Salvaging Secession

The Founders understood union as a strategic necessity, not a moral imperative.


Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America's Imperfect Union, by Richard Kreitner, Little, Brown and Co., 496 pages, $30

The late Thomas Naylor, gentle godfather of the modern Vermont independence movement, used to sign off with "God bless the Disunited States of America."

Naylor attracted a stalwart and colorful band to his project, ranging from the diplomat George Kennan (the author of the Cold War "containment" policy had come to view the United States as overly confining) to a delightful mélange of populist "woodchucks" (native Vermonters), organic-farming greens, Ethan Allen impersonators, and more. Naylor's Second Vermont Republic had a merry, slap-happy, larkish feel, but Naylor, who died in 2012, was dead serious. And now, barely two decades since secession talk first scented the Green Mountain air, the entire country is getting an invigorating whiff.

Break It Up—a book about America's episodic secessionist flare-ups, by Nation contributor Richard Kreitner—may well be a firebell in the night, to borrow Thomas Jefferson's phrase. Secession, after all, is our heritage and our probable future. It is as American as applejack, runaway slaves, and prison baseball. His fellow progressives, says Kreitner, "too hastily dismiss one of America's founding principles—the right to alter or abolish a destructive form of government—as irreparably sullied by association with slaveholders."

Kreitner argues that disunion "is a hidden thread through our entire history, from the colonial era to the early republic and the Civil War and beyond," and he backs up that claim with a vigorous account that takes in everything from the fractious colonies of the 17th century to the irrepressible Aaron Burr's separatist hijinks to the bloodbath of 1861–65 all the way up through secessionist feints and spasms in recent years by Black Panthers, Lone Star patriots, and people pissed off by the election of Donald Trump. (If history is a reliable guide, this last-named band will turn coat the day after the next Democrat is elected president, while Trumpian nationalists will experience sudden secessionist epiphanies.)

Kreitner takes a clear-eyed view of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the subsequent ratification of the Constitution, seeing it as a coup in which the well-born, the articulate, and the merchant class of the coasts threw out the decentralist Articles of Confederation and fastened upon the 13 states a consolidated national government that would lead, as opponents such as Maryland's Luther Martin warned, to empire and oligarchy.

Rightly observing that the campaign for the Constitution in the state ratifying conventions was marked by "deceit, censorship, and force," Kreitner commends the localist vision of the Anti-Federalists, the original unheeded prophets of American history.

The Founders understood union as a strategic necessity, not a moral imperative. Join or die, as the Revolutionaries preached, is practical advice, not holy writ. Should union prove an obstacle to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then to hell with it. When in the course of human events, and all that….

"New Englanders had been the original disunionists," Kreitner notes. Some kicked at the Louisiana Purchase, seeing in expansion the seeds of corruption. The choleric Federalist Timothy Pickering, secretary of state under George Washington and John Adams, asked despairingly, "How many Indian wars, excited by the avidity of the Western and Southern States for Indian land, shall we have to encounter" before New England would cut the rest of the continent adrift?

The War of 1812 convinced many Northeasterners that the slavocracy held the whip hand and that the free states had better get out while the gettin' was good. At the Hartford Convention of December 1814, New England delegates walked up to the precipice of secession and blinked, proposing instead a set of mostly praiseworthy constitutional amendments, including ones requiring a two-thirds vote to declare offensive war, admit new states, and impose embargoes. (These proposals are still on the floor, waiting to be picked up.)

Antebellum Northerners defiantly asserted the rights of the states by passing "personal liberty laws," which nullified the Fugitive Slave Act. If the price of union included sending escaped bondsmen back to servitude, that price was too high. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: "Union is a delectable thing, and so is wealth, and so is life, but they may all cost too much, if they cost honour."

The United States had simply grown too large for meaningful representative government. The scale had become inhuman. Yet expansionists had their greedy, beady eyes on Texas, California, and Oregon. Both parties were guilty: The Democrats wanted Cuba as lebensraum for slavery, while Republicans such as Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, and William Seward dreamed of a North American empire.

The interregnum between Lincoln's election and his assumption of the presidency featured not only hot language (and acts) of secession by Southern fire-eaters but also a significant "good riddance" attitude among Northerners. Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, something of a Peace Democrat, said, "Whatever happens next, I must say that I rejoice that the old Union is smashed. We never were one people, and never really had a country."

And the war came, as Lincoln said. And some of the most vocal advocates of disunion screeched for young men to go trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath were stored.

Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, who once had called the Constitution an "unholy alliance with slavery," now whooped for war and became, as one biographer wrote, a "super-patriot who discovered traitors and treason everywhere." The smell of gunpowder drove many an abolitionist, even the Christian pacifists, into the rooting section for Mars—though there were noted exceptions, such as Adin Ballou. Pretty political principles are usually the first casualty of war. It is so easy and cost-free to mouth Christian or humanist strictures against mass murder, but so hard to stand against the blood-lusting mob as it bears down on you.

Seven hundred thousand men died in an abattoir that, while it had the salutary effect of ending the wicked institution of slavery, was declared and fought, at first, for an abstraction called "Union." The men who conceived this Union four score years earlier would scarce have believed it.

One always has quibbles with a book of engaged and eristic history. In his account of the anti-war Copperheads of the North, I wish that Kreitner had relied more on the work of Frank Klement, a pro–Bill of Rights University of Wisconsin progressive who cast doubt upon the lurid conspiracy tales spun by the Republican press. Kreitner largely ignores the most serious and historically justified contemporary secession movements, those of the Cold War states of Alaska and Hawaii, whose annexation disrupted the contiguous integrity of the Old 48. In the final chapters, when Kreitner brings the story up to date, the author uncharacteristically lapses into Yeah Team Blue/Boo Team Red caricature. Traditional Southern whites, he says, are distinguished by "barely disguised racism," while "blue-collar voters in the heartland"—the people in hollowed-out and forgotten communities whose sons die in forever wars—are consumed by "a gnawing paranoia."

But these cavils do not detract from the value of Richard Kreitner's book. It is richly informative. And hey, the political margins are always the most interesting places. (The aspiring state of Franklin, now the eastern rim of Tennessee, proposed to make brandy legal tender and ban lawyers from public office. These issues, too, await their modern champion.)

Would a President Biden or a President Trump order a federal invasion of a breakaway state? Dropping the 82nd Airborne into the Green Mountains to put down Vermont's peaceable disunionists seems preposterous, though in other instances one can easily imagine the corporate media preparing the ground for a Biden-ordered assault.

If, say, a libertarian-tinged state of the Rocky Mountain West should seek to leave the Union, the rebels surely would be smeared as meth-manufacturing, child-abusing white supremacists. Or if Portland, Oregon, taking a cue from Fernando Wood, the Civil War–era mayor of New York City who proposed making Gotham a free and independent city-state, should declare an independent Portlandia, President Trump might well introduce those angry-faced white girls throwing Molotov cocktails and hissy fits to the M1 Abrams Tank.

Unlike in 1861, there is no sectional fault line along which the union could cleave. A likelier scenario is the fissioning of states, as mammoth entities such as California and New York, whose rural and small-city populations are powerless outlanders, fracture into more comprehensible units. Lose the Last Frontier and the Aloha State, gain Alta California and Upstate New York. You don't even need to redesign the flag.

I hope Richard Kreitner's book gains a wide readership, especially on the thoughtful left. A loose federation of states, as existed under the Articles of Confederation—or even a continent of smallish republics—would be preferable to the current madness.

Walt Whitman, a laissez-faire Democrat before the War, wrote in Leaves of Grass: "To the States or any one of them, or any city of the states, Resist much, obey little." Resist much. Obey little. You can't get much more American than that.

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  1. Richard Kreitner graduated from the Howard Zinn School of History, I see.

    1. It is his truth. Which makes it fact or something.

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  2. A loose federation of states, as existed under the Articles of Confederation—or even a continent of smallish republics—would be preferable to the current madness.

    Uh, no. This is where Kauffman goes off the rails. In this, he is completely mistaken. Three points.

    One, we have our historical example of what happens when states secede. They are forcibly returned to the Union. Why Richard Kreitner thinks history would not repeat itself if any state were to secede is not what I call thoughtful progressivism (BTW, the term thoughtful progressivism is an oxymoron).

    Two, Richard Kreitner completely whiffs on the idea that the sum of our states (our Union) is greater than the individual parts (states). From 1789 – 2020, just a short span of 231 years of human history, look at what we have accomplished as a country! What country can lay claim to anything like we can? The answer is, no country. No other country has done as much, given as much, sacrificed as much toward the general betterment of humanity than the United States of America. It is not even close. And that is an objective fact. That is where Richard Kreitner just completely whiffs – he doesn’t account for, or even acknowledge that.

    Three, this country of ours is based on Judeo-Christian moral and ethical values; the idea of limited government, maximum individual autonomy, divided governmental authority, and adherence to a written rule of law. Secession upends all of that.

