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Yes, I know, I surprise myself sometimes. This evening, they excerpted a quote in their usually excellent “Notable and Quotable” feature which includes:

But to argue that differences in policy ought to lead us to consider secession is lunacy. It also shows a (presumably) unwitting contempt for America, for its history, and for its role and purpose in the world. . .

The premise of the full piece was that modern secessionists are lunatic deviants because the previous attempt at secession was an economic and social attempt to keep chattel slavery alive. Is this any better than saying, “Hitler liked Raspberry Peach Crumb pie. Hitler killed millions and was evil. Wintercow chooses to eat Raspberry Peach Crumb pie too, so you know, like, he really shouldn’t be teaching those college students all that classical liberal gobbledeegook”

What a supremely weak point. I’d urge folks to remember what happened in 1798 and to read the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions themselves. Is that American tradition not important either? And those weren’t exactly about chattel slavery. And let me ask, perhaps rhetorically, is there any condition when secession is appropriate? If not, then how do you define tyranny?

If Texas ever seceded, I would move there. I would. You can hold me to it. I’ll even let you pay for my moving truck.

4 Responses to “In Which I Seriously Disagree with the Wall Street Journal”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    You nailed it. Not only is there nothing wrong with secession, it’s a great check against tyranny. Do these people forget another important secession, 1776?!

    I like the refer to the so-called Civil War as the second U.S. war of secession.

  2. Speedmaster says:

    One more rant … while the WSJ editorials are excellent on economics and trade, I don’t much care for the occasional flag-waving neocon pro-war items.

  3. Rod says:

    Back in the early nineties, the government required gasoline sold in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties (Delaware, Chester, Bucks and Montgomery) to be reformulated to reduce carbon monoxide emissions, and that added a nickel to the price at the pump. I live in the northernmost corner of Montgomery County, so when I could, I’d buy gas in Berks County for a nickel less.

    One day my brother was filling up his car, and he remarked to the owner of the gas station that the upper end of the county ought to secede from Montgomery and form a new county up here where air pollution was not the problem it might be in Norristown or Philadelphia. The owner of the gas station enthusiastically agreed with that idea. “Yeah, let’s secede!” he said, “We don’t have anything in common with the lower end of the county!”

    Years later, I tried this idea out in a series of editorials in the local newspaper. Now, secession from one’s county is not the same thing as Texas seceding from the United States, but when any government entity ceases to serve the best interests of the people in it, it seems in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence to dissolve it and replace it with something better. This is not sedition or treason to do so, but just a reasonable application of the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the people.

    My idea was to create a new county, Perkiomen County, out of the corners of Montgomery, Bucks, Berks and Lehigh Counties, and to put the county seat in Pennsburg, which is generally understood to be the cultural center of the universe for the Upper Perkiomen valley.

    The lower end of Montgomery is suburbia, with pockets of decaying urbia. County government spends most of its money on services for the lower end, and the upper end, where we are, is simply a cash cow the commissioners get to milk. And county government no longer fits inside the county courthouse: across the street hundreds of useless county employees spend their days thinking up new things to do.

    I got a lot of attaboys from my readers for the secession editorials, but the reaction from the politicians, including the Republicans, was mostly negative. “He even wants to secede from the county,” they would say when making a point about my libertarianism.

    Incidentally, back in the 1970’s, a group of citizens in Northeast Philadelphia wanted to secede from the city but got snarled in the mechanics of Philadelphia’s home-rule charter. They wanted to become part of Bucks County.

    As for secession of states, I think it would be a splendid idea for some of them. Even a trade with Canada has some appeal: Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Long Island for Alberta.

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