Their View: Secession shouldn’t be suppressed

Conservative columnist Walter Williams offers this view on freedom:

There are irreconcilable differences between Americans who want to control the lives of others and those who wish to be left alone.

Which is the more peaceful solution: Americans using the brute force of government to beat liberty-minded people into submission or simply parting company?

In a marriage, where vows are ignored and broken, divorce is the most peaceful solution. Similarly, our constitutional and human rights have been increasingly violated by a government instituted to protect them.

Americans who support constitutional abrogation have no intention of mending their ways.

Since Barack Obama's re-election, hundreds of thousands of petitions for secession have reached the White House. Some have argued secession is unconstitutional.

There's nothing in the Constitution that prohibits it.

What stops secession is the prospect of brute force by a mighty federal government, as witnessed by the costly War of 1861.

On March 2, 1861, after seven states had seceded and two days before Abraham Lincoln's inauguration, Sen. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that said, "No State or any part thereof, heretofore admitted or hereafter admitted into the Union, shall have the power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States."

Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession.

Here's my no-brainer question: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?

The War of 1861 settled the issue of secession. Brute force cost 600,000 Americans their lives.

Americans celebrate Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, but H.L. Mencken correctly evaluated the speech: "It is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense."

Lincoln said the soldiers sacrificed their lives "to the cause of self-determination — that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth."

Mencken says: "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of people to govern themselves."

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