I fundamentally disagree with the gentleman because nobody on our end of things is saying anything about armed rebellion: we're talking about voting to secede. This ain't 1861.
Moreover, given the extreme polarization which exists in the U.S., I have to ask the question: would the break-up of the U.S. necessarily be a BAD thing?
I am a member of the Texas Nationalist Movement. I joined that organization in 2006, when a chap named George Bush was in the White House and was rapidly gathering more and more power to the federal government while running up massive debt and involving us in a conflict which, though necessary to fight, shouldn't take decades to fight. I realized then that the federal government is broken and can't be fixed because there are too many fundamental differences in how the people in my state view the role of government and how the people of other states view the role of government.
What I found in partnering up with the TNM was a lot of other like-minded souls who shared my belief that less government is better government. I found an organization which had rejected ties to hate groups and militancy. And I found a group which goes out of its way to be inclusive across racial/ethnic/socioeconomic lines and across political lines. (Yes, we have some liberals in the movement; that ought to stand a few stereotypes on their head.)
Most importantly, I found a movement with only one agenda: putting the issue of Texas independence on the ballot for voters to decide.
There are secessionist organizations in other states, with other agendas. In Vermont, for example, secessionists tend to be the liberals. There are also organized movements in Alaska, Hawaii and the Carolinas that I know of.
Yet so often I see diatribes such as the one referenced earlier which vow war and destruction to prevent secession, always insistent that we should have learned from the 1860s. I might maintain that the statists should also see what they can learn from that conflict.
The Civil War never settled the question of secession. It simply settled the fact that the industrialized North had more men, more weapons and more money than the agrarian South -- a situation which would be nearly reversed today. In order to prevent secession, Abraham Lincoln shredded the Constitution whenever it was convenient, ordered federal troops to fire on immigrant protesters in New York City, and laid waste to the South in a fashion not seen in war since Roman times.
Imagine what kind of devastation would be wrought using modern weapons. I even saw one comment from a self-proclaimed California liberal which maintained that if Texas seceded, "...we can nuke them right back into the Stone Age."
Do statists really desire power so bad that they would kill millions of people and devastate huge swaths of this country just to achieve their goal of a single omnipotent imperial-style government?
And the thing is, this nation is increasingly polarized because of the way the statists have divided us, rather than united us.
I use the term "statists" rather than liberal or conservative because, as I noted above, it isn't a right or left issue. Statists, from Barack Obama to George W. Bush, think the government can fix everything. Secessionsist are pretty well convinced the government can't fix anything, and we've got a lot more examples showing we're right.
The fact exists that this country is extremely polarized. Every major election brings on more and more angry, virulent rhetoric. Democrats and Republicans alike spend more of their time playing dirty tricks or digging up dirt on each other than they do trying to solve the problems of government.
People on the Left Coast do not share the concerns of the people in the Rust Belt. Texas has far different concerns than does the Deep South. Rather than a single homogenous nation which shares a single culture, we have hundreds of different sub-cultures all competing for primacy.
The flack over Obama's election is only one example of that. Ninety percent of black Americans voted for him, primarily based on the color of his skin; there were several brilliant exposes about the lack of knowledge of Obama supporters during the campaign. Yet any white man who opposes Obama's policies is immediately labeled a "racist?"
I experienced some of the same double standard during the previous administration, when I editorially objected to the sweeping powers granted to the government by the Patriot Act. I was called a "traitor" by the conservatives who should have been my allies on the issue.
Given that polarization and the increasing anger and enmity on display in public discourse, wouldn't it be a more civil and sane thing to allow those states or regions which want to go their own way to do so, peacefully?
If California, Oregon and Washington want to break away and join British Columbia as the Pacifica Federation (yes, there's a group advocating that, and you can guess their political orientation), I say let them do so. They have a lifestyle they want and have a vision of the type of government they want, I say let 'em do it.
If Vermont wants to lead the other munchkins in New England to form their own confederation, I'm all for it. Again, they have a vision of a role of government and lifestyle which is unique.
And if we in Texas decide at the ballot box that we want to make a go of it on our own, I don't see why those folks in those other regions should object, either. We very definitely have our own unique culture and lifestyle that is not shared by other parts of the country.
George Lucas, of all people, provides one of the best conceptualizations of why the statists have un-United the States. In the original Star Wars movie, Princess Leia tells Darth Vader that the more star systems he tries to crush in his grip, the more that will slip through his hands.
The United States is no longer "united." It's time for the statists -- whether liberal or conservative -- to admit that their dreams of empire have failed.