Is secession talk the new birtherism?

Influential conservative radio host Alex Jones wants to break up the United States of America because Barack Obama won the election. (Photo: Wikipedia)

In the days since Barack Obama won a second free, peaceful and fair election, capturing more than 50% of the popular vote again, a growing number of conservatives have called for their states to secede from the United States of America.

The drumbeat of secessionist talk has been pushed most actively by the Drudge website, the most influential right-wing news organization after Fox News, and a major shaper of opinion in hard-right circles.

The latest call to arms comes from conservative talk show host Alex Jones — linked to by Drudge — who last week insisted that the results of the election should be overturned by individuals and groups willing to destroy the fabric of our nation.

“America is already gone. We must recognize that, pull out the New World Order, prosecute the criminals that have hijacked the Republic that don’t flee, and then reconstitute the Republic,” Jones argued.  “But we must first separate or die to then rejoin.”

The hugely influential Republican leader Ron Paul, meanwhile, chimed in with the view that he’s not interested in pushing for secession right now, but “I call for the principle of secession being recognized.”

According to Paul, states can “voluntarily leave any time they want” and he considers the possible dissolution of our union to be a viable option that should remain on the table.

This follows on the heels of right-wing Americans who have hung our national flag upside down, raised nutty, fact-free allegations about ballot-stuffing and corruption, and begun an absurd bluster about impeaching a president elected earlier this month.

Secession talk has been described in words that range from “largely symbolic” to “treasonous.”  I think it’s both.

No one takes any of this seriously as an action item. Alabama and Texas won’t be leaving the union any time soon.

But it is a dangerous trend when tens of thousands of conservative Americans are radicalized and poorly informed to the point that they would destroy our nation because their side lost a single election.

The liberal version of this bitter childishness is talk of “moving to Canada,” which gets tossed around every time an Al Gore or a John Kerry is toppled.

But there is a substantive difference between lazy-minded people talking about quitting their country and crazy-minded people talking about destroying it.

I don’t think the Republican Party is solely responsible for radicalizing Americans who are so frightened of our modern society that they are (quite literally) buying up handguns and talking about a new secession movement.

But I do think the GOP has indulged and cultivated those fears — and attempted to capitalize on them.  2012 should be the year that party leaders reject that approach.

Some conservatives have already taken a stand.  Eric Erickson at the influential RedState blog wrote bluntly that he has “no plans to secede from the union.  If you do, good luck with that, but this is not the place for you.”

He goes on to say that “dabblers in this latest nuttiness” are unwelcome in his version of the conservative movement.

“Our aim is to beat the Democrats, not beat a retreat to a Confederacy that Generals Grant and Sherman rent asunder well over a hundred years ago.”

I think he’s right.  Republicans can be a clear-voiced party of the mainstream center-right.  Or they can be the party of the angry, desperate backward-looking fringe.

This month’s election suggests that they can’t be both.

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102 Responses to “Is secession talk the new birtherism?”

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  1. Peter Hahn says:

    If this stuff is still going on in a month or two it will be worth thinking about. For now it’s more emotionalism than birtherism.

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  2. mervel says:

    Its a pretty small movement, I am not sure it is worth the coverage. Kind of like finding communists and blaming the Democrats.

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  3. Peter Hahn says:

    The joke, of course, is that it’s the red “taker ” states that want to secede from the blue “maker” states.

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  4. tootightmike says:

    Even in places like Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, thousands and thousands of people voted for Obama, and solutions like this always require the use of blinders to make it sound half feasible. Give ‘em plane tickets to the dreamland of their choice. Perhaps they can find a time machine back to the fifties too.

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  5. Brian Mann says:

    Mervel –

    On the left, the equivalents (in terms of influence) of Ron Paul and Drudge would be something similar to Al Gore and Huffingtonpost.

    If Al Gore starts talking about American communism being an option on the table, and Huffingtonpost begins linking regularly to those who are advocating a communist takeover of the US, then I think it would be comparable.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  6. The Original Larry says:

    In the opinion of this conservative Republican, secession is outright lunacy. I fear it will be used by liberals to further demonize the Republican party. Many already think we’re all religious fanatics or tea partiers and that could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, we will be hearing more about this as secessionists use the 10th amendment as justification and a cursory reading of it shos that they have a point.

