Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Consideration of Secession Part I

Revision 11/18/12 - I know that my stated position on the Confederacy is as brief as can be and that there are a ton of factors involved, but I needed to describe my position in a tiny nutshell in order to contrast the position of the Southern States with what we face today. The beginning of this post threatens to create a firestorm, but I ask that the reader sit tight for a few very short paragraphs to see that I only include these in order to lead up to the main point - what lies before us right now.
I have long held, and continue to do so, that the States that seceded and formed the Confederacy had no real arguments to support their position. If we apply the same concepts of self-determination that the American Founders did, it is clear that the South jumped the gun. Those who signed their names to the Declaration of Independence were able to list a "long train of abuses" that had been committed by the Crown against the erstwhile Colonies. Whether these abuses were real or perceived is not the issue - the Colonies simply were able to cite several examples of what the Crown had done, or failed to do. They were also able to list their own attempts to reconcile the differences with the Crown and the results of those actions.

The South had no such argument. Lincoln was elected President, but he still had to wait quite some time before her could assume the Office. The election was November 6th and the inauguration was not until the following March at the time. Just over a month had passed before South Carolina started the ball rolling.

Lincoln was an astute and prudent man. He knew fully well that he could not target slavery in current slave states and therefore he gave his word that he would not interfere with the horrific institution. Nothing was going to change the way that the South did things.

Despite these facts, the Confederacy was illegally created, US government property was seized, and a vicious war ensued.

This is the shortest explanation that I can give in order to assert why I am a Lincoln man and vociferously opposed to those who defend the actions of those who formed the Confederacy.

This is also why I can say that things are immeasurably different today, and that secession must be considered.

Our nation was designed as a representative republic. Governments of this type tend to work quite well for smaller nations, and the fact that ours (In a very large country)  functioned for so long is a credit to the minds of those who crafted our Constitution.

For Part 1, I will deal only with the Supreme Court. I think that this is an appropriate starting point as the Court is not supposed to make or execute, laws, but (When it comes to laws specifically) be the final barrier to laws that infringe upon our rights. In the Federalist Papers, pro-Constitution essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in the days when the Constitution was being debated, the Supreme Court is presented as a final check and a proof that the new Government would not be free to legislate away the freedoms of the people.

Although the  Constitution did not specify the concept of judicial review, Marbury v. Madison, a landmark decision by the court, was the principle means by which the Court defined its own authority. From that point on, the Supreme Court would have the final say on cases brought before it and have the power to declare a law Constitutional or not.

This worked well most of the time, but in the 20th century, the system began to fall apart.

The first was Wickard v. Fillburn, in which the Court upheld a draconian FDR-era law that resulted in a man being fined for growing more than the allowed amount of grain on his own farm. Threatened with Justice-packing by the Mussolini and Stalin-admiring FDR (The President threatened to change the number from nine Justices and add more who would follow his lead), the Court ruled that, because the farmer may be able to grow enough grain to enable him to feed his own livestock without buying grain, the farmer's actions could be regulated under the Commerce Clause.

The next nail in the coffin was Kelo V. New London. Here the concept of eminent domain morphed from the state forcing the sale of private property in order to serve a public need (Roads, Schools, etc.) to a governing body being able to condemn a person's home in order to sell it to a private developer. There would not even be a need to prove that the municipality was in dire need of funds - all it had to say was that it could make more money from selling the property and maybe receive more tax revenue from the newly-developed seized properties.

The most recent and egregious case was on Obamacare. Here the Federal government could not only compel a person to purchase something (Insurance is merely the foot in the door for far more), the Court is now effectively able to assign new meanings to the law. The compulsion to purchase can, with no legislation or tax code to cite, be considered to be a tax.

I find no reason to believe that things will improve in time to arrest the collapse of what is left of our freedoms. The Court will see at least one more (Possibly three) new appointments in Obama's second term.

With this in mind, I assert that it is time to consider putting my beloved Republic to rest. The nation is divided into two diametrically opposed camps.

One is a coalition of takers, people-controllers, haters of our history, rabid atheists, and those who promulgate not all sorts of sexual license but the codifying of these into law (No governing body ever had the authority to define what marriage is - the institution existed long before governments). Regulating abuse of marriage is the only power that the State can have.

The other are those who work and pay taxes, are weary of a system that berates all the accomplishments of Western Civilization, either attend Church/Synagogue or at least have no problem with some public recognition of our spiritual foundations, are concerned with the piling-up of governmental regulations and surveillance, and are generally guilty of the high crime of desiring that the US hold to its traditional outlook and method of government.

If States that traditionally vote for Conservative candidates take steps towards secession, the outcome in no way has to be bad. Those who live in "Red States" but prefer the Progressive )Read -Leftist) outlook can move to "Blue States" if they so desire . Blue-Staters would similarly have the right to relocate to a Red State.

This is not an impossible feat - The USSR, which was a far larger nation, did the same things a mere twenty years ago. It took a while for things to get back on track but it worked. The back and forth migration of people to also has an historical background. In the wake of the Protestant Reformation, Catholics left the United Provinces) Modern Netherlands) and moved to what today is Belgium. Protestants left the latter to live in the Netherlands. The exact same thing happened in Germany; Protestants often moved from Catholic German States to Lutheran ones and vice-versa.

The hateful and thuggish behavior can also go away. Elections signs and bumper stickers would no longer be cause for vandalism or assaults. Both sides get the manage their governments in the manner that they please.

The National debt could be evenly divided, and both sides can service their debt shares.All revenues, including income taxes, will remain within their respective nations.

We must allow that their can be, like the European Union (Not that I am a fan of that group), a measure of cooperation between the two bodies. This would include the possibility of jointly-administered armed forces.

This would entail the stepping down of the US as a world leader, but we cannot keep that role going anyway. We don't have the money, and the world will survive without us.

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