    I also hope that Richard Kreitner’s book gets wide readership. Because we need to understand just what ‘progressive thinkers’ (another oxymoron) have in store for us.

    1. One, you’ve got a sample size of one and you have to admit that, while the proximate cause of war was disunion, the issue of slavery had a lot to do with it so I’m not sure that you can make a blanket statement like that.

      Two, whether or not a united country has proved to be a good idea has little to do with whether or not we should remain united – Americans are just as capable as anybody else of doing stupid shit for stupid reasons. For example, just look at what we’re about to do in a couple of weeks.

      Three, we were founded on Judeo-Christian moral and ethical values (specifically Protestant values) but if you look around, lately there’s been shitloads of people who vehemently disagree with out foundational values, who think they are in fact evil, wrong-headed and immoral values. How can you reach a compromise position with people who want to see you dead?

      And finally, yes, I would be somewhat suspicious of someone billed as a contributor to the Nation, but I used to regularly read both Mother Jones and the Nation along with the National Review, American Spectator and First Things because, while I disagreed with their viewpoints, I generally found them capable of making well-reasoned arguments. (“Well-reasoned” in that as long as you agreed with their premises, which I most certainly did not, their arguments were consistent with the premises.) So I would not necessarily ascribe bad-faith motives to the author – not having read the book, I don’t know that this isn’t simply a review of disunionist sentiments rather than a one-sided call for disunion as you seem to suspect.

      1. Jerryskids….This book is a one-sided call for disunion, IMO. It is attempting to lay out the philosophical, moral, and intellectual rationale to do so, using progressive reasoning (sigh, another oxymoron).

        WRT the essential conflict over Judeo-Christian values. Progressive values are diametrically opposed to Judeo-Christian values. There is no compromise here that can be made. That ultimately has to be resolved at the ballot box, which we are currently doing.

        Yes, I read what progressive libs have to say. Probably too much. Why? First, I want to understand them, on general principle. Second, to defeat them because their progressive values, if implemented as Richard Kreitner argues for, will destroy our American experiment.

        1. Well, I’ll have to take your word for the motive for the book, I haven’t actually looked into it.

          And while I appreciate your optimism that this issue can be settled at the ballot box, I am far more pessimistic than you when one side seems to have a problem with accepting the results of an election, a problem accepting the very legitimacy of the system which allows for elections. I think we’ve gone far past the point of being able to compromise with these people.

          1. Well, I read an interview with the author and you may be right. He says this:

            This is, you know, a thought experiment. I didn’t start writing this book as a prescription for what I wanted to see about the country. I wrote it as unearthing this idea that I saw had shaped all of American history and that had not yet really been accounted for. And people had sort of limited it to the Civil War era, when I think it was actually there from the beginning and it’s still there today. So I did not start this book trying to write a program for disunion. I hope not to see that. I love this country. I’ve traveled all around, to 49 states, and I do see people in other parts of the country who vote for different presidents as my fellow countrymen. And I don’t want to wave goodbye to them, but I do think that this needs to be an option available to us in the future. You know, a lot of people are throwing around pretty weighty terminology these days — fascism, authoritarianism. You know, Trump’s moves with the election in November are extremely worrisome. And seems to me that if we are talking about the end of democracy in America and the permanent establishment of minority rule in this country, I think we need to have all options on the table. (Emphasis added.)

            And then elsewhere he says this on who he imagines seceding from whom — and what the country would look like afterward:

            Well, I think the obvious one would be California, our largest state. They have the same two senators that Wyoming has, even though they have 68 times the population. I don’t see why that is a tolerable or a long-lasting arrangement. So it might be the case that California — at some point in the future, in a country even more divided than today, wracked by climate change — issues an ultimatum and says ‘abolish the Senate or redistribute power proportionally to population or we’re going to secede.’

            Doesn’t understand the purpose of the Senate, apparently doesn’t understand the idea of the states being co-sovereign, accepts that California is “wracked” by climate change, is an unabashed democrat in a country founded by men who abhorred democracy – I suspect he’s an idiot.

            1. And, by the way, his assertion that a failure to adopt pure democracy equates to “minority rule” makes me think of what the primary difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is: The Democrats have great big ideas for what the government should do and they seem to conceive of an unlimited, unconstrained government, the government needs to be free to do whatever they want as long as they’re doing “Good Things”. The GOP tends to be more reactionary – they’re more focused on what they don’t want the government to be doing rather than what they want it to do. The split here seems to be between people who want to fuck with you and people who don’t want to be fucked with and somehow this seems to be discussed as if it were two sides of the same coin. It’s not – there’s no comparison between the two positions.

              1. Democrats and Republicans alike are both fixated on controlling people.

                Democrats want to tell people what to do.

                Republicans want to tell people what not to do.

                Notice the tie-in with slavery and the Civil War. Democrats wanted to enslave people. Republicans wanted to stop slavery.

                Later, as both parties ratcheted up government power, the Republicans expanded their list of things to not do, and the Democrats were right with them. While Nixon started the War on (Some) Drugs, the Dems had fired the first shots in the 1930s. The distinction between the two parties is not exact.

                1. I do like this continued myth is a republican desire when most of the major drug laws, especially on crack, were pushed by deep blue urban centers. But keep the myth going. It helps you out somehow.

                  1. Nixon started the War on Drugs. Reagan had Nancy’s “Just Say No” campaign and all the CIA drug dealing.

                    1. A LOT was going on before Nancy became the catspaw for nationalizing cocaine into a weapon countering Soviet control of Afghan opium. Colombians had already disrupted the commies’ kidnapping rings before the U.S. moved in to monopolize the trade. Kerry’s people struggled mightily to use prohibition laws to help the Soviets while Reagan and Charlie Wilson “privatized foreign policy” and armed the Soviet Union’s enemies. This experiment in outsourcing successfully wrecked the Soviets while Biden and other prohibitionists crashed the U.S. economy.

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              2. The idiots for lure democracy often are failures at world history. Pure democracy has been tried, it was a failure. Any government that shifts immediately with the whims of a mob is unstable.

            2. Now you see why I pointed the oxymorons = “thoughtful progressivism”, “progressive thinkers”, and “progressive reasoning”. This guy, Richard Kreitner, is a devoted and loyal acolyte of the Howard Zinn School of American Historical thought; a malignant train of thought that puts the worst possible interpretation on our history, our Founders, our ideals. That 1619 lady, Nicole whatsherface from the Old Grey Hag comes out of that same pathetic school of thought.

            3. That constant harping on Senators not representing population really annoys me. It shows a clear lack of understanding that the United States government was meant to to be a federation of semi-independent states. The Senate was expressly designed to represent the states, not the people in them. It cannot be a coincidence that so much happened all at once.

              * 16th amendment allowed the income tax, boosting federal revenue immensely, not only allowing the terrible expansion we have today, but also allowing Prohibition in 1920; before the income tax, booze taxes were half federal revenue.
              * 17th amendment instituted the popular election of Senators, showing that empire from the Spanish-American war had replaced federalism with empire.
              * The Fed destroyed the currency and gave the federal government way too much control over the economy.
              * We could not have entered WW I without all that income tax revenue.
              * We would not have had Prohibition and the massive Federal police expansion without the income tax.
              * We would not have had the depressions of 1920 and 1929 without the Fed mucking everything up.

              1. Pretty much every political dysfunction in the last 100 years can be traced to the amendments passed during the Wilson administration.

            4. “Well, I think the obvious one would be California, our largest state. They have the same two senators that Wyoming has, even though they have 68 times the population. I don’t see why that is a tolerable or a long-lasting arrangement. So it might be the case that California — at some point in the future, in a country even more divided than today, wracked by climate change — issues an ultimatum and says ‘abolish the Senate or redistribute power proportionally to population or we’re going to secede.’

              Well, let them go. I don’t see California opting to split into smaller states to better match the population of the other states, which is a logical solution to that particular problem.

              It’s also struck me as odd how peopel rail against the Senate having equal proportions, when a lot of people live in communities with HOA, where the voting allocation is one-per-household, not one per adult resident. If you can see the logic of not giving your neighbors with 4 adult children still living at home 6 votes to your 1 or 2, how can you not see the same logic with 50 states?

    2. “One, we have our historical example of what happens when states secede.”

      It is noteworthy that prior to that, the United States was created via secession. So it seems there is precedent both for and against secession.

      While I agree that there has been much great done by our country, the slow metastasizing of the tumor that is DC feels to me like it is entering its terminal state. My grandfather was a great business man who pioneered industry. My other grandfather, a rancher who helped tame the west. They did great things, but their time came and they passed on to memory. One can accept that a country has done great things, and still accept that it has entered a stage of change.

