

    2. Sometimes, but individuals are still stronger when they’re supported by a community. It’s just that attempts to define community by arbitrarily (or even corruptly) drawn lines on a map are doomed to failure.

  14. Michigan is in Snobberia? no wai!

    It probably doesn’t belong in Jesusland either…but more there than the other.

    Hmm…maybe Michigan should be its own little hell, Hellia (capital, will, of course, move to the village of Hell, a few miles from where I live) like Quebec, and left to wither and die.

    Then Toledo could take it back and make it part of Jesusland fer reelz.

    I like that plan. Let’s do it!

    1. Detroit is in Snobberia. The rest of Michigan would probably secede from Detroit.

      1. I just don’t see it that way. Detroit is…sad. Sad, sad, sad. it doesn’t THINK it’s cool, like Bahston or New Nawk.

        But whatever…it’s all good fun till the feds bust down your door and arrest you and jail you for months (years?) for allegedly TALKING about “revolution”.

        (see also “Hutaree Militia [Michigan]”)

  15. Man, you guys remember when Scotland voted for independence? What an inspiration!


    Oh….never mind….

  16. If the states of “Jesusland” seceded, it would quickly turn into a hick version of Snobberia, with guns. Most people don’t have any real grasp of the study of economics. They think “business” = “capitalism”, and would support any amount of cronyism as a result. They would also try to end Free Trade (which is the essence of the Free Market), because jobs. They would stop illegal immigration because jobs. Then they would be confused about why “capitalism” doesn’t work.

    1. Dude! PLEASE stop harshing my mellow!

      1. Well, the taxes would be low, at least.

    2. You don’t know much about economics if you think that restricting immigration does the same thing to the economy that high taxes and regulation would do.

      Further, none of those states are anti-free trade. There is no reason to believe they would enact protectionism. last I looked the remaining bastion of protectionism in the country was the industrial parts of the east.

      If they are so in love with cronyism, why do the states now have much less of that kind of t hing that states like California and New York. I would think Kansas and Texas would be all crony all of the time if your theory were true. But they are not.

      The unpleasant fact is that sometimes people who are really uncool are not as stupid as you like to think they are. Life sucks like that sometimes.

      1. You don’t know much about economics if you think that restricting immigration does the same thing to the economy that high taxes and regulation do.

        I don’t think that.

        However, the mentality that seeks to restrict immigration is the same sort of mentality that seeks to restrict imports generally.

        Further, none of those states are anti-free trade.


        I would think Kansas and Texas would be all crony all of the time if your theory were true. But they are not.


        Do you even google anything before spouting stuff?

        Quote: “Despite the disapproval sounded by Abbott, Medina, Davis, Pauken, and others, crony capitalism and corruption, or practices that would be described as such in many states, have long been accepted, even embraced, by both parties. Both parties have historically espoused a cozy relationship between the public and private sector, and the state has provided direct government support to businesses for several decades.”

        1. Apparently Kansas is bucking the cronyism, somewhat, but look at the organizations listed in the article:
          “The Kansas Corn Growers Association, the Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association also rebuked the reformer for ‘lack of understanding’ of their subsidy needs.”

          Also, until Prez candidates can tell Iowans to their faces that the Ethanol subsidies are wrong and should be repealed, then I doubt we can say that that particular “red state” eschews corporate cronyism.

  17. I’ve always hated this map. For one, it ignores the fact that Colorado and New Mexico aren’t exactly Red. Further, there is a distinctly different flavor of Team Red in the Western US, than the Mid-West or South. The libertarian, socially moderate bent western republicans are likely to find as little in common with their bible thumping, govt cheese eating brethren in the south.
    And even moreso, it ignores the fact that the partisan divide isn’t necessarily based upon state, but more by Urban/Suburban/Rural demographics. For example, most of Oregon and Washington are completely Republican outside of the Cascadia megalopolis.

    1. I know what you mean. No one outside the Mississippi Delta knows how to make decent Barbeque.

    2. You are right. I doubt the hard working people in the South will have much in common with the welfare queen western ranchers getting their below market leases on public land.

    3. In fairness, if Southerners are anything like as horrible and nasty as they are portrayed the vast majority of the people who qualify for government hand outs in the South will be migrating North. Of course, if Mayor Bloomberg is president of the Northern Rump then they are going to be in for at least some aggressive pat downs at the border.

  18. Can’t we carve out New Hampshire and Montana for libertarians?

  19. No article about ‘secession’ is complete without the obligatory reference to the Master Plan to fragment the nation into ethnic/cultural fiefdoms known as “Operation Hell on Earth

  20. greater autonomy, with fewer top-down policies and more local decision-making.

    Sure, they want greater autonomy, but don’t you dare cut their benefits!

  21. I have to say, I appreciate that we had a debate about the Civil War without a bunch of name calling and bomb throwing. That’s real growth y’all.

    1. really? I gues my eyes glazed over. seemed like the same old crap to me.

      I’d go into sarcstic re-statements, but I’d degenerate quickly into name calling and bomb throwing. So I won’t.

  22. I’d like to see a state by state referendum that in the case of secession, do you want to join the United States of Texas, or the United States of California-New York. Let’s see where the people really stand on whether they would rather be more red than blue.

    I’m live in Snobberia. If I want to live in a country with significantly less poverty, more education, lower crime, and fewer other social ills, having the old confederacy leave would be an easy way to get that done.

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