by Jack Hunter

When Texas Gov. Rick Perry said last month that his state had the right to secede from the United States, liberals scoffed, laughing at the mere suggestion.

When polls showed that one third of Texans believed in the right of secession, one liberal blogger said it was further proof of “just how whacked out Republicans are becoming during these days of their political exile.”

When various states introduced sovereignty resolutions, including South Carolina and Oklahoma, liberals considered it childish posturing; the Charleston City Paper’s Greg Hambrick wrote, S.C.’s legislature was just “stomping their feet in dissatisfaction” with the Obama administration.

For many, the question of American secession was settled once-and-for-all by Abraham Lincoln’s military victory against the South. Not so, writes Kirkpatrick Sale, author and director of the Mulberry Institute, a pro-secession think tank: “Of course, it is true that the particular secession of 1861-65 did not succeed, but that didn’t make it illegal or even unwise. It made it a failure, that’s all. The victory by a superior military might is not the same thing as the creation of a superior constitutional right.”

Sale raises a good point. If the Founding Fathers had lost the American Revolution to Great Britain, would the colonial’s quest to secede from England have been decided forever, all because of a military loss? The idea that the U.S. could still be an outpost of the British Empire is one that many today would find as laughable as some find secession.

Consider the secessionist movements around the world the U.S. has supported in just the last few decades. When the Soviet Union collapsed, and its 15 satellite nations declared their independence, America cheered. Our military intervention in the Balkans in the 1990s found the U.S. on the side of the Albanian secessionists. On the American Left, support for Tibet’s secession from China remains a popular cause célèbre.


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