      Finally, I don’t see how secession upends our Judeo-Christian values. First, as I noted, those same values wrote a Declaration of Secession (Independence). Those Judeo-Christian founders went home to create onerous laws in their states, to enforce slave laws, and ultimately enter into a secessionist process again. The outcome of that second episode was not a restrained government, but a more centralized and powerful one. And that government has merely become more and more concentrated, meddling and obtrusive.

      I am not one of those folks who hates America and her past. I love the United States. I love our country like I love my grandparents- despite their flaws. But their mortality caught up with them- a slow decay that eventually took their lives. Is it terribly controversial to observe that a similar cycle happens with countries?

      1. No, the United States was created out of a revolution, Overt. We revolted against Brit rule. We replaced the Articles of Confederation with a Federal Republic. Now I will grant that the replacement of the AoC with the Constitution studiously avoided a direct popular vote.

        Secession by itself does not destroy Judeo-Christian values. However, secession + progressivism will absolutely destroy Judeo-Christian values in the states choosing to secede. They will trample over religious liberty, free speech, free association, and a host of other rights we have.

        1. So what’s the difference between revolution and secession? Revolution attempts to overthrow the whole government and take control. Secession attempts for part of a polity to secede and run things their own way. The USA circa 1776 was a secession, not a revolution. As was the CSA circa 1861, albeit unsuccessful.

          1. Secession is a split. Revolution is a replacement.

            The War of Independence was 13 colonies revolting and replacing their governments. It was NOT a secession movement of the United States from Great Britain. As far as the colonists were concerned, the colonies were already independent from Great Britain in all but name.

            This is yet another example of how federalism has been forgotten.

        2. And a lot of the founders were Deists not Christians. Washington explicitly said that the US was not founded on Christian values. They had respect for all religions.

          A pet thing of mine but have never met a judo-christian. They are distinct religions.

          1. Masonry was the founding ideology, and the community that drew many of the founders together. They met in the back rooms of taverns, not churches, Deist or otherwise.

            “A pet thing of mine but have never met a judo-christian.”

            You’ll never meet a convert to secular Judaism, either. That’s reserved for those who are born Jewish.

            1. You’ve got to keep it on the square…….


            2. I am Jewish and my family and other Jews I know run the gamut from Orthodox to secular.

              Even the small subset of Jews who believe that Jesus (yeshua) was a prophet or savior do not identify as Judeo-Christian. They identify as Jews.

              It is a bit pedantic and not meant to offend. It would be more accurate to say “Jewish and Christian”. They are distinct religions.

              Most Jews here and in Israel or elsewhere can be defined as secular. Many simply have Jewish ancestry and lose that identity or faith. That is nothing new in our history.

        3. “No, the United States was created out of a revolution, Overt. We revolted against Brit rule. ”

          The two are functionally the same. In fact, while we called it a revolution, the creation of the colonies was more of a secession. Most “Revolutions” are replacing a country with a new government. The founders didn’t overthrow the crown, as happened in Russia or France. We took a portion of the Crown’s land and set up our own system, just as the Confederates did.

          “Secession by itself does not destroy Judeo-Christian values.”

          Indeed. As I noted, if history is any guide, Judeo-Christian values seem to have secession built in. Moses, Martin Luther, Christ- and the Heavenly Kingdom. There is a rather constant, though evolving, notion in the history of people deciding that the authority isn’t really serving their interests, and that it is time to try something new.

          “They will trample over religious liberty, free speech, free association, and a host of other rights we have.”

          See, here is the problem. They aren’t going to secede. Leftists never secede, because the LAST thing they want to do is leave YOU alone. They revolt. (c.f. French Revolution, Russian Revolution, Chinese Revolution, etc)

          1. No. The war was 13 independent government replacements, true rebellions, not one united secession. The united government, the Articles of Confederation, was formed out of the rebellious replacement governments. The colonies ganged together for mutual aid, but each colony replaced its own monarchial colonial governments with a new home-grown local government.

            1. “The war was 13 independent government replacements, true rebellions, not one united secession.”

              In that case the Confederacy was a revolution. Yes, the states seceded, but they attempted to replace the Federal government with a new one- new president, congress, etc.

              But fair enough. I’ll concede the point, though I don’t really know that it changes my broader point. Commenter XY was arguing that somehow the Confederate Secession was unique or an aberration. My point was that it seemed to be similar to a long line of Judeo-Christian and Protestant attempts to opt out of their existing ruling authority. The real aberration was that they ended up losing.

              But because the Confederacy lost- which imho was a good thing for the time- does not delegitimize secession or revolution as a tradition of our heritage. If the people in this country have decided that they are done with this grand experiment, I would rather that (say) California secede as Britain and Scotland are trying, than to mount a revolution to replace the government that rules the entire country.

          2. “The two are functionally the same”

            Now you’re just trying to save your point.

        4. I have sympathy for those concerns, but as of right now the practical means of escape for any person in this country, beyond the wealthiest among us, is damn near unattainable.

          My wife and I are about to have our second kid. We’re doing OK, but by no means do we have the resources to up and move to Lichtenstein or Uruguay. I want to escape our over burdensome tax laws, for example, but how can I reasonably do that and also try to maintain a reasonably close standard of living to what my family has now?

          In theory, a collection of successionist movements could produce a wider variety of governments in close geographic proximity to one another, possibly allowing for real choice at that point. Yes, will some of those experiments end up being progressive hell holes? Sure. But what if a couple of new republics are formed by people who actually value liberty? Put another way, if there was a place in this country within 10 hours driving distance of me that was like the free state project but different in that it meant complete and total escape from the surveillance state, the IRS, the federal reserve etc, I’d start packing now.

    3. Your first argument is that “secession is bad because it starts war”, not that secession itself is bad. Your second argument is that because we are a huge empire today, that secession, or the Articles of Confederation, for instance, would have been worse, as if empire is the measure of greatness. (Conveniently forgetting that the Constitutional Convention was illegal.) Your third argument has nothing to do with secession.

    4. Just because Lincoln launched a massive war to repudiate the fundamental human right to secede (as so eloquently stated in the Declaration of Independence) doesn’t mean secession will always be treated that way. People aren’t as brutal and tyrannical anymore. Scotland held a vote to secede from the UK, and there were no troops lined up to put down the revolt. Dozens of countries have seceded (from the USSR for example) in the past several decades. There used to be around 140 countries, now there are closer to 200.

      1. Individuals held in bondage had a right to secede from Massa, from the slave states they lived in.

      2. Once upon a time, Scotland mattered because it was a significant land mass and held useful ports that UK needed.

        But now Scotland contributes very little to the tax coffers of United Kingdom. It wasn’t a big deal, because Scotland isn’t a big deal.

    5. Point 2: empires always accomplish a lot. that doesn’t make them morally defensible.

      Point 3: maximum individual autonomy, as you say, also includes the basic human right of self government.

    6. “……he doesn’t account for, or even acknowledge that .”

      Progressives rarely acknowledge progress. In fact, they have a bitter resistance to the notion that things are not the absolute worst that they’ve ever been.

      1. That last is not quite true. They are dead set against progress, but want the status quo as of when they became politically aware, plus all the control necessary to enforce that retro-quo.

        1. No, they want to power to enforce the current version of utopia that they’ve conceived this time around. Whatever passes for “woke” these days is deemed to be such a good idea that it has to be mandatory and enforced by police power of government.

    7. [Commenter_XY:] No other country has done as much, given as much, sacrificed as much toward the general betterment of humanity than the United States of America.

      Really? US meddling was instrumental in setting Europe up for WWII. The defeat of the Nazis came way too late. And post-WWII, US foreign policy has mainly been directed towards enriching the US military-industrial complex. And the post-WWII world order the US has created is falling apart.

      If the US had left Europe to its own devices in the 20th century and focused on fostering liberty and free market economics at home, the world would likely be a far better place.

      1. Oh bullshit! Read…

        The Failure of America’s Foreign Wars Paperback – December 1, 1996

        Even the so-called “good war”, WW II, at great expense, left half of Europe enslaved to the Stalinists, and mainland China fell soon afterwards. War sucks! It doesn’t work! Period!

        1. Even the so-called “good war”, WW II, at great expense, left half of Europe enslaved to the Stalinists, and mainland China fell soon afterwards. War sucks! It doesn’t work! Period!

          That’s what I said!

          But being a nasty, disagreeable jerk is so deeply ingrained in your personality that you just can’t help yourself, can you?

          1. OK, I apologize, what you wrote is batter informed than my first read of it… Sorry!

            1. Go back to eating from your shit bucket.

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  5. Let the coasts leave, keep the red counties in those states, see West Virginia, cut off their water, and watch them die.

    1. RaG…The cure cannot be worse than the disease. 🙂 Three things.

      First, we can defeat them at the ballot box in 16 days.

      Second, we can force the progressive states to live with the consequences of their choices; CA, NY, IL, NJ, CT, OR, WA are all states with very serious fiscal problems brought about by their liberal, progressive policies. No bailouts of any kind.

