I don’t usually respond to comments around the web on the things written in this space. Largely, they are by communists who don’t like to be criticized, but something written by a person I have respect for (and I am giving him a lot more credit than he gave me) writes something that while it criticizes the concept of secession, it also raises larger issues in the overall discussion, I thought that I would break with that tradition.
Aesop in the Raconteur Report posted something highly critical of the idea of secession, without really fleshing out the machinery of secession. Now, this is not an attack on Aesop. As I have said, I have respect for him, but it shows where a lot of people might be misunderstanding the situation and I am using his post as a method of walking through it.
Aesop says, “This is 2021. Not 1861. Not 1776.” First of all, how does he know? Will future generations look back on 2021 or more likely 2025, and add them into some future post in 2150? The point he makes is that there is not a dividing line, an us vs them or solidification of sentiment as there was in those olden times. Not all secessions begin and end the same way.
History tells us that 1776 was as convoluted and politically charged within households as 2021. There was the British and the Colonists, but not all British felt themselves loyal to the crown and, conversely, many colonists did. Just as not all fedgov feel loyal to Joe Biden, or conservatives to Donald Trump.
I give George Washington as an example, who traded in his commission in the British Army to stand with the colonists at a time when I’m sure he felt that he would lose the war. That the war was unwinnable, but saw it as a means to appeal to the international community, mostly France, to intercede against Britain long enough to establish the new nation. Washington had foresight and didn’t charge off to attack the British at their strength. Aesop seems to only want to a fight a battle he is sure to win, or that losing is somehow stupid. Both options suggest a person who does not act out of principle, but only if assured of success. This suggests a willingness to live on one’s knees rather than to die on one’s feet.
Second, the idea of Texas breaking off from the republic to stand alone as one nation seems ridiculous to Aesop. This shows lack of understanding of secession. If 38 or 40 of the states (Republican legislatures) decided to secede, the question then becomes, are the 10 or 12 left really the formidable force he seems to think it is? And, at that point who is choosing secession and who is choosing the Union? I suggest it is the one that wants to follow the Constitution. Even then, a lot of people have moved to Texas from blue states, because they felt themselves no longer able to take the communist pounding and complicit government actions of those blue governors. Florida has felt the same surge, for the same reasons. Is this not a form of breaking off? Is there only one line? Only one action?
Yes, we are a purple nation, as Aesop says, in purple states. Does he envision it has ever been anything else? Again, history goes wanting in his analysis. Kentucky straddled that fence of Union and Confederate, taking neither side, Kentuckians from each side volunteering for either the Union or Confederacy. Perhaps the feud of the Hatfields and McCoys slipped the mind. Does he imagine that everyone in South Carolina felt the same? That no South Carolinian thought the actions of the government were unwise and dangerous?