Tracking the Secessionist Movement Across America

In the fall of 2012, I wrote a piece here that addressed the issue of secession across America.  My interest in this subject only grew as I read about how the movement has expanded since Obama’s re-election. I’m following these events closely, so I figured I’d keep track of them here.


Sean Hannity predicts secession, Fox Nation, (January 15th, 2013)

On his Friday radio show, conservative talker and Fox News host Sean Hannity warned that the United States may fall apart if tax rates remain high.

“The states are now fighting and battling against their own federal government,” Hannity said. ”Same thing with individuals. If you live in a state like New York, New Jersey, California [or] one of these high-tax states [where] 60-plus cents of every dollar goes to taxes, you’ll say, ‘What the hell am I doing this for?’”


Welcome to the new Civil War, Salon, (January 5th, 2013)

So even though it’s a truism of American public discourse that the Civil War never ended, it’s also literally true. We’re still reaping the whirlwind from that long-ago conflict, and now we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political issues of the 21st century – most notably the rights and liberties of women and LGBT people – but rooted in toxic rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.


The desperate, outnumbered neo-Confederacy continues its fantasy of rising again, Pam’s House Blend (January 6th, 2013)

And as we’ve seen with the war on women (womb-controlling legislative efforts around the country, rape apologists, and media blowhards  like Rush Limbaugh), the desperate gay-bashing by professional anti-LGBTs even as losses mount as civil equality advances — the Right’s efforts are nearly bunker-mentality, and the neo-Confederacy has leaned heavily on misogyny and racism (and guns) as its teddy bear, a security blanket. They are in full emotional meltdown


Vox Day calls for new secessionist political party, Right Wing Watch (December 3rd)

Is the secession of several American states truly unthinkable? Is the breakup of the United States of America really outside the boundaries of historically reasonable possibility?

Some would point to the amount of time that has passed since the Civil War, when the question was last considered. It has been 147 years since Americans attempted to exert their right to self-determination and leave the United States. However, it has been 305 years since the Scottish Parliament passed the Union with England Act in 1707, and even if Scotland does not vote to break up the Union in the referendum tentatively scheduled for 2014, the fact that the Scottish people are seriously considering an exit from a Union that is twice as old as the forcible one imposed by Abraham Lincoln should suffice to prove that the age of the U.S. does not render a potential breakup theoretically or practically impossible.


Ron Paul: ‘Secession is a deeply American principle’, Politico (November 19th)

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Monday that secession was a “deeply American principle,” amid a growing number of people petitioning the White House to let their states secede from the U.S.

“Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those ‘traitors’ became our country’s greatest patriots,” the former presidential candidate wrote in a post on his House website. “There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.”


Secession: Legitimate or sour grapes? (Video), CNN (November 17th)

People in all 50 states have signed petitions to secede from the U.S., but are threats legitimate or just sour grapes?


‘The secession threat’, The Nation (November 14th)

In a largely symbolic show of protest against Washington’s policies, secession petitions filed by no less than 20 US states are being touted as some defining comment on the state of American society today. However, coming on the heels of the re-election of President Barack Obama for a second term, this is a predictable form to test those who feel he is undeserving of the second term. The response to petitions however, has been so large that it may require an official response from the administration. These petitions, buttressed by the most difficult economic conditions since the Great Depression, mean that all is not rosy for the second time re-elected President, nor is his re-election a source of great joy for the hundreds of thousands who have signed the petition.


‘Residents In All 50 States File Petitions To Secede From United States’, Huffington Post (November 14th)

There is, of course, no reason to take these secession petitions at all seriously. There is probably a fourteen-syllable German word that precisely captures the combination of juvenile whining, sour grapes and goofy anti-government fervor that drove an infinitesimal number of Americans to submit and support these petitions, but the word that the kids in America use to describe this is “butthurt.”


‘White House to respond after 70,000 demand secession of Texas from US’, RT (November 13th)

Less than a day after RT first reported that a petition demanding the secession of The Lone Star State from the US was on track to cross the 25,000 signature threshold to warrant an official response, the tally of people requesting the speedy removal of Texas from the United States tripled, going from 21,777 signees to 72,861 in under 24 hours.


‘More than 30 states have a serious secession movement’, Glenn Beck (November 13th)

The White House website contains a section dedicated to letting the people’s voice be heard. Got an idea for a petition? Got enough signatures? The White House promises it will “be reviewed” and that they will “issue a response” to it. Should be interesting to see how the White House responds to the thirty plus states who have garnered enough signatures to secede from the United States.


‘Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them’, White House website (November 12th)

Mr. President, please sign an executive order such that each American citizen who signed a petition from any state to secede from the USA shall have their citizenship stripped and be peacefully deported.


‘Red Staters (and More) Already Talking Secession After Obama Victory’, Alternet (November 12th)

On the WhiteHouse.gov petition-writing tool, a large number of people have put forward petitions “peacefully demanding” that their states, including Texas and Louisiana, be removed from the Union. These two have garnered tens of thousands of signatures already, while others–which aren’t all predictable, and include states like New York and Michigan– have only a few thousand signees each.


‘Alabama joins the Secessionist Movement’, Daily Kos (November 10th)

In order to remove any doubt that Alabama is a backward, racist place to live, now a petition is being circulated at whitehouse.gov, seeking permission for Alabama to secede from the United States and form its own government.


‘Race and Beyond: Secession Isn’t the Answer’, Center for American Progress (August 14th)

I am a Southerner and proud of it. I’m also a black American and proud of it, too. Is there an inherent contradiction? Not one that I can see.


‘Should the South secede’, Salon (August 12th)

According to Chuck Thompson, a veteran travel writer who toured the American South, a degree of mutual enmity between Northerners and Southerners continues to be a source of cultural tension and political gridlock. We remain divided even as we have grown to become the world’s superpower. In his new book, Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession, Thompson argues that it may be time for a divorce – to shake hands and go our separate ways.

4 thoughts on “Tracking the Secessionist Movement Across America

  1. Talk of secession is indicative of a backwards political trend in the U.S. Just like the movement of the 19th century, in which the “slavocrats” attempted to dissolve the Union, to pursue this course would only reverse the tremendous progress that has been made to create a “more perfect union” (remember the Constitution?) anddetract us from the most important struggle, locally, nationally and internationally, which is to “preserve, restore and expand the common wealth” that belongs to the 99%.


    1. That you for that important comment, Michael. It’s indeed a backward trend, though I’m afraid many Americans won’t agree.


      1. Craig, I’m not sure about how many of our fellow Americans will agree or not. However, politically progressive Americans must expose this backwards tendency, pointing out the parallels between the 19th century secessionists and the current ones.(We have to do our homework!) As an African American I know that most of us will not support it, inspite of the fact that many of us are just as ill-informed as other Americans, thanks to an underperforming public education system!).In making the connections it is critical to replay the whole historical record. Yes, the slavocrats succeeded from the Union, but they were vanquished by a combination of slaves, exslaves, progressive industrialists, Free-Soilers, multicultural abolitionist and, most importantly, many brave Americans who were not willing to see the country broken into pieces to maintain the abominable system of “owning” people , for profitable gain. The slavocrats invoked “states rights” (sound familiar?) and “property rights” (what! the right to own and terrrorize people!). They even invoked the Constitution; a silly argument since we know that many of the authors of that great document were slaveowners. The lesson here is, not that the Constitution is invalid, but as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall explained, it was flawed (like most humans and human creations) and had to be “perfected”. And we’re still perfecting it.


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