      Third, the judiciary needs continued time and attention. The crop of judges appointed by POTUS Trump will have an impact for some time. A second term and a Team R senate turns an ‘impact’ into a ‘profound change’ strongly tending toward originalism, textualism and paring by powers of the Executive and Congress, which is what is needed. Let’s not forget, Obama appointed plenty of young judges; they need to be counter-balanced.

      1. While the right has been doing yeoman’s work on the courts, at pretty much every other stage, the Left has been winning battles.

        Colorado was a reliable red state only 20 years ago. Today, it is reliably blue. It was turned that way because George Soros and his crop of billionaires have been slowly remaking fundamental institutions. From our schools, to Academia, to voting systems, to DAs. The Popular Vote project will likely go through in another 10 years and we will be a pure Democracy at that point.

        1. Colorado flipped because it was inundated with Californians. Montana will flip next. If Texas ever flips it will be due to immigration, and Republicans driving away pro-life, pro-family, Christian immigrants through xenophobia.

          1. Maybe if we just forcibly secede California and deny visas going forward . . .

          2. If Texas ever flips it will be due to immigration, and Republicans driving away pro-life, pro-family, Christian immigrants through xenophobia.

            I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Hispanic voting patterns, but they’ve been a reliable majority voting bloc for Democrats going back to the early 20th century, at least. In New Mexico, for example, they migrated to the Democrats after the Civil War because the hyper-corrupt Santa Fe Ring was run largely by white Republicans.

            The idea that Hispanic voters will ever be a reliable voting bloc for anyone other than Democrats is a fantasy. Yes, Hispanics tend to be very culturally conservative, but that extends to their voting patterns, too. Even when Democrats do shit they don’t like, they still vote for them in large numbers because that’s how their relatives have largely voted. Most Republican Hispanics tend to be very recent immigrants from shithole communist countries like Cuba or Venezuela, or white-collar professionals who are deep in the Chamber of Commerce wing of the party.

            What you’re basically arguing for is what has been the status quo for decades–that politics is two groups of white people using minorities as cudgels.

          3. ^Exactly CE; If anyone thinks succession is going to solve our current state of affairs they need not look any further than CA emigration.

            Leftism is about conquer and consume. The power to steal. It’s exactly what brought foreign immigrants into CA and it’s exactly why CA is now moving out and onto other ‘Red States’.

          4. CE your are correct – It’s been amazing the amount of Cali plates moving in. The problem is folks don’t even consider voting based on issues any more it just seems party only. I’ve now seen three houses bought here by Californians and immediately the yard is filled with all our democratic candidates. I do care that they have lived here for no time and just vote along a party line.

      2. First, we can defeat them at the ballot box in 16 days.

        Even if that happens, that’s just a temporary reprieve. The culture and structure of US society has been changed so fundamentally through half a century of indoctrination that it can’t be reversed. Classical liberals are in an ever decreasing minority. The US will be run by socialists within a few decades. Breaking up peacefully and voluntarily before that happens, in a way similar to Brexit, is probably the best outcome we can hope for; unfortunately, it’s unlikely.

        1. half a century of indoctrination = public school paid for by gov/socialism.

    2. Had the South won the Civil War and been allowed to keep their agrarian plantation system of feudalism, I think the Confederacy today would be a third-world country, much the same as Haiti or Nicaragua or Liberia. In the same way, allowing the coastal elites to secede would in short order result in them becoming a third-world country much the same as Venezuela or Cuba or North Korea. You have the right to redistribute wealth any way you see fit. Too bad nobody’s producing any wealth, seeing as how there’s no incentive to produce wealth when it’s all just going to be redistributed anyway. Dumbasses.

      1. I agree. They would have had to face the economic realty of how inefficient slavery is, how it is only good for agriculture, mining, and other primitive manual labor industries. I bet they would have abandoned slavery with 20 years. They certainly would have been world-class pariahs if not, and their border states would have continued leaking slaves to their free neighbors, eventually seceding and rejoining the United States. They would have vanished with 50 years at most.

        1. Thaddeus Russell’s book, A Renegade’s History of the United States, makes a similar argument and it seems quite clear that Confederate leadership, including Jefferson Davis, knew slavery would not be a long term effective economic model.

      2. If the South had remained an economic backwater it would have been destination #1 for outsourcing. Look where foreign manufacturers put their plants.

        1. That’s an interesting alternative history idea. If the North had outsourced a lot of factories to the South, would that have hastened the end of slavery? All the small landowners might have sold their unproductive land to the big slave plantations and made a better living in the factories. Or at least their kids would have abandoned farm life for the factory cities. That would have shifted the political center away from slavery.

          1. I may be wrong but I don’t think manufacturing would have been possible down south until air conditioning came along.

      3. Had the South won the Civil War and been allowed to keep their agrarian plantation system of feudalism, I think the Confederacy today would be a third-world country, much the same as Haiti or Nicaragua or Liberia.

        Several European nations had feudalism well into the 19th century; they managed to correct course without a civil war.

        In the same way, allowing the coastal elites to secede would in short order result in them becoming a third-world country much the same as Venezuela or Cuba or North Korea.

        California is more like Sweden or the UK fifty years ago. If they have to actually bear the cost of their choices, you’ll be amazed at how quickly they elect a Margaret Thatcher and turn themselves around.

    3. Greater London, the greater New York area and San Francisco should become city states. The rules and social dynamics that they need to function successfully, are not good for their respective nations as a whole.

      1. Except they don’t need different rules to function successfully, despite what the morons running them think.

      2. Exactly as outlined in that Constitution that doesn’t seem to even exist in the political world anymore. I can’t even remember the last time the Federal Government passed law that was constitutional.

  6. Among the right-wing commenters on these pages these days, we find MANY fans of endless Trumpist trade wars and protectionism! THIS, we are told, is the way to wealth and prosperity!

    So I’m here today to point out this as a “bright spot” to cracking the Union wide open, to 50 (or more) independent states, and we can ALL declare trade wars on each other!!! We can ALL get filthy rich, this way!

    1. “Among the right-wing commenters on these pages these days, we find MANY fans of endless Trumpist trade wars and protectionism! THIS, we are told, is the way to wealth and prosperity”

      You resemble Shrike.

    2. You’re here to talk about trade wars and eat shit, and you’ve already talked about trade wars.

    3. Well, you got the filthy part down pat.

    4. That’s lame.

    5. Among the right-wing commenters on these pages these days, we find MANY fans of endless Trumpist trade wars and protectionism!

      Only trade wars and protectionism vis-a-vis socialist countries.

      THIS, we are told, is the way to wealth and prosperity!

      No, it’s just about survival.

      1. “No, it’s just about survival.”

        We must all eat living things (animal meat or carrots or others) to survive, yes.

        Eating the Chinese, in a dog-eat-dog and human-eat-human, zero-sum-game environment? THAT is a deliberate CHOICE made by the TrumptatorShit, and other lusters after endless wars! Trade wars and shooting wars! There IS another way, and it involves restraining your self-righteousness, and putting your dick back in your pants! Imagining yourself as the boss of the whole planet, and then acting on this utter fantasy, does NOT end well!

        These self-righteous voters simply cannot or will not recognize the central illusion of politics… You can pussy-grab all of the people some of the time, and you can pussy-grab some of the people all of the time, but you cannot pussy-grab all of the people all of the time! Sooner or later, karma catches up, and the others will pussy-grab you right back!

        Self-righteous voter NOYB2 imagines himself as THE arbiter of WHO is “socialist”, and who is not! This, too, does not end well!

        1. Self-righteous voter NOYB2 imagines himself as THE arbiter of WHO is “socialist”

          Are you effing kidding me? The Chinese are self-declared socialists/communists!

          Imagining yourself as the boss of the whole planet, and then acting on this utter fantasy, does NOT end well!

          Your fantasy is that you actually pay for what you get from China; you do not. Instead, the US government mortgages the country and the future of Americans and uses it to finance buying crappy consumer goods from China.

          We can have free trade with China just as soon as we get rid of our foreign debt and our domestic taxation and regulation. Until then, tariffs are the necessary consequence of our internal politics.

          1. “Instead, the US government mortgages the country and the future of Americans and uses it to finance buying crappy consumer goods from China.”

            Now THAT is crap! I pay for what I buy! USA Government Almighty makes me pay TAXES (tariffs) after it picks winners and losers! Special favors for special people! HOW does USA Government Almighty HELP me buy this stuff, when it is TAXING me on buying it?

    6. PFT…. “trade wars and protectionism” lol… One of the very few remaining yet deceptive slogan’s of the left and their gangster-affiliation platform.

      Every trade is a war – building that settlement ground on what anything is worth and what one is willing to pay for it of which that settlement must be protected by power.

      Because that trade is outside the boundaries of U.S. criminal legal law it must be enforced through other means (National-Gov to National-Gov) as it IS STATED in the U.S. Constitution.

