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The New American
The New American
1 Apr 2023
Luis Miguel


NextImg:Secession Debate: Is the Union Worth Saving?
Luis Miguel
Article audio provided by the John Birch Society

Is there still any truth left to the saying, “United we stand?” Or has the usefulness of the Union run its course?

Tensions between the major factions in our country — which are no longer merely political factions, but socio-cultural-religious-political factions — are rapidly being exacerbated by impactful events such as the recent slaughter of young Christian students by a trans shooter in Nashville and the unprecedented indictment of a former president, Donald Trump, by a politically motivated DA with ties to socialist oligarch George Soros.

With these tensions growing, it’s natural that Americans are asking themselves about the viability of secession. On the surface, conservative states would avoid many of the social and political ills being forced on them by a Marxist-globalist Washington, D.C., and its Democrat state enablers by means of a breakaway from the Union.

In a previous article, I addressed  the constitutionality of secession and demonstrated, by a simple application of the Constitution’s 10th Amendment, that secession is perfectly legal and constitutional.

The next important question is whether secession is a sound strategy for the purpose of saving our freedoms. As will be seen in the following paragraphs, there are more effective solutions that should be explored. Among them is nullifcation by the states of unconstitutional policies from Washington, D.C.

That said, it’s more than fair to say that the interest in secession is understandable given the outright theft the federal government has perpetrated on the states and the people, the endless list of crimes federal agencies such as the CIA and FBI have committed against American citizens, the evidence of electoral fraud, the jeopardizing of our national security by politicians selling the nation out communist China and other bad faith actors, the forcing of LGBT propaganda on the people, and myriad other grievances.

Recall that the Declaration of Independence unequivocally states “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

We met that standard a long time ago.

But we must still decide whether secession is viable. That is, now that we have established that secession is both constitutional and morally justifiable at this time, it is still important to determine whether secession is really in the best interest of Americans or whether there are other options worth pursuing.

After all, a person can have both the law and morality on one’s side for a given choice, yet still decide against that choice for any number of prudent reasons.

We can use the analogy of a marriage — it’s appropriate, given the popular framing of secession as a “National Divorce.” A spouse in a marriage may have the legal right to file for divorce (as people do in this country) and may additionally have very strong moral grounds for wanting to pursue a divorce (such as being the victim of infidelity), yet, for personal reasons, may decide to remain in the marriage and work things out.

Applying this to the states that comprise the Union: Is there more to be lost or to be gained from secession?

There’s no question that there’s much to be gained by secession, as can be clearly seen based on the aforementioned grievances states rightfully hold against the federal government.

But what can be lost? One important consideration is the very reason for which the original American states found it in their interest to create a federation — the United States of America — in the first place. It’s the most basic function of government, the one Washington should be focused on instead of “trans rights” and abortion: National defense.

The federation known as the United States of America is, first and foremost, supposed to operate as a system of mutual defense against those who would seek to do harm to the citizens of the states.

If the United States broke into various independent states, the extreme that some in the secession movement advocate, then one must ask whether, under such a condition, the states would be in a safer or more perilous position.

Looking to history for guidance, one is confronted by example after example of the perpetually uncertain situation in which small states inevitably find themselves when trying to exist in a world dominated by great powers.

Medieval Italy perfectly illustrates this principle. For the most part, the Italian city states were sanctuaries of wealth and culture in a Europe that was still maturing and developing after the fall of Rome. Individually, Italian states such as Florence, Naples, and Milan were economic powerhouses with strong individual identities that had no need for an overarching “Italian” union.

However, the fact that they were small and separate made them subject to the whims and ambitions of other European powers. While the Italian city states were by no means pushovers, and in many instances were able to beat back powerful invading armies, they nonetheless often suffered from being conquered by one larger nation or another.

And what made it easier for these larger powers to conquer was the competitiveness between the city states; they were often embroiled in wars against each other, making the tactic of “divide and conquer” all too easy.

This is why smaller states have so often realized the usefulness of joining into leagues, federations, and confederations: The Dutch Republic, the Holy Roman Empire. Even the ancient Greeks understood the value of putting their differences aside to join together for mutual defense against common enemies such as the Persians.

Given the rise of global superpowers, most notably China, that seek to cripple America, a division of the union into several parts, or even 50 individual states, would inevitably, in a matter of time, lead to interstate war and invasion by larger nations.

In the face of this reality, Americans would do well to strive to restore constitutional federalism that provides for common defense while preserving states’ rights.