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  7. Pete Klein says:

    This secession stuff is just one more example of people who never got an education.

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  8. Will Doolittle says:

    Larry,
    Yes, that is cursory. What is the argument, that secession is a power not delegated to the U.S., therefore it is reserved for the states? If so, that’s absurd.
    I think, in this case, you cannot ignore the racist aspect of the movement. Racism is a charge that gets thrown around when it shouldn’t be. But in light of the history of secession in the U.S., I think you cannot deny the racism of calling for secession after the nation’s first black president has been re-elected, largely on the strength of a coalition of minority voters.

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  9. The Original Larry says:

    Will,
    It is not absurd. However much the secession issue was settled as a practical matter I don’t think it’s ever been definitively decided judicially. One need only look at the Second Amendment debate to realize how divisive these issues can be. Also, why play the race card? I’ve not seen anything that indicates the secession movement is racially motivated. It’s always the left who polarize people by ascribing the right’s motivation to the worst possible basis (people who never got an education, racism, etc.). Besides, the “history of secession” was not primarily motivated by racial intolerance no matter how much we now want to make it.

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  10. Peter Hahn says:

    Larry – its been decided militarily (the civil war).

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  11. scratchy says:

    “No one takes any of this seriously as an action item. Alabama and Texas won’t be leaving the union any time soon.”

    Unfortunately.

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  12. Will Doolittle says:

    Larry,
    Lots of things don’t need to be “settled” because reasonable people understand them. Pres. Obama did not need to produce his birth certificate, because no one reasonable questioned that he was born in Hawaii. No one reasonable advocates secession as a justified or proper course of action because of dissatisfaction with a legally elected president. And no one reasonable questions the intimate link of racism to the secession of the confederate states. Play the race card? I’ll play the whole race deck when it comes to secession and racism. Next we’ll hear from you that slavery wasn’t as bad as it’s been portrayed by liberal historians.

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  13. John Warren says:

    Well said Brian,

    I’m currently deep in research as a New York Public Library Research Fellow about a similar time in American history – 1830-1860.

    Then, as now, upheaval driven by shifting economic, demographic, and political communities gave a boost to two major conservative movements: The anti-immigrant nativist Know-Nothings, and the States Rights movement.

    Both movements were driven by fear of outsiders and centralized government, which I think are the same forces at work today.

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  14. Walker says:

    What strikes me is that those who are calling for secession are those same self-styled super-patriots most inclined to wrap themselves in the flag as great supporters of democracy. They’re all for democracy so long as their side wins, and they’re all for America so long as recent immigrants don’t start to outnumber previous generations of immigrants. Some kind of patriotism!

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  15. So Texas, Alabama and Mississippi want to secede and form an independent nation when they can theocratize in peace? Just let me know where I can sign.

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  16. Walker says:

    Yes, Brian, I’m tempted to agree. Horrifying, though, to think of the Civil War having been fought in vain. And of course, if we hadn’t fought it, how many countries would we have ended up as? Maybe we’d better keep ‘em!

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  17. PNElba says:

    There was an interesting editorial in the NYT the other day written by a liberal southerner. Her point was that there are lots of liberals in southern states and northerners need to stop alienating them by grouping them with the crazies. After all, blue states have their conservatives too (Hamilton county in NY for example). The writer was from NC and pointed out the vote was relatively close there. Virginia is changing from red to blue. This is eventually going to happen with other red states if Republican keep to their current course. I think she has a point worth thinking about.

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  18. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    Uh, do you all not get the idea of why they are doing this? It’s just a fad method of expressing their frustration. It’s political speech, just like sending all those tea bags to Congress was a few years back or Code Pink showing up and protesting, in fact it’s just about the same at the Occupy Movement minus the property destruction,feces, rapes and drug use. What is really sad is that Brian chooses to ignore his own demands and use terms crazy, fringe, childishness. What happened to all that talk of stopping the name calling Brian?

