Last night I was giving a talk at a local library on Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution, offering the sixteenth president’s evolving understanding of the document and its implications (including the rather flexible notion of the “war powers of the president”). In the discussion that followed, someone struggled to find a basis for secession (I had pointed out that the Constitution does not mention secession, leaving people to construct their argument upon various interpretations of certain clauses). The questioner was frustrated that he could not establish a basis for secession’s constitutionality, whereupon it hit me …
Why don’t advocates of secession propose a constitutional amendment explicitly defining secession as constitutional?
You would think that with all those people claiming that the idea of secession is gaining ground, that time (and presumably history) are on their side, so why don’t they do this (it seems to me that it would be a more fruitful use of their time than the secession petition epidemic that followed Obama’s reelection, which sought the federal government’s permission to secede … the real Confederates were smarter than that). Stop all this foolishness about supposed “southern nationalism” and the impending collapse of the American republic, and simply pursue a constitutional amendment.
Go ahead, I dare you (and you know who you are). Make my day. Show us that you believe in secession, not by posting or flagging, but by taking actual political action. Seek a constitutional amendment. Do it … and do it now.
Otherwise, we know all that talk is just for show.