Since I am the "ErinMist" referenced in Vassar Bushmills' diary post, I thought I should add my two cents here. By the way...the name's Michael. ;-)
As I mentioned in one of my comments in the Texas thread referenced, my background is in both political science and in history from the University of Virginia -- Mr. Jefferson's own -- and my experience has taught me that each clearly informs the other. Given that background, I noted that one of the moderators had given a clearly glib answer to a comment by another reader that Texas should secede, and whose gist was that we should just go to war against that state -- as that is somehow the automatic reaction anytime a member of our American family should want to leave: we just kill them, even if that member should be one with whom we share the most in common and who's values we ourselves hold.
It's the "Constitution-as-Suicide-Pact" line of thinking.
While my points and the scenarios that I referenced were academic -- a thought experiment in the "what to do in a worst case scenario" that is still many years and and many judicial and legislative abuses away -- I asked readers to play it out, all the way out, to when voting Republican didn't matter, and everything was run by a judiciary, and your state is no longer a sovereign. Then what? Where do you go? What do you do?
I never was able to get a straight answer from the recipient of my query, who withdrew in a fit of "hear no evil", and even Redstaters here were somewhat split. All this talk of liberty and death, but several quite willing to embrace the yolk of any benign tyranny if it meant they didn't have to watch their children die or lose their SUV, or other such comfort that makes all this talk seem so "scary".
My point was that secession, of the likely outcomes, was the most reasoned, logical, peaceful, and least disruptive of a whole host of unpleasant choices in such an apocalyptic circumstance. To be clear, I didn't advocate it, and in fact, made it clear that there are a lot of things we can do in the interim to return this Government to its properly constructed role. But what was "silly" and in the long term, quite dangerous, was to dismiss it out of hand as some chose to do.
So how those comments could have inspired, influenced, or in anyway resulted in the paranoid analysis that Vassar Bushmills' diary posits, whereby November elections will somehow be canceled or invalidated, is quite remarkable. Given the history of this country, and the apparent rancor that has at times divided its citizens, we are no where near any such effort, no matter how "deep" the Left might be, even should they actually be "all in". My own view is that they have in fact committed all to their cause, and have expended considerable resources and capital to arrive where they are today. But so what?
It has been an expenditure of resource, capital, and credibility that will be for naught, leaving them drained, poor, and lacking the ability to make a serious argument. Witness how much even the "racist" charge now no longer carries weight. The little boy Left has cried "wolf" once too often.
So being "all in" has only hastened their demise, a political "Pickett's charge" that has failed, and the price for which will be paid on the first Tuesday of this November.
Being the impatient people we are as Americans. eight years of ANYTHING is about all we'll put up with -- even if it's eight years of prosperity. After 8 years of Clinton, foibles aside, the economy had had a good run and we elected a Bush. Eight years of Bush, another good run, given two wars, resulted in Mr. Hope and Change, who turned out to be Mr. Failure and Despair. So now comes November, and Dems are freaking out because they're going to take a hit, but under the most reasonable predictions available today, STILL stand to control the Senate, the Presidency, and most of the Federal judiciary, to say nothing of the Federal bureaucracy which never, ever goes away.
Yet the author of this diary gives 50/50 odds there to be a civil-war inciting, illegal, and unenforcable cancellation or invalidation of those elections (or their results) because of ....what? They didn't get 100% of everything they wanted??? That's a highly unreasonable conclusion to draw from the events, especially in light of the glaring fact that there would still be a vast majority of Democratic hands at the tiller of government after the November elections.
The chasm between that objective reality, and the conclusion that events are now conspiring to create some "November surprise" is simply too vast for this reader to leap.
