Social Peace Through Secession
by Patrick J. Buchanan: Who’s
Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?
“When in the
course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve
the political bands which have connected them with another …”
So begins the
Declaration of Independence of the 13 colonies from the king and
country to which they had given allegiance since the settlers first
came to Jamestown and Plymouth Rock.
was signed by 56 angry old white guys who had had enough of what
the Cousins were doing to them. In seceding from the mother country,
these patriots put their lives, fortunes and honor on the line.
and five years later, 11 states invoked the same right “to dissolve
the political bands” of the Union and form a new nation. After 620,000
had perished, the issue of a state’s right to secede was settled
at Appomattox. If that right had existed, it no longer did.
What are we
to make, then, of petitions from 25,000 citizens of each of seven
Southern states â€“ 116,000 from Texas alone â€“ to secede?
While no one
takes this movement as seriously as men took secession in 1861,
the sentiments behind it ought not to be minimized. For they bespeak
a bristling hostility to the federal government and a dislike bordering
on detestation of some Americans for other Americans, as deep as
it was on the day Beauregard’s guns fired on Fort Sumter.
of Allegiance still speaks of “one nation under God, indivisible,”
but that is far from the reality in the America of 2012.
cultural, moral and political revolutions of the 1960s, against
which Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan inveighed to win their 49-state
triumphs, have now captured half of the country.
believes our history is a catalog of crimes against people of color,
that women have an inviolable right to abortions, that condoms should
be handed out to sexually active teens in schools where Darwinism
should be taught as revealed truth, while Bibles, prayers and religious
symbols should be permanently expelled.
The other America
sees all this as unpatriotic, godless and decadent.
believes in equality of rights; the other demands equality of results
brought about through the redistribution of income and wealth, affirmative
action, racial and gender set-asides, and quotas.
believes in gun control; the other in gun rights.
Now that Christmas
and Easter have been expunged from public schools and the public
square and the popular culture has been thoroughly de-Christianized,
we Americans seem to have but one holy day of obligation that brings
us all together: Super Bowl Sunday.
Where one America
divinizes diversity, the other seeks out our lost unity and community.
Half the country pays no federal income taxes, but half depends
on federal benefits.
when we come together as one, as after 9/11 and during natural disasters
such as Katrina and Sandy, seem few and farther between, and the
resurrected unity rarely lasts.
America come together to build an interstate highway system or send
astronauts to the moon, as we did just seven years after John Glenn
first orbited the Earth?
would have killed Ike’s highway system and the Hoover and Grand
Coulee dams, as today they seek to stop the fracking for oil and
natural gas and block the Keystone XL pipeline.
As for states
seceding, however, is that really a solution to national disintegration?
Tens of millions with Blue State mindsets live in Red State America,
and vice versa. While folks in Texas may talk of seceding from the
Union, folks in Austin talk of seceding from Texas.
Yet we should
take seriously what is behind this desire to separate and sever
ties, for it mirrors what is happening across our civilization.
The West is
seek to cut ties to the European Union. Scots want to leave Britain.
Catalans vote to divorce from Spain, to which they have been wedded
since the 15th century. Flemish talk of leaving Walloons behind
in Belgium. Northern Europeans are weary of carrying their profligate
southern brethren and muse about cutting Greece adrift and letting
it float out into the Mediterranean.
are already seceding from one another â€“ ethnically, culturally,
politically. Middle-class folks flee high-tax California, as Third
World immigrants, legal and illegal, pour in to partake of the cornucopia
of social welfare benefits the Golden Land dispenses.
states like New York now send tens of thousands of pension checks
to Empire State retirees in tax-free Florida. Communities of seniors
are rising that look like replicas of the suburbs of the 1950s.
People gravitate toward their own kind. Call it divorce, American-style.
William Bishop called “The Big Sort” â€“ the sorting out of people
by political beliefs â€“ proceeds. Eighteen states have gone Democratic
in six straight presidential elections. A similar number have gone
“Can we all
just get along?” asked Rodney King during the Los Angeles riot of
1992. Well, if we can’t, we can at least dwell apart.
it’s a big country.
J. Buchanan [send
him mail] is co-founder and editor of The
American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books,
the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill,
Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Suicide
of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? See his
Â© 2012 Creators Syndicate