      But instead of arguing about the CONSTITUTIONAL power’s details the left will just argue with the CONSTITUTION itself and call the power’s enumerated it in names like “trade wars and protectionism”.

      1. OK then let’s split into 50 or more independent states and have trade wars of all against all! 50 or more Constitutions to make it all nice and pretty, sure, why not? You LIKE this idea?

        1. Not at all; I don’t think secession actually addressed the root of the problem at all. If we’re going to have secession it should be the secession of all illegal immigrants back to their home-land.

  7. The abolitionists that drove the South out of the Union and fought a bloody and devastating war to reconquer the South and subject them to federal government again has little or nothing in common with the progressives and social justice warriors of today, who are driving average Americans to buy guns like never before. After all, the abolitionists of the 19th century held the entirety of southern society in contempt–from the slaveholding plantation owner all the way down to the subsistence farmer who never owned a slave. That does a lot to explain why such a large percentage of those who volunteered to fight for the Confederacy were not slaveholders. The abolitionists didn’t just hate slavery–they hated Southern society and the Southern way of life.

    That’s nothing like the progressives and social justice warriors of today. The progressives and social justice warriors of today have nothing but respect for the rights, mores, and prosperity of the white, blue collar, middle class–even in the Midwest and the South. If Joe Biden wins, packs the Supreme Court, passes the Green New Deal, and inflicts his will on our gun rights, those will be controversial moves, but he white, blue collar, middle class will rest assured in the knowledge that progressive government grounded in social justice will have nothing but respect for their way of life. And there isn’t any good reason to think that restructuring our economy around Green New Deal principles and giving social justice total sway over our society will change anything fundamental.

    If I were advising the Democrats, I’d tell them to disarm us just as soon as they pack the Supreme Court–before moving to the rest of their agenda.

    1. “That does a lot to explain why such a large percentage of those who volunteered to fight for the Confederacy were not slaveholders.” Well, I was a young soldier once, and I can tell you, many simply succumb to “social pressure” and glory-lust! Let me go get some medals on my chest, and stories to tell, and (being young) ignore the pains and risks of death, inherent in war! We are all immortal when we are young!

      I have read that a lot of poor whites down there in those days resented having to back up the rich slave-owners in this war. And a HUGE reason why poor whites got brain-washed into supporting the rich slave-owners is detailed in the below link and out-take:

      Wealthy plantation owners had succeeded in separating the two races, and they now planted a fear of Blacks in the minds of poor and working white men. Enslaved Blacks were an asset to the wealthy, but freed Blacks were portrayed as a danger to all. By creating this common enemy among rich and poor alike, the wealthy elite sent a clear message: fight with us against abolitionists and you will remain safe.

      It worked. Poor and working class whites signed up by the hundreds of thousands to fight for what they believed was their way of life. Meanwhile, many of the wealthy planters who benefitted economically from slavery were granted exemptions from military service and avoided the horrors of battle. On both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, wealthy elites were allowed to pay other men to take their place on the bloody battlefields. As the war lingered on, poor whites in the North and South began to realize the rich had waged the war, but it was the poor who were dying in it.

      1. Have you heard the story of Tim the Enchanter? Unlike you, he’s never eaten poop.

        1. Wow, what literary talent and rapier wit! Let’s see if I can match or exceed it, with some OTHER brilliantly smart comments that I have created just now!

          Fuck off, spaz!
          You eat shit, you said so yourself!
          You’re a racist Hitler-lover!
          Take your meds!
          That’s so retarded!
          You’re a Marxist!
          Your feet stink and you don’t love Trump!
          Your source is leftist, so it must be false!
          Trump rules and leftists drool!
          You are SOOO icky-poo!
          But Goo-Goo-Gah-Gah!

          Wow, I am now 11 times as smart and original as you are!

          1. You forgot about the time you said that port-a-potties are buffets.

            1. Question for you: Are all right-wing nut-jobs liars, or only the stupidest ones?

              1. I don’t know, you should ask one.

              2. Youre definitely racist.

              3. “SQRLSY One
                July.2.2020 at 5:11 pm
                Port-a-potties ARE buffets”

                SQRLSY lies about saying it but there it is.

                1. SQRLSY One
                  July.2.2020 at 5:11 pm
                  Port-a-potties ARE buffets, for Tulpa-Satan-Mary-“.”-Mary’s Period! Port-a-potties are ALSO where she likes to hungrily slurp down her yeast-infected twat juices! She TOLD us so!

                  Infantile lying evil twats act like infantile lying evil twats! What a surprise! More news at 11:00!

                  1. You realize posting the rest of it makes you look more crazy, not less, right?

                    1. Wow, what clever wit! Did your mommy help you write that?

                    2. It wasn’t wit. Not even a joke. Just pointing out that’s some crazy shit you said.

                    3. PLEASE ask me if I give a shit about what YOU think!

                    4. Well OK, then; fair enough!

                      But let me explain to you how this works… It’s pretty much pubic knowledge anyway!

                      I only give a shit for Tulpa, because Tulpa PAYS me for my turds, so that Tulpa can eat them!

                  2. Remember when you defended Hitler, Sqrls?

                    “SQRLSY One
                    September.30.2020 at 12:53 pm

                    Yes! This FURTHER proves that Hitler was NOT a racist!
                    Since even Hitler wasn’t a racist, we can pretty firmly conclude that racism isn’t a “thing” at all!”

                    Orangemanbad, Sqrls.

                    1. On the off chance that anyone cares, AND gives a shit about CONTEXT (which liars like Mamma are entirely to dishonest to give a shit about), what was going on here, is that right-wing nut-jobs were being right-wing nut-jobs ass usual, and arguing that Proud Boys could NO WAY EVER be racists, because they accepted members of non-white races! So I pointed out that Hitler allied NAZIs with Japanese “Yellow Aryans”… So Hitler wasn’t racist, either!

                      Disproving stupid ideas with MORE stupid ideas, using the same so-called “logic”, escapes the mentally handicapped among us, though…

                      CRY MORE over imaginary hurtings of Your Precious Baby Feeeeelings, cry-wolf racism-mongerer whiner-crybaby!

                    2. Orangemanbad, Sqrls, you Hitler loving freak.

      2. I can’t get five people in the office to agree on where to go to lunch, but a million Confederate soldiers all fought for the exact same reason? If it was one reason for non-slaveholders, it would need to be a broad one, and that reason might have something to do with the North sending armies to invade the South to destroy the South’s economy, society, and way of life.

        Jean Kirkpatrick made some interesting observations in regards to the differences between totalitarians and authoritarians.

        “Traditional autocrats leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power, status, and other re- sources which in most traditional societies favor an affluent few and maintain masses in poverty. But they worship traditional gods and observe traditional taboos. They do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Because the miseries of traditional life are familiar, they are bearable to ordinary people . . . .

        Precisely the opposite is true of revolutionary Communist regimes. They create refugees by the million because they claim jurisdiction over the whole life of the society and make demands for change that so violate internalized values and habits that inhabitants flee by the tens of thousands in the remarkable expectation that their attitudes, values, and goals will “fit” better in a foreign country than in their native land.

        The abolitionist movement sewed the seeds of feminism, socialism, prohibition–all with the force of religious crusades. It was abolitionism that drove British Imperialism in Africa. The original intent was to stamp out the source of slavery at its roots in Africa, but that was more difficult than they thought. Ever read “Heart of Darkness” or see Apocalypse Now? Turns out the source of injustice is in the minds of the people on the ground, and regardless of whether the liberals back home have their heart in the right place, but destroying peoples’ cultures’ and replacing them with progressive ideals requires brutality, massacres, and enslavement.

        In Kirkpatrick’s terms, the North inflicting its ideology on the South would have provoked a slew of refugees, like when the North overwhelmed southern Vietnam, but with democratic institutions present in the South, they opted for secession instead. For the abolitionists in Britain, the slavers of Nigeria being in a different country wasn’t enough, and it wasn’t enough for the abolitionists of the North for the South to leave the country either. If changing the economy, the society, and the culture required them to burn the South to the ground (slaveholder and non-slaveholder alike), then “Onward Christian Soldiers”. They were religious fanatics after all.

        We’re looking at more or less the same thing from progressives and social justice warriors today. They want to transform both the economy and the society of those who aren’t true believers in their religion, and they aren’t about to let a thing like rights, injustice, or brutality stand in the way. Tony has argued here for ten years that Jews didn’t have a right to their lives during the holocaust–because their government didn’t say so. In full banality of evil style, he’d march libertarian capitalists, racists, homophobes, and misogynists up against the wall tomorrow if the government told him to do so–and he is by no means atypical of people on the left.

        If the Democrats stack the Supreme Court, confiscate our guns, and implement Biden’s Green New Deal, there will be armed insurrection in this country. It may not be as big as it was during the Civil War, but it will happen–for the same reasons the Civil War happened. Traditional Americans are not unarmed like the people of Xinjiang. And when you try to use the coercive power of government to destroy their economy, their mores, they culture, and their way of life, they will fight back.