    Alex Jones is a nut, I’ll give you that, but I don’t know of anyone that has actually signed one of those petitions that really thinks their state will leave the Union. It’s just people using another method of protesting. They aren’t stupid, they aren’t poorly informed or educated. They want to be heard and this is just one method. Someone found that petition site and the rules and now you have this. To call it anything other than a protest by concerned Americans is just what Brian said- crazy.

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  19. Mervel says:

    The people that are talking about succession are two groups, the real crazies who are very tiny and actually may believe this, I think the Aryan Nations for example have a bunch of maps up in Idaho about what the “homeland” would include etc and they really think it might happen; the other are groups that just speculate for fun, and are indeed more like Liberals saying I am going to Canada; even NPR ran a story about what it would be like for Texas to succeed kind of as a parlor game a what if, which is a fun thing not some sort of serious problem. To compare the tiny group of crazies on the Right to Al Gore or the Huffington post on the Left, well it simply is not comparable.

    I know Right wing nuts are an interesting bunch and it is fun to watch them, but they don’t really mean much politically. Now that may change, but right now I don’t find them comparable at all.

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  20. Mervel says:

    Frankly I find it kind of biased to try to associate conservatives with this bunch, much like saying Liberals and democrats are all in the Weather Underground.

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  21. Although I don’t have much regard for the sensibilities that are mainstream in places like the Bible Belt, it’s not really about that. I believe that the Union of the United States should be voluntary. If Alabama or Texas, or for that matter Vermont or Massachusetts, wants to leave the Union, then so be it. I think we should establish well-defined procedures for secession (that it be done by referendum, that they have to reimburse their part of the national debt, etc) so that everyone knows what they are getting into ahead of time.

    This is what Canada did to (sort of) deal with Quebec. The UK is allowing Scotland to hold an independence referendum. There’s something in the works in Catalonia, too. This is 2012. We shouldn’t go to war to keep territories where they don’t want to be. Just as the former Yugoslavia how that turned out.

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  22. What exactly are they protesting, Arlo? That there preferred candidate lost an election so they are threatening to leave the country?

    What are their revindications? If they’re not really going to secede, if it’s just a protest with no revindications, then it’s little more than a temper tantrum.

    I don’t think they’re stupid or uneducated. Unless I’m missing something, it just makes them look like spoiled brats.

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  23. wj says:

    It would seem these nouveau “Rebs” failed to notice the President’s extra-judicial use of weaponized drones to assassinate people — including American citizens.

    It’s funny because:

    1) It’s exactly the kind of thing they’d cheer if it was done by a Republican President
    2) If they really tried to secede, they’d be violating Section III, Article III of the Constitution, which begins:

    “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    And treason is a capital offense. Meaning, if these Rebs got militant, they should expect to be put to death by the government. Maybe a drone a-comin’ over the ridge to render judgement — and sentencing.

    It’s not funny. Not really.

    Treason is the only crime (other than bribery) explicitly named in the Constitution. It’s a really big deal. And those calling for secession are now guilty of it, or at least fomenting it.

    It’s ironic that these nouveau Rebs are often the people yelling and screaming about Democrats abandoning the Constitution, even though this crop of secessionists is the only identifiable group now violating the spirit and letter of the law.

    I hope they realize the error of their ways. I also hope they jump off a tall cliff and are never heard from again.

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  24. The Constitution should be amended to provide for secession.

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  25. Pete Klein says:

    United we stand. Divided we fall.
    To provided for secession would be to provide for economic destruction and risk oppression by a foreign government.
    While I don’t believe there are many who are serious about secession, some things should nver be joked about – such as crying fire when there is no fire in a movie house.
    By the way, who says Alex Jones is influential? I never heard of him.

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  26. I’m not joking, Pete. When you force people to stay in a union against their will, bad things *inevitably* happen. The former Yugoslavia. Or just read the history of our own Civil War.

    We’d consider primitive societies that outlaw divorce for exactly this reason.

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  27. Walker says:

    “The Constitution should be amended to provide for secession.”

    I don’t know, Brian, have you thought this through? Would they have to pay back their share of the national debt before they were allowed to secede? Would federal transfers to them cease once they voted for secession but before they paid back their share of the debt? What about military bases within their boundaries and other federal property? I imagine you’d have states that voted to secede but couldn’t afford to pull it off. It really seems unrealistic in many, many ways.

