Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why I think Texas is right on... Regardless of how I feel about their actions.

In case you've been living under a rock (and yes, you MUST have been living under a rock, since even in KOREA I know what's happening), let me catch you up on what's been happening in the good old US of A this week. I'm going to quote the Washington Post, since I think they introduce it quite succinctly and well:
From states across the country, Americans have filed petitions on the White House Web site seeking to secede from the union and form new state governments.

While most of the petitions come from states that supported Mitt Romney in last week’s election, a few swing states and even the deep blue Northeast are represented.

Petitions have been filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

“We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government,” reads the Alabama petition. The following text is the same in most of the 20 filed so far:
As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”
Now, I don't normally like to talk politics, because I think that the American people are almost always too uneducated on any one political subject to talk about it at all, but I'm making an exception this one time, because, having been educated in the deep South (or a city that thought it was in the deep South), States' Rights is a topic I feel pretty competent on. And I think I can probably still leave you guessing on my political bents on this one. You know how women like to be mysterious.

Okay, so there are a lot of rumors going around on this topic: Secession is unconstitutional... secession is fine... blah blah blah. Here's the thing: It's neither. Way, way, WAY back in the day under the Articles of Confederation (Go ahead, click on them and do your research, no one will know if you do, so no one will mock you. Oh, and here's the Wikipedia Article, just in case you want to only pretend like you know what they say.), states were unable to secede from the nation. However, the United States Constitution nullified the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution doesn't speak on the topic at all. (I'm just going to trust you know what the Constitution is.) So, that leaves us in an interesting fix.

So why does the world seem to be focused on Texas out of all the states (count them... it's almost half of the nation) involved in this hissy fit (for lack of a less biased word)? Well, Texas has a long, grand history of secession, seeming to jump on that band-wagon whenever possible. It seceded from Mexico in 1836 asn was quite happy to do so again during the American Civil War in 1861. But in 1869, this issue came into dispute in the Supreme Court ruling of the case Texas vs. White. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase had a LOT to say on the topic, including this:
The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form and character and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these, the Union was solemnly declared to 'be perpetual.' And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained 'to form a more perfect Union.' It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?
And this:
When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.
Unfortunately for Chief Justice Chase, he seemed to be leaning a little too much on the Articles of Confederation, because in 1870, President Grant signed an act, readmitting Texas to the nation, which seems to be an action nullifying the opinion of Chief Justice Chase. Or does it?

Chief Justice Chase also specifically mentions a scenario in which secession is appropriate, which brings us to where we are today:
The United States Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) that unilateral secession was unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession.
So... what now? Well, no one really knows, honestly. I predict that this all is mostly likely going to be dropped almost unilaterally. The only state that I'm curious about is Texas which are the only state with the financial stability and enough motivation to follow through on this - they had a range of reported number of signatures on their petition, all of which are over the necessary 25,000 to receive direct attention from the White House (although there are a number of other states financially able to, if they wanted).

Here's how it breaks down in my head:

A lot of the highest tax bracket lives in Texas. Like it or not, Texas is the land of oil and ranching, and those are two things Americans cannot get enough of. People are filthy rich there - mind you, not all people, but there are enough. These people are getting slammed with tax increases left and right, and if there's one thing Texans don't like, it's big government telling them what to do. They (and I use the general "they" here, not the all-encompassing) of the opinion the government is being tyrannical, so they're implementing the right that our Founding Fathers gave us: To stand up to the federal government and tell them to shove it. (Or, as the Declaration of Independence so much more eloquently puts it: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”)

Now, does it hurt me to think of a divided United States (an oxymoron if I ever heard one)? Yes. Absolutely. Unwavering. Am I as proud as they come of Texas for standing up for what they believe? Heck yes. Don't just bow down when you feel your rights slipping away; they don't come back.

As for the other states... I'm just going to roll my eyes at them and suggest they take a bit of a time out as cure to this hissy fit of theirs.

For more information on secession and how it happens, click here.

Feel free to leave your incensed comments below, although I will filter out any offensive language and/or trolling.

Until next time!

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