The Case for Secession

By: John LaHoud – January 2013

NOTE: What follows is an intellectual exercise, designed to stimulate the thinking of my fellow freedom-loving citizens. Anyone wishing to participate may e-mail Whether incorporated into the final document or not, all submissions will remain anonymous.

For lovers of government, the elections of November 2012 were a triumph; for lovers of freedom, they were a tragedy. Whatever it may be called—the tipping point or the Rubicon—we have crossed a line from which there is no turning back. The United States as it was founded and which we of a certain age loved—the nation that nurtured our love of liberty and our patriotic pride—is no more. I am reminded of the 1972 Cashman and West song American City Suite, whose haunting lyrics have stayed with me for forty years. Of the death of their beloved New York City, they sang: “I think of her. I think of life’s own music. At least that’s the way it used to be. I think of her, and I see the children laughing; but it’s only on the streets of my memory. And I’ve never felt so lonely and so helpless. I’m wishing that I didn’t know the truth. They tell me that a friend is dying, and there’s nothing in this world that I can do.”

Some will no doubt scoff. After all, every generation thinks that things were better in the old days: that the younger generation is taking the world to hell in a handbasket. But it is very different this time. This time, in the face of clear evidence of the downward direction of the country and the spiral into dependency on government, the electorate voted to accelerate the process of self-destruction. And with both the public “education” system and the major media firmly in the grip of the progressives (i.e., the Socialist left), how could it be otherwise—and how can it ever change? The short answer (absent divine intervention): it can’t.

So, the time has come to determine where to go from here; and for many, the answer seems to be “out”. For the first time in my life, I am hearing widespread cries for secession. No doubt, much of it is simply the venting of frustration by those who had placed their bets on the losers, while some is the ranting of kooks and crackpots. (Feel free to lump me in with either of those groups—my skin is thick.) But there is also a group of concerned Americans who have never cared for the European Socialist model so adored by the Left, and who have no desire to live in a Greece-like economic basket case of a nation. We are not necessarily wealthy, but we are producers who believe in working hard and enjoying the fruits thereof. We believe in making our own decisions about retirement, health care, and a host of other life-choices that we do not believe to be the province of government. And we see a country now betraying the ideas and ideals that it once fostered. With no other country to go to (the U.S. was the “last best hope”), we dream of making a new one, a republic we can keep. (Sorry, Mr. Franklin, we couldn’t this time.)

Before the election, we feared that it might come to this, but we wanted to give the country one last chance to reassert its sanity, to show that it hadn’t crossed that line. Our plea was, to quote Cashman and West again: “Can you say it ain’t true? Can you tell me now before I’m leaving you? I’d give anything I own just to believe in you…again.” The answer to that plea was the slamming of the door in our collective face.

Now the task before us is to create a model for a new nation, building on that which the founders of the United States so brilliantly constructed more than two hundred years ago, but modifying it to create safeguards that will preclude the wrong turns to which their grand experiment succumbed. I invite any who wish to contribute to that model to do so; it may be an intellectual exercise more challenging than any that we have ever faced, but made all the more satisfying by its difficulty. I propose that we start by laying down some cardinal principles which will form the backbone of our Constitution: non-negotiable, non-amendable rules to which the federal government of this new nation must adhere. I offer some here to prime the intellectual pump of anyone who wishes to participate. More will follow—by God’s grace—in the months to come.

Cardinal Principles

The federal government has no power to do anything that is not explicitly granted to it by this constitution.

The federal government may not tax the income or the owned property of any citizen or legal resident, or of any legal entity, in any state.

No money, or goods having monetary value, shall be given by the federal government to any individual or entity, including any other government entity, e.g., state or municipality, with the exception of payment for products or services provided in accord with legal contracts, negotiated openly and approved by Congress.

The official language of the federal government shall be English—the government shall not publish any material in any other language, nor require any other entity to do so.

There. Have at it, and have fun. And, by the way, since this is to be a new nation, sharing the continent with the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, it will need a new name. I welcome suggestions.