Secession in the Air
No, it is not
But with all the talk of the 10th
amendment, nullification and interposition, states
rights and secession—following Gov. Rick Perry`s
misstatement that Texas, on entering the Union in 1845,
reserved in its constitution a right to secede—one might
Looking back in American history,
however, these ideas, these sentiments, decried as
insane inside the Beltway, were once as American as
“The Midnight Ride
of Paul Revere.”
"I hold it that a
now and then
is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world
as storms in the physical," wrote
Jefferson to Madison from Paris in
January 1787, about Revolutionary War
Captain Daniel Shays`s anti-tax rebellion in
In the Virginia and Kentucky
resolutions, both of these founding fathers sanctioned
the idea that states could interpose their own
sovereignty and nullify acts of Congress. Both were
enraged by the
Alien and Sedition Acts of Adams and the
Federalists, written into law to combat sedition during
the undeclared naval war with France.
On taking office, President
Jefferson declared the acts unconstitutional, refused to
prosecute those charged, and freed the imprisoned
Timothy Pickering, another veteran of the Revolution
and Secretary of State to both Washington and Adams, was
a force behind the
Hartford Convention that argued for New England`s
secession and reuniting with Great Britain.
Massachusetts opposed Madison`s War of 1812 that had
caused the British blockade that destroyed their trade
The war`s end and
Jackson`s victory at New Orleans, however, aborted
the Hartford movement and finished off the Federalists
In 1832, it was Vice President John
Calhoun who inspired South Carolina to vote to nullify
Tariff of Abomination that was killing the
cotton-exporting South and enriching Northern
manufacturers. To the chagrin of Madison, Calhoun
invoked his and Jefferson`s Virginia and Kentucky
resolutions in defense of Carolinian defiance.
In 1845, it was Massachusetts
John Quincy Adams declared that admission of Texas
to the Union as a slave state might constitute grounds
for secession and civil war.
With Lincoln`s election in 1860 and
Republicans, the Northern party, assuming power, South
Carolina, Georgia and the Gulf states seceded.
But not until
after Fort Sumter, when Lincoln called for volunteers to
march South and crush the rebellion, did Virginia, North
Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas secede, rather than
remain passive or participate in
on their kinfolk.
Unlike the issues of yesteryear
that tore the Union asunder, Tea Party issues are not
sectional but national. Yet, they are rooted in a
similar set of beliefs—that the federal government no
longer serves their interests, but the interests of
economic and political forces that sustain the party in
In 1860, the South saw power
passing indefinitely to a new regime, a Republican Party
that represented high tariff industrialists,
immigrant-backed big city machines, and New England
radicals and abolitionists who despised the agrarian
South and celebrated the
raid on Harpers Ferry by the terrorist John Brown
who had sought to incite a slave uprising, such as had
occurred in Santo Domingo.
What called the Tea Party into
Some are angry over unchecked
immigration and the failure to control our borders and
send the illegals back. Some are angry over the loss
manufacturing jobs. Some are angry over winless wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some are angry over ethnic
preferences they see as favoring minorities over them.
What they agree upon, however, is
that they have been treading water for a decade, working
harder and harder with little or no improvement in their
family standard of living. They see the government as
taking more of their income in taxes, seeking more
control over their institutions, creating entitlements
for others not them, plunging the nation into unpayable
debt, inviting inflation or a default that can wipe out
what they have saved.
And there is nothing they can do
about it, for they are politically powerless. By their
gatherings, numbers, mockery of elites and militancy,
however, they get a sense of the power that they do not
Their repeated reappearance on the
national stage, in new incarnations, should be a fire
bell in the night to the establishment of both parties.
For it testifies to their belief and that of millions
more that the state they are coming to detest is at war
with the country that they still love.
The secession taking place in
America is a secession of the heart—of people who have
come to believe the government is them, and not us.
Obama`s problem, like the Bushes`
in 1992 and 2008, is that one thing
these folks are really good at is throwing big
people out of power.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.