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  28. Walker says:

    My comment is awaiting moderation?! Have I wondered into some strange alternate universe here? What gives?

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  29. Mervel says:

    Well I think we have to test what that means Brian. Was the civil war we fought worth the price? It ended slavery in the US. I think slavery would have lasted in the South into the 20th century at which point the Confederacy would have likely become a world wide pariah state and couldn’t sell its cotton anyway. After that however you would have seen an even longer fight against the feudal society that would have sprung up, there would have been refugee’s, border skirmishes, we would certainly be a much much poorer country overall, including the North.

    I would say as horrible as it was the civil war was worth the price of our union. I think when a country gets to the point that it has nothing in common no central cultural or institutional binding values and binding organizations than you could look at that. But close you eyes, go to a mall in Austin or Jackson Mississippi, or Albany New York or Spokan Washington, you couldn’t tell where you were. We are much much more homogeneous now than we were in 1860. We are not divided along class or racial or ethnic or regional lines to any great degree anymore. Accents in the US are vanishing (for good and for bad), but the bottom line is succession is not really conceivable in the US at this point in time. Texas is often brought up but that would be the least likely state to succeed, I mean within 20-40 years Texas will likely be a Blue state with more in common with California than Wyoming. So there is a lot of myth making surrounding this whole issue. Maybe a certain nostalgia for the lose of our regional identities?

    Now there may be some people who feel that they need to talk about it because they feel left out in the new paradigm of this countries demographics, but that is just the normal fear of change it is nothing like having two regions with different cultures, values and languages like you do in the Balkans for example.

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  30. admin says:

    Sorry Walker–

    This was being held for spam checking, for no good reason. Our blog domain has been really slow today all day, and I think that some things are getting clogged up. We’re working on figuring it out. Dale Hobson, NCPR

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  31. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    WJ, if you’d bother to check you’d see the wording in all the petitions is for the US Government to “peacefully allow” the state to secede. You would also see that the abandonment of the Constitution and Bill or Rights is a big part of why they are protesting. In the view of many of the signers, it’s people like you that are the treasonous “Rebs”.

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  32. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    WJ, if you’d bother to check you’d see the wording in all the petitions is for the US Government to “peacefully allow” the state to secede. You would also see that the abandonment of the Constitution and Bill or Rights is a big part of why they are protesting. In the view of many of the signers, it’s people like you that are the treasonous “Rebs”.

    Brian, what are they protesting? Everything from the Patriot Act to Obamacare to lost property rights to taxation to Benghazi to gun control to Agenda 21 to a $16 trillion dollar debt and unending spending. Pick a right wing issue and probably someone is using it as the basis for their protest. If it was the left doing it it would be all the left wing issues like legalizing drugs, gay marriage, abortion rights, global warming, etc. I doubt it’s any one thing in particular. It’s just that you have about half the nation really glad Obama won with allthat comes with it and half really po’d for the same reasons. Seems simple to me. It’s just another way to protest.

    I don’t recall a whole lot of name calling and angst when the OWS crew was doing all their real damage. Why is this somehow worse?

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  33. The Original Larry says:

    “And no one reasonable questions the intimate link of racism to the secession of the confederate states. Play the race card? I’ll play the whole race deck when it comes to secession and racism. Next we’ll hear from you that slavery wasn’t as bad as it’s been portrayed by liberal historians.”

    Don’t make an ass of yourself, Will Doolittle, by suggesting that I don’t know how bad slavery was or that I would ever be an apologist for it. Linking the 2012 secessionist movement to the racism of the pre-Civil War South is as stupid as linking 2012 Democrats to the 1860 Democrats who opposed Lincoln and started the Civil War.

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  34. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I used to think of conservatives as serious people attached to reality. They were the guys who bagged a deer every year because they could shoot straight and if they missed they owned up to a bad shot. What ever happened to those guys? It seems like the ones who are left are just the deer baiters.

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  35. mervel says:

    There are plenty of normal straight shooting conservatives around, its just that they are boring and we are all more interested in crazy people. It’s why Sarah Palin is on reality T.V. and Bob Dole’s family isn’t.

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  36. wj says:

    Arlo-

    Thanks for the tip.

