• Without possibility of secession, there is nothing to stop the feds from continued theft of liberty
By Congressman Ron Paul
Is all the recent talk of secession mere sour grapes over the election, or perhaps something deeper? Currently there are active petitions in support of secession for all 50 states, with Texas taking the lead in number of signatures. Texas has well over the number of signatures needed to generate a response from the administration, and while I wouldn’t hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.
Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States? Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War. On the contrary, the principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding. Clearly Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit a last resort. Writing to William Giles in 1825, he concluded that states “should separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers.”
Keep in mind that the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplates the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical.
Do we have a “government without limitation of powers” yet? The federal government kept the union together through violence and force in the Civil War, but did might really make right?
Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those “traitors” became our country’s greatest patriots.
There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents. That is what our Revolutionary War was all about and today our own federal government is vastly overstepping its constitutional bounds with no signs of reform.
In fact, the recent election only further entrenched the status quo. If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.
Consider the ballot measures that passed in Colorado and Washington state regarding marijuana laws. The people in those states have clearly indicated that they are ready to try something different where drug policy is concerned, yet they will still face a tremendous threat from the federal government. In California, the feds have been arresting peaceful medical marijuana users and raiding dispensaries that state and local governments have sanctioned. This shouldn’t happen in a free country.
It remains to be seen what will happen in states that are refusing to comply with the deeply unpopular mandates of Obamacare by not setting up healthcare exchanges. It appears the federal government will not respect those decisions either.
In a free country, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. When the people have very clearly withdrawn their consent for a law, the discussion should be over. If the feds refuse to accept that and continue to run roughshod over the people, at what point do we acknowledge that that is not freedom anymore?
At what point should the people dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with an increasingly tyrannical and oppressive federal government? And if people or states are not free to leave the United States as a last resort, can they really think of themselves as free?
If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly consider themselves free.
Ron Paul, a medical doctor, is a Republican member of the U.S. Congress who represents the 14th District of Texas. Call his weekly update line toll free at 1-888-322-1414 or visit his website.
Dissolution Could Be Better Option for States Than All-Out Secession
• People can withdraw their consent to be ruled by corrupt government
By Mark Anderson
Looking at recent headlines about citizens in the 50 states wanting to secede from the federal government, it’s tempting to conclude that they should secede from the federal union due to widespread disgust over Washington’s mismanagement and suffocating central control. But another important concept puts the idea of secession in a new light and suggests there is an alternative in case the White House ignores the people.
That other concept, rarely discussed, is dissolution of the Union. In this context, dissolution means that the modern federal government, through layers of radical statutes, executive orders and harmful constitutional amendments, has departed from the people’s intended constitutional order to such an extreme degree that it has become a different government, alien to the original system laid down by the nation’s founders. Therefore, the constitutional government we’re supposed to be living under has been dissolved.
“You wouldn’t secede from a dissolved government anymore than you would divorce a deceased spouse,” said Ron Avery, a Texas patriot well versed in the writings of America’s founders.
AMERICAN FREE PRESS sat down with Avery to gain a better understanding of this perspective. As Avery sees it, the issue boils down to this: Since the states and their people, which created the original federal government, are being ruled by a rogue regime that reset the dials so much that it overthrew the original constitutional order, then seceding from that unlawful, alien regime is a form of tacit acknowledgement of that imposter government’s legitimacy.
“You don’t secede from a dead union—[instead] you declare it dissolved,” Avery said.
Those freed states could stay separate or form their own unions, he added.
Avery stressed what he sees as a major flaw of secession: It basically “leaves in place” the rogue federal regime that rules its United States subjects and controls most of the world by force and fear.
However, under dissolution, the people and the states in which they live withdraw their consent to be ruled, and they do so without “going” anywhere. If even one state would be so bold as to declare the facts of the constitutional government’s dissolution, this observation could spread to where the legitimacy of the federal regime is seriously undermined and, with sustained effort, declared void.
Looking back at the War Between the States, Avery said: “Secession state by state . . . is suicide.”
Any seceding states would make themselves look like radicals, he added, and could potentially be militarily subdued by the federal government as during the War Between the States.
The federal government is only supposed to operate according to the Constitution’s specified grants of power from “We, the People.” But to depart from the Constitution in drastic enough ways is, in the final analysis, to practice a new government that has no authority to rule—and yet it still rules without authority granted to it by the people.
That, says Avery, is the true definition of tyranny.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Listen to Mark’s weekly radio show and email him at [email protected]