A week ago, practically unnoticed, the White House issued its official response to nine separate petitions from nearly 358,000 citizens expressing their desire to leave our dysfunctional union of states. The statement is typically ill informed, condescending, and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of history and the founding of our republic; in short, it is exactly what one would expect from an authoritarian regime.
Spokesman Jon Carson writes, “In a nation of 300 million people -- each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs -- democracy can be noisy and controversial.” The problem is, we don’t live –- or rather, we aren’t supposed to live -- in a democracy. America was founded as a representative republic. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, and our founders understood that. As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 10, “…democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property…” With the reelection of Barack Obama to the presidency, we have seen democracy in action; 51 percent of the populace voted itself the transfer of the personal wealth of the other 49 percent to themselves.
Mr. Carson’s response continues, saying that Americans have “the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot.” The American Constitution established a federal government to administer the union – not a national one. The federal system, as established by the founders, was composed of sovereign states that voluntarily delegated some of their powers to the federal government, which was strictly limited in its exercise of power to only those things specifically listed in the constitution. The delegates to the constitutional convention explicitly rejected the idea of national government in 1787. Other countries have unitary national governments administered through provinces or districts; America was composed of states united by a federal government of their own creation – not the other way around.
The White House response includes the obligatory reference to Abraham Lincoln, quoting his first inaugural address in which he said, “…in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.” Carson then writes (In a very thinly veiled threat) that, “more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States.” I would submit to the White House that principles are not vindicated at the muzzle of a cannon or the point of a bayonet. Mr. Lincoln forced the southern confederacy back into the union only by fighting a vicious war of aggression against his fellow Americans; waging wholesale warfare against civilians, and unleashing the bloodiest conflict the Western world had ever seen. Were a woman to leave an abusive husband, and she were subsequently tracked down, savagely beaten, and dragged home at gunpoint, I doubt Mr. Obama would claim that the husband had “vindicated the principle” that marriage is forever.
The fact that the union, as founded, was not expressly or implicitly indivisible is self-evident. The Declaration of Independence was itself an act of secession from Great Britain and clearly stated “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [Protecting life, liberty, and property], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia even specifically stated in their ratifications of the federal constitution that they reserved the right to leave the union if and when the federal government became abusive of its authority. Moreover, what do the limitations upon federal power in the constitution mean if the states cannot leave no matter what outrages the government perpetrates?
In its cavalier dismissal of the secession petitions, the White House again quotes Lincoln by saying that the founders provided for government “‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’ – all the people. Participation in, and engagement with, government is the cornerstone of our democracy.” The federal regime that, over the last century has swallowed up first the sovereignty of the states, and is now in the process of devouring what little remains of our individual liberty does not reflect the values of tens of millions of the citizens of our member states, nor does it respect their personal liberty, privacy, or economic well-being. You are “represented” in congress by a person who also claims to represent the views of 700,000 of your fellow citizens. Even if such a person was interested in your participation and engagement with government, he couldn’t possibly find the time to take a 30 second phone call from you.
The problem did not start with the Obama administration, nor will it end with his departure from the presidential throne. The self-styled champions of limited government and low taxes, the Republican Party, created the income tax, and took part in the creation of the EPA, OSHA, Medicare expansion, and No Child Left Behind –- to name just a few unconstitutional scandals. Republicans have never made any effort to shrink the federal budget or eliminate the dozens of extra-constitutional agencies the federals use to control our behavior, monitor our every move, and confiscate our incomes.
The founding of the United States of America was the greatest event in the political history of human civilization. The creation of the American republic gave rise to true human liberty for the first time, inspired billions more to freedom, and carried much of the planet millennia forward in technology and standards of living. But it has been co-opted and corrupted by the well meaning and power hungry alike. It has been hollowed out and bankrupted, with nothing but the shell of our constitutional framework left standing. Regardless of the protestations of Jon Carson, Barack Obama, or John Boehner, our union is not anymore indissoluble than the Roman or British Empires, and it will completely reverse its course or it will break apart; either following a long, dreary twilight, or in a bloody upheaval in the wake of the default on our debt and collapse of our currency. It is perfectly rational that many Americans will seek to avoid such a fate and endeavor to reestablish human liberty under the principles of our late constitution by withdrawing from a union controlled by a lawless and irresponsible political elite.
The deconstruction of our constitution and the creation of a national democracy has created an all-powerful and increasingly tyrannical national government. Our grand republic, once a model of liberty, has well and truly degenerated into a democracy – a form of government once aptly described as two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for dinner.