    Now how – exactly – have Democrats violated the Constitution?

    Name one thing.

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  37. mervel says:

    The nearest thing I would say to violating the constitution would be: ongoing illegal wars, a good portion of the patriot act, illegal search and monitoring of US citizens, the Federal mandate where the government defines who is and who is not a Christian, creeping violation of our right to free speech (arrest of the anti-muslim film maker) AFTER the protests, there is more.

    We can come up with tons of things on the left and the right that are I think constitutionally challenged. However I believe most of these will sort themselves out and that takes time and that is why we have checks and balances and a judiciary, certainly none rise to the level of revolt.

    Keep in mind though, the constitution in fact mandates revolt if the government of the US violates the core tenants of the constitution. There is not a reason to exist for the sake of existing, if our liberty is sufficiently snuffed out and the constitution is truly abandoned than it is the responsibility of the US citizen to revolt at that point. I won’t be succession it will be a civil war against a totalitarian regime.

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  38. wj says:

    Um, Mervel?

    No.

    The wars were started by W. The Patriot Act was also a GOP invention.

    Assassinating American citizens by drone strike – without due process – is certainly a violation of the Constitution. And that’s the doing of Democrats.

    But to say the Federal government defines who is and is not Christian is simply false. The mandate requires individuals to get insurance. The ACA (Obamacare) requires all employees have a path to contraception – because contraception is health care.

    I’ve read your posts here on the In Box for some time and you’ve always seemed rational and informed. You seem like someone I’d like to talk with, not in spite of our difference in political opinion but because of it.

    Maybe I’m just reading or interpreting it incorrectly. Can you clarify? Thanks.

    -

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  39. Will Doolittle says:

    Larry, really, do you honestly in your heart of hearts think that the secession talk now has nothing to do with the president being black? Secession talk now is coming from the same folks who will argue that confederate secession was not primarily motivated by racist beliefs and a racist agenda. Does that sound familiar? Denying the centrality of slavery to the Civil War has been a primary strategy of apologists for the Confederacy since the war ended, so I don’t know how else to interpret your statement that the history of secession was not primarily motivated by racial intolerance.

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  40. Walker says:

    “…the constitution in fact mandates revolt if the government of the US violates the core tenants of the constitution.”

    Where does it do that, Mervel? I thought it mandated the authority of the Supreme Court if the government of the US violates the Constitution.

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  41. Will Doolittle says:

    I take guidance on this question, Larry, from the great Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, in his Second Inaugural Address:

    “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war.”

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  42. The Original Larry says:

    Will, Lincoln also said:

    “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.” Letter to Horace Greeley August 22, 1862.

    and

    “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears.” Letter to Alexander H. Stephens December 22, 1860.

    and

    “I hold it to be a paramount duty of us in the free states, due to the Union of the states, and perhaps to liberty itself (paradox though it may seem) to let the slavery of the other states alon…” Letter to Williamson Durley October 3, 1845.

    I guess things aren’t as simplistic as you would like them to be. Racism is as abhorrent as slavery but we can’t ascribe every criticism of Obama to racism or a wish to return to the days of slavery. The inconvenient truth is that you imagine the worst motives in anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

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  43. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    Will Doolittle, I don’t think Obamas being half black has much to do with the secessionist movement at all. Most of us dislike his white half just as much as his black half, not because he’s black or white, but because his policies suck. That’s pretty much the crux of the whole thing.

    Also, the Civil War wasn’t as simple as a racial issue. It had economic, cultural, religious, states rights and yes, racial issues involved. But todays secessionist movement has so little to do with race as to be a very minor afterthought. You’re trying to play the race card where it doesn’t exist, just like the other libs playing the race card regarding Susan Rice. It’s not an issue at all.

    WJ, Mervel outlined a couple things. Add to it abortion, education, gun control issues, Federal environmental regulations that affect property rights and of course Federal decisions regarding eminent domain, energy policy, religious intolerance, taxation, Obamacare, the Dream Act and most of Obamas other Executive Orders, Recess Appointments when Congress wasn’t in recess, free speech issues, search and seizure issues, the fact Obama continued on with the Patriot Act and Gitmo, the fact Obama continued the wars, the fact Obama has put us on the hook for $58 trillion in debt and hasn’t done anything to cut that down and probably a lot fo other stuff that escapes me right now. We can go back to FDR, no back to Wilson, and list Democrat violations of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and US law if you like. I’m sure you could do the same for Republicans, but you asked for some of the reasons people feel as they do, so there you have it.

