If you’ve been following the Texian Partisan, you might have read the recent story about North Carolina State politicians who proposed removing secession prohibitions from their state’s constitution, clearing the way for a vote on independence. Well, NC is by no means the only or the first state to have their officials openly considering this.
Enter Senator Joseph Silk. This Oklahoma politician suggested that, during the 2017 legislative session, Oklahoma remove a portion of Section I-1 of the state’s constitution. “Which portion?” you may ask. Well, in the area where it says, “The State of Oklahoma is an inseparable part of the Federal Union,” he thinks they should lose that bit where it says “inseparable.” Quoted in an article appearing on AOL, Senator Silk said, “‘Clearly, our founding fathers believed that no people or group of people should be inseparably bound politically to another.'”
If such a resolution is passed, it would leave yet another state with a possible exit strategy from the Union. And while the Senator doesn’t believe that Independence is something Oklahoma needs immediately, the fact that he and a growing number of legally elected state officials are openly speaking about it and making motions in the direction of independence is a good indicator of growing general dissatisfaction in the US federal government.
Ideas like independence are typically accompanied by the usual suspects of nay-saying, people that think such things could never happen in modernity. The afore-mentioned article quotes one such person. Nevertheless, such pronouncements on the impossibility of secession seem to be more wishful thinking than informed analysis. It’s a common fantasy to believe that one is living at the end of history, standing on the pinnacle of humanity, and that our future is one of global governance rather than many national identities. No doubt, every successful civilization has had similar notions. However, it’s important to note that while human achievement and knowledge has advanced immensely through the millennia, human nature and needs largely have not. The real lesson of history is that governments come and, when the people chafe under them, they go. And the larger a bureaucracy gets, the more removed it becomes from those it governs. If the governed are acutely aware of this, it’s their tendency to prefer and seek their own governance to that of an increasingly alien power, even if that power doesn’t think of itself as “alien.” Until human nature changes, we’ll have to put off the Star Trek future for later. Sorry Scotty.
What has been common throughout history will be again. Nationalism is on the rise, and while it may not be the bloody ordeal it has been in times past (now relegated to the ballot box), it is still a common factor of today’s body politic. Consider the recent Brexit from the EU, or the fact that the world has expanded from 72 countries in 1945, to this day’s 196 (If you count Taiwan). It’s only a matter of time until this historical and global phenomenon returns to our continent. If the United States continues to govern outside it’s constitutionally granted sphere of authority, it won’t be long before the first US states decide they’d rather govern themselves than continue to outsource their sovereignty to an apparatus that doesn’t share their values or concerns and remains content to ignore them… except on Tax Day, mid-term elections, and during the race for the White House.