When most knowledgeable Americans hear the word secessionist, they think of the southern slave states that formed the Confederacy and seceded from the United States back in 1861. That action set off the “the war between the states” and caused 625,000 deaths.
The Alaskan Independence Party (AIG) is a secessionist group. Its web site (akip.org ) proclaims “Alaska First — Alaska Always”, and it calls for “states’ rights through a return to territorial status, all the way to complete independence and nationhood status for Alaska.”
Both Sarah and Todd Palin attended the AIG convention in 1994, and at that convention, the party called for a revote on statehood and a draft constitution for an independent Republic of Alaska. (NY Times, 9/3/08)
The McCain camp insists that vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was never registered with the Alaska Independence Party, but that denial does not apply to her husband Todd. According to Gail Fenumiai, Director of Division of Elections in Alaska, Todd Palin was registered as a Member of AIG from 1995 to 2002. That’s a seven years membership in a group that advocates for an Alaskan secession from the United States.
But AIG isn’t an extremist group is it? In a 1991 interview, AIG founder, Joe Volger, said: ”The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag.”
After denouncing Federal regulation of land use, he added: ”And then you get mad. And you say the hell with them. And you renounce allegiance, and you pledge your efforts, your effects, your honor, your life to Alaska.”
That radical tirade was not ancient history when Sarah and Todd Palin attended the group's annual convention just three years later. The AIP supports all the major secessionist movements in the United States and provides links to their home pages on its web site. This gives extremists a platform for sharing information, tactics and propaganda.
When the Second North American Secessionist Convention was held in 2007, AIP Vice Chairman Dexter Clark attended, and he went out of his way to legitimize the League of the South, a neo-Confederate group that promotes the Confederate flag and seeks an independent Southern republic. In an interview by the Anchorage Press, Clark described the League of the South this way: “We’re not talking about a bunch of Klans-people walking around with white sheets and pointed hats,” Dexter said. “These are some pretty legitimate people with some legitimate concerns about our government.”
At that same Convention, Clark said that Sarah Palin was an "AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town -- that was a nonpartisan job. But you get along to go along. She eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won't go into that." Clark then went on to urge AIP members to "infiltrate" the major parties.
The Great Seal of the United States, when slightly modified, also serves as the Seal of the President of the United States. It depicts the national symbol of a bald eagle, with wings spread, holding in its talons the arrows of war on one side and an olive branch for peace in the other. He holds in his beak a banner inscribed with our country’s motto: E Pluribus Unum, meaning "Out of many, one”. That motto is anathema to a secessionist because he believes the opposite. When he sees the American flag, he imagines it with 49 stars, or less. When we say the words, “one nation, indivisible”, he thinks of the United States divided by 50. Because he upholds the right of a state to secede from the Union, he is the enemy of the Union.
In her recorded address to the AIP party’s 2008 convention, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said: “I share your party’s vision of upholding the constitution of our great state. My administration remains focused on reining in government growth so individual liberty and opportunity can expand. I know you agree with that.”
Sarah Palin is now the Republican nominee for vice president, and the McCain/Palin campaign’s motto is “Country first”. Considering the Palins’ long involvement with the Alaskan Independence Party, her motto should be “States’ Rights First.” Everyone knows that politics makes strange bedfellows, but if John McCain is elected president, and Sarah and Todd Palin spend the first night in the Lincoln Bedroom, you can be sure that one or both of them will be sleeping with a secessionist!