Monday, March 03, 2014

Common Sense Pt.2: The "Not-So-United" States of America

Bryan Baumgart – 3/3/2014

Earlier this year, Walter Williams posed a question in an editorial titled “Parting Company” on Townhall Daily that I believe will be asked more and more by Americans in the future.
“If one group of people prefers strong government control and management of people's lives while another group prefers liberty and desires to be left alone, should they be required to enter into conflict with one another and risk bloodshed and loss of life in order to impose their preferences on the other group?”
Williams went on to answer his question:
"I believe our nation is at a point where there are enough irreconcilable differences between those Americans who want to control other Americans and those Americans who want to be left alone that separation is the only peaceable alternative."
Williams isn’t alone. Calls for secession are becoming more and more frequent with each passing day.

On April 9, 2009, Texas Governor Rick Perry joined other states such as Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Dakota in publicly endorsing a resolution affirming the sovereignty of their state under the 10th Amendment. One could argue these resolutions are merely public objections to federal overreach, but they also lay the groundwork as legal platforms for future secession.

Perhaps former KGB member and Russian academic Igor Panarin should be credited with US secession predictions as early as 1998. Panarin based his predictions on classified data supplied to him while he worked for the Russian “National Security Agency” (FAPSI). Panarin claimed that by 2010, economic, financial, and demographic trends would provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. and that the wealthier states would withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. He predicted that social unrest up to and including a civil war would follow and the US would split along ethnic lines.
Of course three years have since passed since the end of 2010 and Panarin’s predictions have not come true. That doesn’t mean they won’t, and if they do play out…Panarin’s scenario makes the most sense.
Panarin’s “wealthier states” (the states most likely to become fed up and make the first move) are the states with more to lose than gain from being part of the union. Economically self-sufficient states such as oil and gas giants like Texas, Alaska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and the Dakotas are a few that fit the bill.
Critics will point to the fact that Texas actually receives more in federal revenue than it sends to DC in taxes or that blue states such as New York or California pay more in federal taxes than they receive. While this is true and serves to appease states like Texas, those red states still have a tipping point in regard to federal interference in their state’s Constitutional rights. Thus states like Texas reaffirming sovereignty under the 10th Amendment.
There is an important difference between self-sufficient states accepting more federal funds than they contribute out of choice, and states that do so out of necessity. Of course, any state that isn’t inhabited by a majority of voters supporting a giant welfare state could be self-sufficient (most red states). Independence directly correlates to personal responsibility.  
As the largest and most independent, Texas is likely the state to lead the charge after extending an invitation to the other “red” states to join the effort. States could refuse to contribute to federal coffers, choosing instead to hold on to their revenue and take care of their own or to join in union with other like-minded states.
Next comes the push from “red” counties in blue states to split from their respective states.  These efforts are already picking up steam. After President Obama’s reelection, symbolic petitions to secede were filed in more than 30 states. These petitions held no teeth, but have already turned into real movements such as the ongoing effort in California to split into six states or the five Colorado counties that voted to secede and form their own state. These counties could very well be accepted into neighboring “red” states.
The country could find itself split down the middle; a strategic advantage for the secession movement. The economic advantage then lies with those “red” self-sufficient states. Their tax climates will attract businesses (and job seekers) from the “blue” states which equates to increased revenue. In a classic repeat of the Cold War and collapse of the USSR under the weight of its own misguided ideals, the “blue” states find themselves starved of jobs, opportunity, and necessary revenue.
Which begs the question…what kind of opposition/response would spring up from the federal government? Up to this point, the secession has been a peaceful revolution. Would the president turn the military on a large number of states? If so, what orders would be issued? Should elected leaders be arrested it could spark rebellion from the armed citizenry of those states, sparking a civil war as Igor Panarin predicted.
The president’s latest move should come as no surprise then, as pointed out by Texas Governor Rick Perry. The president is once again attempting to gut the Army and National Guard; the branch of military under authority of the Governors. This move lends credence to the belief that the president is proactively working to gut the military forces that could be used in opposition and attempting to make the states more dependent on the federal government in cases of emergencies and defense.
Patriots best be vigilant.