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  44. The Original Larry says:

    I’m sick to death of people playing the race card for no reason other than to stifle criticism. Here’s what several news outlets (Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, Time) have to say about the secession movement in 2012. If there was any hint of racism involved I’m sure they would report it. Not a word.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/14/us-usa-obama-secession-idUSBRE8AD1TA20121114

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2012/1120/Ron-Paul-stands-with-secessionists.-But-how-many-are-there-really

    http://ideas.time.com/2012/11/19/can-texas-really-secede-from-the-union-not-legally/

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  45. Will Doolittle says:

    Larry and Arlo,
    I guess we’re going to have to agree to disagree. You have not convinced me. None of your quotes from Lincoln, Larry, address the question we were talking about — was slavery central to secession and therefore to the war? My quote from Lincoln directly addresses that question, although why anyone would even consider that debatable I can’t imagine. And to both of you, the issue is not “issues”. Sure, people vehemently disagree with the policies of the president, as people have with other presidents. But people have not, with other recent presidents, either widely and seriously questioned whether the president was actually a citizen, or seriously and widely promoted the cause of secession. I do believe, in both instances, racial animus contributes to the momentum of the movements. This is an instance, Larry, where the more you deny the reality of racism, the continuance of it in modern society, and the importance of it in U.S. history, you, in my opinion, prove my point.

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  46. The Original Larry says:

    You’re a pompous ass, Will Doolittle, and I find your suggestions that I am a racist (or an apologist for the Confederacy) deeply offensive. It is a cheap and ugly thing to falsely accuse someone of something so distasteful and shows no style, class or comprehension of the issue being discussed. You’re an artless poseur.

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  47. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    OL, I re-read the thread and I didn’t see anywhere that you were accused of being a racist unless you consider a general comment about the secessionist movement as being a specific comment about you. In fact you said:

    “In the opinion of this conservative Republican, secession is outright lunacy.”

    So you can call the secessionists crazy but don’t nobody better call ‘em racists or y’er itchin’ fer a fight?

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  48. The Original Larry says:

    “Next we’ll hear from you that slavery wasn’t as bad as it’s been portrayed by liberal historians.”

    “Denying the centrality of slavery to the Civil War has been a primary strategy of apologists for the Confederacy since the war ended, so I don’t know how else to interpret your statement that the history of secession was not primarily motivated by racial intolerance.”

    “I do believe, in both instances, racial animus contributes to the momentum of the movements. This is an instance, Larry, where the more you deny the reality of racism, the continuance of it in modern society, and the importance of it in U.S. history, you, in my opinion, prove my point.”

    Enough? It was for me. The 2012 secession movement has nothing to do with racism and he knows it. What better way to stifle all criticism than to brand all critics racists? It’s a cheap shot.

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  49. Will Doolittle says:

    Here’s your statement Larry:
    “Besides, the “history of secession” was not primarily motivated by racial intolerance no matter how much we now want to make it.”
    As I said, denying the centrality of slavery to the Confederacy’s push for secession has been a central part of the effort by southern apologists to rewrite history since the Civil War. With good reason (shame), the deniers have not wanted secession linked to slavery as intimately as it really was. Certainly, the north, too, was complicit in the slavery system that was based in the South, and northerners, too, were racists. And many northern politicians, such as Abraham Lincoln, did not enter the war with the goal of abolishing slavery, although that is what they ended up doing. But your statement, unless I am somehow misreading it, seems to fit with the denial, vehemently pushed by the defenders of the Confederacy, that secession was a way for them to gain the freedom to continue their racist system. Unless by “racial intolerance” you meant something other than the commitment of southern politicians to slavery, and if so, what?

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  50. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I can say that the Israelis and Palestinians are all being anti-Semitic without being Jewish or Muslim or Israeli or Arab or anti-Semitic myself. I don’t think the quotes you chose prove your point.

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