By Nathan Barton
Back in 2012, following the reelection of a very divisive squatter at 1600 PA in DC, there was a raft of petitions posted to FedGov websites (such as “We the People”) and other venues, petitioning the FedGov to allow various states to secede from the Union (or what was formerly a Union).
Mama Liberty and I commented on this in a posting “The Scent of Secession is in the air” dated 11 November 2018.
Now, more than seven years later, whatever happened?
First off, as reported in The Hill back in January of 2013, the White House DID answer all those various petitions – not a total blow-off, but the usual publicist’s puff piece. At least a half-dozen did hit and exceed the 25,000 signature threshold required: Texas’ had more than 125,000. (Although as someone pointed that, that is a very small percentage of Texan residents, not even counting border jumpers.)
Many commentators chimed in, at the time, about how secession was “illegal” and “unconstitutional” because the US Constitution provided no process for leaving the Union, and because the “Civil War” of 1861-65 demonstrated that it wasn’t possible. In other words, they again repeated the same old lies.
Since then, we’ve seen little of such things stateside, except for the multiple efforts to let (have?) California secede, which gained major impetus after the 2016 election of Trump, and have continued even while the claim that the Russians helped Trump win was being investigated. That movement, at least, still seems alive and relatively well, though I do not think it is yet a ballot initiative. I’ve commented on that, several times. Sometimes with quite a bit of detail. I’ve also worked on a fictional “what-if” story of such an effort.
But the Fifty States, and the former Federal Union, have fragmented even more in that seven years.
And worldwide, the efforts at succession continue. The last major secession worldwide (being defined as recognized by many other nations, was the split of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011, before we published the commentary.
Since November of 2012, the world map has changed, due to secession efforts. Which still continue in many places. And in some cases, have succeeded already. While Scotland’s referendum on secession from the United Kingdom failed, the United Kingdom’s referendum on seceding from the European Union passed. And has further divided the UK’s electorate and leadership, leading to stalemate after stalemate. (But at last word, is still in progress.)
The same can be said for the secession of Crimea from Ukraine, in order for the Crimeans to rejoin the Russian Republic. Despite western opposition and many threats.
Less successful, at least for now, was the attempt by Chechnya to leave Russia (again, predating the 2012 article). It is a long and bloody struggle which is little known in the west. Declaring independence in 1991 (when the Soviet Union collapsed), the First Chechen War of 1994-1996 saw Russia defeated, its forces demoralized, leading to a ceasefire. But in 1999, an invasion of nearby parts of Russia by Islamists was launched from Chechnya. The Second Chechen War lasted from August 1999 to April of 2009. Almost ten years of bitter, murderous combat and terrorism bled the region dry, but ultimately, Russia triumphed. There the situation stands, a decade later. It is amazing that the Chechen people, numbering less than 1-1/2 million, were able to stave off the Russian colossus for nearly 20 years: a record which passes both the CSA and Biafra.
The battles (so far without combat, if not without violence) of Catalonia for independence from Spain are now underway and may be for some time.
At least some Scots want another try at independence from Whitehall, if not from the British Crown. It remains to be seen what might happen.
At the same time, there are movements active in several European countries to leave the EU, as the UK is doing. Their status changes constantly.
Stateside, the most recent organized attempt at secession was the 11-county effort of 2013 to secede, not from the “Union” but just from the State of Colorado. It failed at the ballot box. But the effort remains alive, and recent laws passed by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly and signed into law by the Democratic governor has given fresh impetus to the effort.
Other efforts, besides the California work, are still alive and working for their goal. Premier among these are the various attempts to break California up into two or more states.
Even so, the Alaska Independence Party remains active and viable in Alaska, though without any chance of a majority (for now).
To the north, Alberta’s effort at seceding from the Dominion may be on a back shelf, with the recent defeat of the New Democratic Party by the United Conservative Party. While upsetting to Trudeau and his dreams of an ever-more-liberal (Tranzi) Canada, the UCP does not seem as likely to try and push for secession.
Nevertheless, between the existing (if mostly nonviolent) civil wars in North America (specifically the Fifty States and “United” Mexican States), I think it is reasonable to say that the scent of secession is still in the air. More and more people on all sides of most political and social issues see it as inevitable. The deepening fractures in both old parties (GOP and Dem) provide fertile ground for such moves.
Please, dear readers, provide some feedback on this topic, and whether or not such events would be advantageous to freedom and liberty.