(NationalSentinel)Â Politics:Â There is now secession talk in at least a half-dozen states,Â and though some are much more serious and far more advanced, the fact that the issue is being taken seriously by so many isÂ a sign of our times: Market political partisanship and division that no one president or party seems capable of bridging.
A report last week by the Pew Charitable Trust said talk of secession was occurring on varying levels in California, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Maine, West Virginia, New York’s Long Island, and others.Â Others have discussedÂ intrastate secession; a movement in Colorado soughtÂ to break a portion of the state away from the Left-wing state government in 2013; northern Californians have talked of breaking the state in half or in thirds.
As Pew noted:
The move for independence, whether itâ€™s from the right of the political spectrum as in Texas, or the left as in California, reflects the political division felt across the country, said Edward Meisse, a supporter of the Yes California secession group that just disbanded. â€œWe have two diametrically opposed philosophies in our country, and weâ€™re just not getting anywhere,â€ he said. â€œI think we should allow states to secede so California can be California and Texas can be Texas.â€
What must be understood here is that this is no longer a “fringe” movement – not that it ever was to many people: According to Pew, 1 in 4 Americans favor leaving the union – 25 percent. In California, the percentage is higher: 1 in 3.
AsÂ NewsTargetÂ observed, citing the Pew report:
An increasing number of Americans donâ€™t believe in the Christian God the pledge acknowledges. Some donâ€™t respect our flag and feel as though it is a sign of repression. Others donâ€™t believe our country is just or righteous or moral. Scores more donâ€™t think we have much liberty left.
These divisions and disagreements have been exacerbated â€“ intentionally, and by several actors â€“ in the Age of Obama and Trump. President Obama only averaged a 47.9 percent approval rating; President Trump, so far, is averaging about 41.2 percent. Both presidents elicited very strong emotional support or disagreement among the electorate; both have seen partisanship widen and harden.
The end result is that we are no longer a nation of Americans â€“ but rather citizens of American regions, factionalized along religious, political, social and cultural lines. People living in the south have little in common with people living in the north; the east and west coasts have little in common with people living in the Midwest; the Northwest has little in common with people living in the Southwest.
So what to do? Most constitutional historians and experts believe the “question” of secession was settled by the Civil War (upon entering office, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that secession was not permitted (though at the time he had no legal or constitutional basis for making such a claim), as well as a subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1869 (Texas v. White)
But legal precedent and even war have not settled the question for a growing number of Americans who believe they should have the right to decide amongst themselves matters ofÂ governance, as well as social and cultural issues. And given Washington’s major disconnect with much of the country, and Congress’ historically low approval ratings, it does not appear as though this dynamic will change anytime soon.
The National SentinelÂ has commissionedÂ a white paper in conjunction with other publications that examines the question of secession in historical and modern-day contexts. Upon publication this summer, which we will announce in advance, weÂ hope it will serve as a blueprint for the way forward on this issue.