        1. Semi-OT: The Dems cannot implement most of their plans simply because there are not enough resources. No matter how much Magical Monetary Theory money they print, the resources do not exist to replace all cars, bury all power lines, build solar and wind farms and the concomitant batteries, all within ten years. They couldn’t to it in a century, because the resources do not exist.

          They haven’t got enough MMT to waive all student loans, pay reparations, implement single payer health care, provide free child support, provide years of maternity leave. All their plans require massive amounts of money which simply do not exist. Money represents resources, nothing more: if you double everyone’s pay and freeze prices, nothing will be produced and nothing will be sold.

          They may pass the bills, they may print the money, but all they will end up with is hyperinflation and a landslide loss in 2022.

          1. If the Drug War has taught us anything, it’s that there is no program so unjust, so destructive, and so expensive that the government won’t continue to perpetuate it for decades anyway.

            Meanwhile, things like the Green New Deal scratch people’s itch for religion–which evolved as a fundamental aspect of our neocortex. People want to make sacrifices to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to achieve heaven, and to avoid an apocalypse.

            There will be a big reaction at the polls in 2022, but if the Supreme Court is packed, the guns are illegal, and the Green New Deal is in place, 2022 may already be too late. We may be living in Liz Warren’s and Barry Sanders’ America by then.

            1. No. You don’t understand and you skipped my point. There is not enough real money representing real resources to implement the Dems’ plans. They will either do nothing but cosmetic nothings, or set off hyperinflation and a massive 2022 landslide loss.

              The money does not exist, MMT be damned.

              1. The ten year treasury is still trading at less than 1%. It’s been as high as 15% in my lifetime.


                If the Treasury auctions off $2 trillion with an expiration averaging around ten years, they will find buyers.

                Biden’s first commitment in his Green New Deal is to spend $2 trillion to get to zero emissions on power generation in 15 years. If he has the Supreme Court and the Senate, he can implement that along with severe regulation of carbon emissions in 2021, and the Democrats won’t need to answer for it until 2022.

                The question isn’t whether it’s possible for them to do this. The question is whether we should let them do this by voting for Democrats in 2020.

            2. Barry Sanders was a great running back…..
              and there’s no way they get all that done in two years. It’ll be more of a slow drip, much to the dismay of their far left base.

              They are self important morons, but not suicidal.

              1. Bernie. Barry. Barama-lama-ding dong.

              2. “…and there’s no way they get all that done in two years. It’ll be more of a slow drip, much to the dismay of their far left base.

                They are self important morons, but not suicidal.”

                Normally, I’d agree with you, but after this year? No. They are imprudent and impatient. From their point of view, they will have been rewarded for their subversive behavior, far in excess of what they rationally should have expected looking forward, circa October 2018.

                Why in Hell would they then slow down? I expect a packed Court—for fairness! The other Circuits have 15 judges!—and even more repression for any state that starts complaining. If that means we see COVID-2021, then that’s what’ll magically happen.

                Matthew Yglesias had an article a few weeks ago that could have been nothing but a trial balloon. It advocated a US with 1 billion population, and made arguments for why that would be great, and why naysayers would be wrong to oppose it. They intend to import a population who will be more receptive to their ideas. I see that starting quickly in Jan 2021, following a Biden victory.

        2. I actually agree with everything you say above, with the sole exception that I see, being that I was NOT saying things along the lines of “all the poor young whites fought for the same reasons.” Humans are always complex. They fought for many reasons.

          I wasn’t there (in my current lifetime at the very least!) to see it all, but my humble opinion is that the North made a mistake in invading and subduing the South. Why? Because bullets and bombs and killings are NOT effective ways to “change hearts and minds”! As soon as the North removed the tools of coercion, the South went right back to treating blacks like shit! For many decades! And the North didn’t treat blacks all that terribly much better, after the war, either!

          Ken, thanks, you touched on a lot of stuff!

          I will now import a quote, whose heart and core is somehow relevant… We can NOT sort out the good guys from the bad guys, and have the good guys go kill all the bad guys, and expect decent, long-lasting effects!

          Quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO:
          “It was granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer, and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. And it was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties eitherbut right through every human heartand through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains… an unuprooted small corner of evil.
          “Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: they struggle with the evil inside a human being….. It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.
          And since that time I have come to understand the falsehood of all the revolutions in history: They destroy only those carriers of evil contemporary with them…. And they then take to themselves as their heritage the actual evil itself….”

          SQRLSY comments on the above:

          Alex talks about a LOT of things above, there, and it is all worth a very careful read. The line between good and evil being in each person’s heart is critical; else the inherently arrogant ones amongst us, whose DNA or karma or some such strange thing disposes us towards certain lies, will start spouting (or even just inwardly believing, which is bad enough) things like “Only Christians go to Heaven”… Which then mutates into “Only Baptists go to Heaven”, then “Only the Baptists in MY exact church go to Heaven”, and finally to our intended-from-the-git-go target, “God shines on Me and Me alone”. I think I need not bother to add anything about what kinds of actions may result from this kind of thinking.

          1. Look, the point wasn’t about the Civil War specifically.

            It was about today.

            The same self-righteous willingness to do anything for social justice and the environment–including full throttle hatred of half of your fellow Americans because they’re racist, misogynist, homophobic, and xenophobic–is with us today. The progressives are campaigning on transforming our society, our economy, and our culture using the coercive power of government–like the abolitionists. If and when the progressives stack the Supreme Court, come after our guns, and implement the Green New Deal, we will see armed insurrection in this country for that reason–just like we saw armed insurrection when the North was willing and eager to use the coercive power of government to transform the economy, the culture, and the society of the South.

            It’s about 2020.

            1. “ If and when the progressives stack the Supreme Court, come after our guns, and implement the Green New Deal, we will see armed insurrection in this country for that reason–“

              Yea, but since we will define it as “peaceful protests, “ no one should object; goose/gander.

              1. I think that only works when you’re expressly BLM or anti-fa.

      3. hey sqrlsy.

        Eat me.

    2. Actually, the progressives are a lot like Lincoln — in favor of tyrannical central rule.

      1. Yeah, I was being facetious.

      2. I’m not sure I’d equate ending slavery as, “in favor of tyrannical central rule”.

        1. Slavery depended on tyrannical local rule.

    3. The rank and file CSA soldier was a conscript; there were a lot of draft dodgers. They were not fighting to defend slavery, they were fighting what to local eyes was an invasion. Note that the original CSA did not include the border states which had been leaking slaves for years to the North; it was only when Lincoln took the bait and send Northern ships and troops to rescue Fort Sumter, that the last four CSA states seceded, all border states. The South started the war by bombarding the fort, just as Bismarck started the 1870 Franco-Prussian war by goading the French into declaring war over something insonsequential.

      1. The North was driven by the religious fanaticism of their just cause, and their cause was to destroy the economy, society, and culture of the South. That’s drove a tremendous amount of support for the South.

        The same thing happened to the British in Africa.

        The same thing happened to the U.S. in Afghanistan. We were never about to win their hearts and minds at the point of a gun.

        If the purpose of the Civil War and Reconstruction was to transform the hearts and minds in the South, that was an abysmal failure, as well. And if the purpose of progressives is to transform American society by inflicting social justice and Green socialism on the American people with the coercive power of government, they’re likely to provoke insurrection for that reason alone.

        And having good and pure motives doesn’t change the equation in the least.

        1. One quibble: the North was pissed as hell at the slavocracy and their 3/5 “extra” representation. They were pissed at the South throwing its weight around to turn the post office into censors favoring slavery, at enacting the fugitive slave law to force Northerners into unwilling accomplices of the slavocracy, at forcing slavery into new states.

          If not for the 3/5 votes, the slave states would have withered away, from border states leaking slaves to free states, from deep slave states leaking slaves to border slave states, and from economic inefficiency impoverishing themselves.

          The 3/5 clause was one of the worst parts of the Constitution, unless the alternative had been slave owners casting 5/5 votes of their slaves.

          1. Oppression breeds revolt regardless of whether the oppression is rationalized.

          2. Pretty much like counting illegal aliens in the census. States get more representation then they deserve.

            1. Pretty much, so-called illegal sub-humans ARE today’s slaves! They pay Social Security taxes (along with other taxes to the Government-Almighty tax-slave owners), but can NOT pull Social Security benefits! So… Geezers and soon-to-be-geezers (many of them) like to bitch and moan about illegal sub-humans, while said illegal sub-humans are THEIR tax slaves for propping up THEIR Social Security system!

              See “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one… AKA For details about us natives mooching off of the taxes of the illegal sub-humans, for Social Security…

              1. Well crap; All this time I thought illegal immigrants weren’t traceable. They all have a S.S. numbers!???! Wow, that’s almost like a whole slew of bank robbers using their ID’s and Credit Cards everywhere….