Instead, I was seeking to take a broader view in my comments. The one that notes quite correctly that history is very much against us, something that Jefferson and all of the Founders clearly knew and wrote about, because it is the very nature of government to grow and expand and to do so until the people rebel and toss it off to start over. And it is inconsequential whether Reagan Republicans control that government, or Marxist Democrats -- Government. Will. Grow. Eventually it will grow to the point where it no longer can feed itself, and you can use any empire in history as an example, or point to recent Grecian failures that Democrats seem intent on mirroring.
So while the November 2010 elections are critical, and may in fact be the most important of our lifetimes, they are, in the sweep of history a mere speed bump towards this government's eventual, inevitable, and utterly unavoidable demise. And the results of those elections, whether we win or lose, does nothing to mitigate a need for an eventual and peaceful "exit strategy" -- though one that our children or grandchildren will more likely require, than anyone reading this in 2010. Or 2020 for that matter.
It is hardly treason or ill reasoning to point this out, but merely historical precedence, and no less than our Founders would be shocked out of their powdered wigs to see the government they started still functioning (if bearing no resemblance to anything they intended). But if that is all true, what are we voting for? Why fight and why defend "the United States of America" if it's all for nothing in the end anyway?
As I pointed out in my comments, I come from a family who traces a military tradition back to 1863, and has shed its blood in every conflict this country has found itself in. But I am here to witness and testify that none of that blood was shed for a "government", but rather for the idea and ideals behind that government. It is the liberty, equal justice, independence, values, and opportunities enshrined in our Constitution and Declaration that drives men to bleed and die, not a party or whether liberals or conservatives are writing the rules. And those values will continue to live in the hearts of patriots whether this remains the United States of America, or whether there's a Western America, a Chesapeake Union, a New Britain, an Eastern Canadian Commonwealth, and a North Mexico as states find more in common with others than we currently find with each other.
Government is the MEANS to those ends, and countries exist to protect those interests. But I would hardly be the first to note that when government is destructive to those ends, it's time to move on. To wit, Mr. Jefferson: "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."
Certain Redstate readers, perhaps because they grew up in Northern states or were educated by teachers that equated "Slavery" and "Treason", with "Secession", cannot countenance the very logical, very reasonable position that these 50 sovereign states did not sign a suicide pact, and that whether we allow one or another to leave peacefully or force it back into a Federal subjugation that we ourselves might be seeking to escape will determine whether that inevitable and utterly predictable "dis-union" will be bloody or not.
Secession is most emphatically NOT off the table, as Texas has clearly demonstrated. As long as there is a Gov. Perry, Obama knows that Texas holds a hand that he cannot defeat without losing 30 more states in the process. It is only the reality, or perceived reality, that if final push came to final shove, Texas would in fact declare its independence that will cause Uncle Sam to back down, even if it means they lose face in a red state they stand no chance of ever carrying. No one -- left or right -- thinks Perry is bluffing. And that's why he'll prevail.
Again, I repeat, and I emphasize, that we are perhaps a generation removed from ever having, or being forced, to deploy a secession "card", and we have a million other options in front of us. But anyone who confuses secession with "slavery" or some wistful "Lost Cause" is being willfully naive. While the secession of Southern states did not result in an outcome those states hoped, colonial secession from Great Britain certainly did.
For a country, the United States, that was founded, in part, through the very strategy of secession in order to redress grievances inflicted upon it by a tyrant, for those same states, or for those same citizens now to say "talk of secession is silly" is disingenuous at best. To remove it from civil discourse, to "take it off the table" because they were taught it equated to treason and slavery, is to remove the last, reasonable hope for a peaceful parting of the ways among the states, and a Federal government that is hopelessly, but predictably out of control.
Take secession off the table, and when all the other options run out -- and they will -- you're only left with war.
And that, my dear readers, is not something I'm prepared to do, not now, not ever. In the meantime, I reiterate -- vote conservative. Usually that means Republican, but your mileage may vary. ;-)
It matters, now more than ever.
P.S. That map at the beginning of this article? From a liberal web site distraught at the re-election of George Bush. Seems our "blue" brethren can tire of us "red" folks too.