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Secession is not an Anti-American Objective
By Robert Ringer
In closing out my interview with my friend Judge Andrew Napolitano last week, I told him that I believe we are now in a virtual civil war in this country between those who believe in the sanctity of private property and those who believe it is the government’s duty to provide for us. I then asked him, “Where do you, as an individual, see all this eventually leading?” The Judge’s full response to my question is worth repeating and will certainly give you a lot to think about:
“Well, there’s a couple ways it could go. The country could break apart into different countries. There are serious movements on the part of some [states] to secede. The notion that secession is un- American is absurd. The whole country was founded when it seceded from Great Britain, and the act of joining the Union is merely a legislative act, and any legislative act can be undone by a legislature.
“The states formed the federal government, not the other way around, and the powers they gave to the federal government they can take back. So I could see liberty-loving people flocking to different parts of the country. New Hampshire, Texas come to mind. Things go on in those states and in the government that I don’t always agree with, but they’re not as heavily regulated as, say, the People’s Republic of California or Massachusetts or New Jersey.
“We could also devolve into a revolution, where blood is actually shed over the rights of human beings. Now, it’s difficult to talk about that, but if you look at the very first act of Congress, it was the Declaration of Independence. It’s still the law of the land, and it basically says when the government takes away your rights, it is your duty to abolish the government.
“And if you can’t abolish the government by elections — because no matter who gets elected, they just keep stealing our property and our freedom — then you have to abolish the government by some other means. It’s lawful to discuss this at this time in our history. It is certainly not lawful to fire guns. But when you strike at the king, you must kill him. If you don’t, you get executed.”
Statists on both the right and the left would like us to forget about a little inconvenient document like the Declaration of Independence, but the fact is that it laid the foundation for our Constitution, which did not become the law of the land until 1789.
Does this mean that Abraham Lincoln was wrong to force the Southern states to stay in the Union. Yes, absolutely. No one has the legal authority to force a group of people whose ancestors helped form an organization to remain in that organization. Forced membership is not freedom; it’s slavery.
Speaking of slavery, we all agree that American slavery was morally wrong in every respect, but slavery was not the issue with Abraham Lincoln. He repeatedly made it clear that he would be willing to continue to allow slavery if that’s what it took to keep the Union together. The Civil War was not about slavery; it was about revenues that would be lost to the federal government if the Southern states were allowed to secede.
High-profile libertarians like Judge Napolitano and John Stossel are true American heroes for defending both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in this day and age of a Beckless Fox News. And if they’re willing to take the arrows by speaking out on an international stage, they deserve our full support. That said, if you believe in human freedom, make it a point to watch them as often as possible.
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