                Will the delusions of the left never end? lol..

                1. READ the fuckin’ article, stubborn moron! Are you capable of that?

                  1. Oh right; excuse me – I’m sure ‘Alexia Fernández Campbell’ know’s all so I guess they all STOLE S.S. numbers. Yep, sounds like what a bank robber/criminal would do.

                    I have a solution to your problem — Abolish the UN-Constitutional S.S. and ‘help’ those ‘poor’ criminals out!!!

                    1. Geez; I wonder how many are voting with ‘identity theft’.

                    2. “Geez; I wonder how many are voting with ‘identity theft’.”

                      Google it and find the consensus on it. This so-called “problem” is nearly non-existent!

                    3. I already did; Illegal Immigration gave CA alone anywhere from 2 to 6 EXTRA House Seats and Electoral Votes. And YES, that is a problem.

                    4. So WHICH members of Congress secured their seats via identity theft? Did a few of them show some OTHER person’s ID to get themselves elected? Why don’t you be a Hero for Democracy, and identify the ID-stealing CongressPersons, and get them REMOVED?

                    5. Geez; Really??? Do yourself a favor and go to wikipedia and search for ‘electoral vote’ and try getting your information from any other source than Fernandez’s lefty propaganda articles on Atlantic.

                      Every illegal is a fraud vote in CA because they are all counted to create a congressional house-member which in turn creates an electoral vote (actually more like 4-extra votes).

                      That illegal population in CA is representing more than entire States! More than ID or WY or MT or ND or SD or 6-others on the East. MORE than 12 of the USA States.. And that’s JUST IN CA!

                    6. You moved the goalposts! It WAS ID theft, and now it is allocation of Congressional seats!

                      So-called illegal sub-human law-breakers are by definition of an unknown number or count. We do not KNOW! We make GUESSES!

                      Nothing is ever perfect! There are COSTS to everything! If you ask people If they are illegal humans or not, many LEGAL HUMANS will be afraid of the census takers! You know, census takers are now part of the Long Arm of the Law… And, on a regular basis, USA citizens DO get shoved across the border (mostly into Mexico) by Government Almighty! It happens! Being scared of the census-takers IS a real issue! Don’t look too Hispanic, USA citizen, or you will get shoved into Mexico!

                      Also, if you are afraid that “one citizen, one vote” is endangered, go ye and fix a MUCH bigger problem, which has persisted for many a decade! Highly populated states (think CA and NY and TX) get 2 Senators, and lightly populated states (think Alaska and RI) get the same! Ridiculous! FAR more so than imperfectly allocated House seats!

                    7. “We do not KNOW! We make GUESSES!” — well your article about all those stolen S.S. funds gives us a pretty good guess would you say? Or now are you pretending your own source is F.O.S.?

                      The Union of “States” has 2-parts to congress; one representing population (house) and one representing each state (senate). It’s actually amazingly brilliant. Pretending the Senate shouldn’t exist is pretending the States don’t exist. (WHICH HUMOROUSLY – The lefty view seem to do this compulsively and think the federal is the only government around).

                    8. Speaking of “Moving Goalposts”
                      I have a solution to your problem — Abolish the UN-Constitutional S.S. and ‘help’ those ‘poor’ criminals out!!!

    4. Delightful, Ken. It took me a second.

      Like some of Jerryskids better posts.

  8. “Naylor attracted a stalwart and colorful band to his project, ranging from the diplomat George Kennan (the author of the Cold War “containment” policy had come to view the United States as overly confining…”

    Chuckle. Progressive secessionists trying to shanghai
    Kennan into their orbit, well, do so with the understanding that he loathed not just democracy, but every resident constituent of progressivism.

    He’d have-maybe-endorsed secession with the proviso that women, blacks and gays sit in the back row. Permanently.

  9. The United States government had simply grown too large for meaningful representative government.

    FTFY. It is not the country‘s size which is too big, but the government‘s size, ie, its invasive intrusiveness and control of daily life. Government by nature only rules in all-or-none fashion. It has no means of tailoring its actions to individuals. One rule does not fit all very often, and the more it tries to cram its single rules down everybody’s individual throats, the more it hamstrings the spontaneous organization which is the hallmark of free markets, which is what supposedly made this country so great.

    “Government” is neither country nor society. Too many people conflate them.

    1. Yeah. Ticks me off when the president is said to “run the country.” Nope. The president runs the executive branch of the federal government. The country is run by millions of people making billions of decisions every day, not the assholes with the last word in violence.

      1. Just wait. When the Covid vaccine comes out it will be “Trumps Vaccine” I am already seeing that.

        I get this mental picture of Trump in his secret basement lab in the White House surrounded by beakers and blinking lab equipment.

  10. You guys are pretty quick to give up some very profitable real estate. California alone is over 14% of GDP. New York over 8%.

    Then think about those lovely ports and transportation.

    Conservotopia would lose a lot of wealth and productivity.

    1. That does assume that the liberal city states and conservatopia wouldn’t be able to get along as trade partners. Perhaps, if they weren’t fighting over a dozen “wedge” issues, like abortion, they would be able to get along fine if mutual profit were involved.

      1. It’d be more like India and Pakistan.

      2. Sure there would have to be trade but those two states for example produce more per capita than the central states. That is a lot of revenue. They would be better off actually not having to support West Virginia. One thing Coumo kept harping about was NY sends more money to Washington than they get back and he was probably right about that.

        1. … and after session, NY and CA would raise their income taxes about 25-30% and opening the borders, bringing socialtopia to the world.

          It’s a wonder CA and NY don’t go for that. I guess they’re having too much fun giving fly over country what they deserve?

          1. They might actually close the borders more. Socialists are not much into open immigration.

            About flyover country you could make a nice country out of PA, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Maybe throw in Wisconsin. Then the southern states could form their own.

        2. Good for them. So everybody is happy!

        3. How will that look without water, electricity and food after leftopia has their armed rural serf revolt let alone the shifts in GDP due to the inevitable rounds of leftist taxation.

          1. ^Exactly; seems everyone forgot – welfare and taxation is part of the GDP figure. NY and CA are ‘trade’ resellers and entertainment for the most part so their GDP isn’t actually a figure of produce at all.

    2. “Give up”? What are other states supposed to be giving up if the country splits? Alabama doesn’t own the economic output of California in the first place.

      (Besides, much of the GDP of NY and CA is due to regulatory capture and government spending. Hopefully, standing on their own, they would become more productive and efficient.)

    3. You think rural California would agree to split off? I doubt anything outside metro San Francisco and Sacramento would go including L.A.

    4. You guys are pretty quick to give up some very profitable real estate. California alone is over 14% of GDP. New York over 8%.

      You ever look at a voting map of those states? If either tried to secede, the red areas would go West Virginia and tell the blue-voting areas to fuck off.

      I’d say a better solution would be to increase the number of states, by turning the large blue-voting metros into their own state and splitting them off from the red areas. The rest of Illinois would be scrambling to split themselves off from Cook County, for example. Colorado should be split into a Front Range/Ski Resort state surrounded by the rest. California should be split into the SF-SD corridor and the rest of the state. New York should be split between the five boroughs and Long Island, and the upstate area. Same with Washington state and King County, or the I-5 corridor in Oregon and the rest of the state.

      The progressives are lying when they complain about not being fairly represented by citing just the Senate, as they always seem to omit the House. They don’t argue in good faith, but breaking off their enclaves from the rest of the states would at least provide more aligned representation. You really think upstate New York likes having a couple of New York City shitlibs representing them in the Senate?

      1. There have been movements in the past to have the non-NYC counties of Long Island secede from the Empire State. The nearly 3 million people in Nassau and Suffolk counties would not enjoy being milked for tax money by the 8 million plus in the metropolis anymore than the folks in Westchester County would. Bridging the Sound and re-joining Connecticut would get support, if Fair Paumanok couldn’t go it alone. There have been calls to have the entire Island secede from New York since the 19th century, or for the two Eastern counties to go it alone. Heck, the South Fork on the East End once had a plan to join other islands off the Atlantic coast in the independent WindmillAntilles !

    5. Building a port in a rural area is easier than farming, drilling for oil and harvesting natural resources in a city.
      Also, most of rural California doesn’t vote like LA or San Francisco.

    6. Conservotopia wouldn’t loose anything but a lot of expensive bureaucracy and a little entertainment.

      1. Or put another way; A state “supposedly” creating 14% of GDP cannot even keep the lights on at night.

  11. I suspect that if Trump is reelected, progressives will suddenly not have a problem with secession. California, Oregon and Washington will secede to form Leftopia. New York and Massachusetts won’t secede though — they want to run things.

    1. I suspect if Trump is re-elected, the left will continue in their newfound regard for states rights.

      1. Which will again become synonymous with racism as soon as they win the White House again.

        1. Yeah, probably. Consistency between how you behave when in power and how you behave when you are out of power, who needs that?!

