View Poll Results: Can you justify Secession?

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  • Yes -- there are issues that can justify secession

    27 84.38%
  • No -- secession is always wrong

    5 15.63%
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Thread: Could you justify secession?

  1. #1
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    Could you justify secession?

    Set aside the politics of the moment. This is a purely hypothetical question.

    Can you articulate a justification for a state seceding from the United States? What types of issues/grievances might justify a state withdrawing from the United States?

    If you say there is no justification ever, what absolute guarantee can you articulate that state issues/grievances will achieve satisfactory resolution?

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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Personally, I'm of the mind that if the residents of the State feel sufficiently alienated from the government in Washington DC and the residents of other States-- including their neighbors-- then they should seek to secede.

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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Secession obviously should be a last resort, I think the threat or even mention of such is more of a clear message to D.C. that states are tired of overly intrusive federal regulation. Personally, I would hate to see it come to a point in this country where states feel the need to pursue a real secession, that would mean that we are at a crucial point in our history and that Washington representatives simply have too much control and are not listening, plus, the civil war was the federal incorrectly asserting it's right to preserve the union at all costs(even though they won that one.) Justification of secession is certainly easy, with the numerous federal encroachments upon states rights, such as the EPA, ATF, national gun laws, the legal drinking age set at a national level, ditto for open container laws, and the other monitarily coercive tactics used to sidestep states rights, eventually, the states do get tired of being pushed around.
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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Anyone who feels that they can't see secession as being ever justified, needs to take a long hard look at that position. Opposing secession under all circumstances implies that the 13 Colonies had no right to seperate from Britain.

    In point of fact they had no legal right, but believed they had a moral/ethical right based on the abuses and mistreatment going on.

    Like others, I'd hate to see it happen. But I will be straight up here: we've become so "diverse", as a people, in our viewpoints, values, norms, hopes, intentions, views of the role of government, and so on that I have little hope this nation can endure as-is for another generation.

    Splitting into a loose Federation or Alliance, along regional and/or ideological grounds, may be the only thing that can keep us from civil war.
    As I mentioned once before, we can divide into:
    A liberalized social-welfare nation;
    A middle-road republic;
    A libertarian minimalist state;
    and a traditionalist/conservative republic;
    ...each with internal autonomy, its own laws and constitution, and maybe we could get along well enough to avoid bloodshed.

    BUT, with the current trend towards an ever-expanding government in size, cost, scope, intrusiveness and so on, and the struggle over who will control that government...we're heading for bloodshed some day, imho.

    I hope I'm wrong. I think I'm right.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Can you articulate a justification for a state seceding from the United States?
    Absolutely.

    First of all, there is the Constitution itself. The Tenth Amendment reads thus: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

    Given that the Feds are not Constitutionally granted the power to keep the union together by any means necessary, and the States are not Constitutionally denied the right to secede, it stands to reason that they inherently have the right to do so.

    If you accept that they inherently have the right to do so, then this part of the argument is over; exercise of a right in a way which does not deny another person or group of people of their Constitutional rights never needs to be justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    What types of issues/grievances might justify a state withdrawing from the United States?
    The House of Representatives, which was intended to proportionally represent the population of the nation at large, now has a fixed membership, the result being that one Representative is now beholden to a larger and larger number of people every day. The options left to a member of the House wishing to keep their position are to either sell out for the campaign dollars needed to canvass their district every 2 years, or spend most of their time grassroots campaigning.

    Whichever course is chosen, the fact that the reelection rate in the House is so high serves as proof that one of those options is being chosen so often that the people themselves are not being served.

    The Senate, which was intended to answer directly to the governments of the States (which in terms answers much more directly to the people than the Feds do), is now popularly elected. Senators are faced with the same choices that Representatives are face and have more territory to cover -- the only differences are they have a longer term and are responsible for representing even more people.

    In short, the people who claim to represent us are physically incapable of hearing more than a fraction of our voices, taking more than a fraction of our phone calls, or reading more than a fraction of our letters, so they can't possibly know what our interests or concerns are. They can't even represent what they believe to be our interests if they want more than one term in office, because their choices are to either do their job or get reelected.

    While a genuinely proportional scheme in the House of Representatives would mean a lot more people jockeying to be heard and an exponential rise in inefficiency, efficiency was never a part of the design -- in fact, a certain amount of inefficiency was built in as a natural hand-brake on the government, since the founders believed (quite correctly) that a government will always move from less to more power in the long run.


    With this in mind, go back and read the Declaration of Independence. WHen you do, keep in mind that this nation was structured, under the Constition, to be a collection of strong state governments held together by a federal government -- answerable both to the people and state governments -- with a moderate amount of power.

    A great many of the grievances which were given voice by that document can be spoken again -- this time against our own federal government.

    If that doesn't justify a move for secession, I don't know what does.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

  6. #6
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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    The questions of whether a state has an available legal, peaceful mechanism for secession and whether or not secession may be "justified" are two entirely different things.
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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Splitting into a loose Federation or Alliance, along regional and/or ideological grounds, may be the only thing that can keep us from civil war.
    As I mentioned once before, we can divide into:
    A liberalized social-welfare nation;
    A middle-road republic;
    A libertarian minimalist state;
    and a traditionalist/conservative republic;
    ...each with internal autonomy, its own laws and constitution, and maybe we could get along well enough to avoid bloodshed.
    What you are describing is essentially the federal form of government provided by the Constitution. In theory, we have always been divided as you describe here. Perhaps we would be better served to make the practice more in conformance with the theory.

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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    The questions of whether a state has an available legal, peaceful mechanism for secession and whether or not secession may be "justified" are two entirely different things.
    For this thread, let's leave the legality or illegality aside. That is a meaningful question, but it is outside the scope of the question posed in the poll.

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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    For this thread, let's leave the legality or illegality aside. That is a meaningful question, but it is outside the scope of the question posed in the poll.
    I don't think it is. Because the questions of legal, peaceful separation,and separation by force of arms are two different calculi.
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    Re: Could you justify secession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    I don't think it is. Because the questions of legal, peaceful separation,and separation by force of arms are two different calculi.
    The question is can separation be justified. That is different from questioning whether a justified separation is legal or extralegal (or even illegal).

    Legality is meaningful, but it is subsequent to justification, not antecedent.

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