Is Secession the Right Thing to Do?

National Review of all places recently published an interesting piece on secession, penned by Hillsdale College Professor Miles Smith.

I like Professor Smith. He has interesting things to say about the South on social media, and he is genuinely interested in the Southern tradition, not as a specimen to be studied under a microscope, but as a real place with real people and a vibrant culture.

His piece on secession isn’t bad–and I agree with his overall conclusion–but it shows that NR isn’t ready to adopt any position that might remotely favor federalism.

Smith doesn’t think secession is a good idea, but he also doesn’t think it should be considered “insurrectionist.” Even some leftists agree with him.

Smith is correct that the time is not right for secession. Americans aren’t ready for it, even if poll numbers indicate that more people at least want to discuss the possibility of independence, and then there’s the thorny issue of the deep state and the intricate web of money and power that would surely work to prevent Texas or California from bolting the Union.

Bill Bennett said he would advise sending in the tanks if one person in a State wanted to remain “loyal.”

The neocons can always be counted on to say stupid things.

The time for secession might have already passed, at least until things get much worse.

But his discussion of the “legality” of secession suffers from the same problems that any third rate journalist would experience when penning a piece on the issue.

Texas v. White solved nothing. Smith suggests you can argue that it was a rigged decision. True. The Republican dominated Supreme Court would never issue a ruling declaring secession to be legal in 1869. That would have invalidated Lincoln’s war and the entire premise of Reconstruction.

But Texas v. White also provided a legal opening. Secession is legal, according to the decision, if the Congress boots a State out of the Union. This gave the Republican reptiles in Congress cover for military reconstruction.

Smith argues that Congress should pay attention to secession sentiment because it springs from discontentment over abusive federal power.

This has always been the case. The answer is thinking locally and acting locally. That would create strong independent communities capable of stronger peaceful political action if necessary.

Either way, his piece was great Podcast fodder, so I cover it on Episode 765 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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