  12. Indeed, lawyers should be banned at least from legislative office.
    Laws are often designed and enforced for the purpose of profiting lawyers — divorce laws intended to bribe women to divorce (consequently impoverishing men), for example.
    Would you play a board game where one player was allowed to change and make up rules?

    1. They should also be barred from SCOTUS. Nine fricken Lawyers cannot simply understand a 15 page document. They slice their decisions so thin that lawyers can continue to sue seemingly forever.

      The late RGB advised countries not to adopt the US Constitution and Breyer even stated he would look to foreign laws regarding his decision. Even the so called conservatives don’t respect it. Maybe we should expand the court. 50 justices empaneled by each state and one Chief justice put in place by the Feds. They can telecommute for their sessions.

  13. (If history is a reliable guide, this last-named band will turn coat the day after the next Democrat is elected president, while Trumpian nationalists will experience sudden secessionist epiphanies.)

    And libertarians, currently branded as liberals by the reactionary right (redundant I know), will suddenly be branded as raging conservatives by the left.

    1. Actually we are lumped in with raging conservatives by the left. They consider us racists and we are opposed to their collectivist programs.

      The right sees us as an opportunity. They just look at issues and are generally unaware of or ignore libertarian principles. You see that when they present checklist type arguments “ see Trump did XYZ which makes him more libertarian” when he is not libertarian at all.

      Most people can only think on one axis.

      1. I was thinking more about Reason comments. Obtuse conservatives (again I repeat myself) view is as leftists because we don’t worship their god king. But as soon as they lose the White House the actual leftists will return and accuse us of being conservatives for being critical of their dear leader.

        1. I have a hard time even defining conservative in the age of Trump. His only guide seems to be himself and whatever he thinks about something that day.

          1. I find it humorous how lefty indoctrination has seemingly convinced the world that ‘Conservative’ must mean ‘preserving existing conditions’.

            Instead of a Restrained Government.

            1. At least since Buckley founded <i<National Review, conservatism in the US has been a fusion of sometimes conflicting issue matrices, as opposed to a consistent ideology. Fans of laissez faire economics and traditionalists who liked their statism served up locally rather than from the central government never really had much in common. Anti-communism was the glue that held all the factions together. I used to think that, an external threat to free enterprise and civil liberties having become remote, the Goldwater/Reagan coalition would fracture, but I couldn’t have told you what would replace it. One had hoped a split between religiously-motivated statists and individualists have resulted in a stronger “conservative” movement in the classical liberal/libertarian radition, but instead we got a regurgitation of the the Old Right’s protectionism and nativism in Trumpism, with Main Street and Wall Street acquiescing.

    2. Trump just did it himself with his see I didn’t go to war so you libertarians should like me.

      It doesn’t make him libertarian at all. It is just that Trump happens to be averse to war among all the other things Trumpism entails.

      In the meantime he keeps pumping money into the military and everything else like there were no limits.

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  16. This only makes sense if you ignore the upsides of Union: Free movement of goods and people. Free movement of goods and people has higher economic returns than just about any other policy. Plus, it means that if you don’t like the politics of your state or your city, then you can vote with your feet. Suppose that California Secedes from the Union then the states right-ring communities secede from California: The right-wingers who live in L.A. or San Francisco won’t necessarily have the legal right to enter the new conservative states or remaining members of the Union. Even if they do, going through immigration is an expensive hassle, and California might impose an exit tax. It would be much more painful than moving from state to state is now. So not as many people would do it.

    1. I don’t see anything there but a lot of assertions. Switzerland isn’t part of the EU but it has none of those problems.

      1. A sparsely populated mountainous country doesn’t have the same problems as California? Who’d a thunk it?

    2. Higher economic returns for who?

  17. I heard that, while it’s unconstitutional for states to secede, you can get around that with a Declaration of Independence. The pen is mightier than the sword.

    1. lol… Right; The last time the USA wrote a Declaration of Independence was at the end of the Revolutionary War.


    4chan exploited a bug in the OR and WA voter websites wherein they can CANCEL and change someone’s vote

    1. I’d hold off before getting too excited about this. The biggest issue I’m seeing so far with it is that it has horrible privacy protection. Doxing someone is a piece of cake. But I don’t think there’s any confirmation here that they can actually change votes.

  19. I’d be fine ending the federal government and replacing with a confederation or commonwealth. I see no need for California or New York or Texas to tell my state what to do. I don’t particularly want or need a federal military or police. They spend like drunken sailors and try to force their version of morals down people’s throats. No thanks.

    1. I don’t particularly want or need a federal military or police.
      Pretty sure you’ll feel differently after those are both gone and ISIS shows up demanding your head.

  20. Secession be damned!
    I want a way to force out states, not keep them in!
    Hi, WA, CA, OR can all be combined into the new nation of Pacifica.
    New York City can be split off from New York like West Virginia was.
    DC can just be fenced in, preferably while congress is in session.

  21. President Trump might well introduce those angry-faced white girls throwing Molotov cocktails and hissy fits to the M1 Abrams Tank.

    Fuck Yeah!

  22. Blue states are the problem. When they want single-payer healthcare, they insist it be done at the federal level. Nothing is stopping them from providing it to their own citizens if they like. There is much that blue states could do on their own to get where they say they want to go. They can abolish their police forces if they like. They can try to provide free college. But then there are the individual and clearly unconstitutional restrictions on speech, religious tests for office, restrictions on the press, banning gun ownership, etc. When it comes to those individual rights, the constitution must govern.

    Our current model no longer works, I guess, since there is broad agreement on the far left about speech restrictions, racial discrimination, education as indoctrination, etc., the only rational step is secession. The left coast can unite into their own nation and they can check all the boxes on their wishlist. New England can also secede and form another small country with strong ties to the left coast. People who do not wish to participate can leave. People who want to live under those policies can move in.

    I’m so exhausted by all the infighting that I am almost hopeful that this will happen. I’m also 100% in for the Republic of Texas (but we have to do it before Texas becomes California since so many who love California’s idea of democracy come here). I honestly don’t see any other way.

    We need a divorce.

    1. “When they want single-payer healthcare, they insist it be done at the federal level. Nothing is stopping them from providing it to their own citizens if they like.”

      What’s stopping them is ‘Red State’ resources. Exactly the same reason we have massive immigration issues. It’s not about *creating* anything it’s about conquering and consuming.

      Lefties truly believe that –
      .. of which they deceptively sell with the slogan of ..
      “Sell your souls to the [WE] foundation because you don’t own you [WE] own you.”

      I implore everyone to take notice of this during any debate – how many times a left-leaning person refers to POWER = WEALTH.

  23. Kauffman’s analysis lacks “glue.” Mercantile monopole-colony systems enrich the the one by bleeding the other. Replacing England as the monopole was reason enough for the yankee Revolution which replaced the Acts of Navigation with tariff walls. Those protected northern industries but sparked the Nullification Crisis. Both sides blinked when Jackson explained the situation but the Norrill tariff of May 1860 was another “Tariff of Abominations” fobbed off on Lincoln for him to enforce next March. Texas Confederates promptly seized armories… Slavery was primarily an economic, structural issue.

    1. The Morrill Tariff passed because of resignations from Congress by members who represented Southern states that had declared for secession, in March, 1861. It did pass the House in 1860, but not the Senate.

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  26. “Seven hundred thousand men died in an abattoir that, while it had the salutary effect of ending the wicked institution of slavery, was declared and fought, at first, for an abstraction called “Union.” The men who conceived this Union four score years earlier would scarce have believed it.”

    What nonsense.

    The Founders were roughly evenly divided between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Several Federalists are on record from the Constitutional convention as wanting to reduce the individual states to mere corporations, fully subject to the federal government. The idea that any of the founders from the Federalist faction would have supported the notion of a peaceful succession is delusional.

    1. That’s not true. Any of the founders from the Federalist faction would be astounded by the completely unrecognizable government we have now. They never would have imagined that any of this would be tolerated.

      1. It’s completely true. The Federalists wanted an essentially unlimited federal government. It was the Anti-Federalists who supported a limited national government.

  27. “A loose federation of states, as existed under the Articles of Confederation—or even a continent of smallish republics—would be preferable to the current madness.”

    I totally agree.

    There is no representative self-government in the U.S. now. It’s a total disaster.

    If you have any sense of reality about history and the kind of government that was created at the founding of the U.S., you have to wonder why we even pretend that the U.S. founding is still relevant. We aren’t that any more. We scarcely resemble that at all.

    We could be headed for disaster, as all of our biggest problems WILL continue to grow worse unless we willingly make structural changes. We may have a lot of cultural and institutional strength still to squander and fritter away slowly, unfortunately.

    1. And the elephant in the room?
      “We aren’t that any more. We scarcely resemble that at all.” ………………………….. and it’s a total disaster.

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