To Secede or Not To Secede: What Are the Problems?
By: Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic
With all of the ill will and distrust in America, it is doubtful we will ever return to the country we once knew. The attitude of We Won so shut up and do as you are told will continue to fracture this nation until something gives. When it does finally give, whatever form it takes will almost certainly be messy and noisy.
If a number of the states decide they have had enough of federal incompetence, what might they do in realistic terms to separate from this unwanted appendage? There are some primary questions that must be answered before this could happen in a successful way.
The first thing people must realize is that the federal government provides a great deal of money to states every year to administer to certain programs. Most of this money came from the citizens of the state to begin with and is held by the federal government for redistribution as it sees fit. This is by design because it is the only real power the federal government has over the states. Any time a state attempts to reject the will of the federal government, the first thing the state is faced with is the threat of loosing its’ federal money. In order for a state to administer its own programs with its own money, it first must cut off the flow of tax money from the citizens of the state to the federal government.
The next thing that must be resolved is the use of a currency. Since the federal government through the Federal Reserve, controls the money supply of the nation, an alternate system must be available to insure commerce can continue within the state and allow commerce with outside entities. In a standoff with the federal government, the feds can simply cut off the money supply of the state and cause untold chaos.
To resolve this problem a state must have its’ own money supply. The state government would have to establish a state bank to administer to the local banks within the state. The state bank would act as the treasury and issue either gold and silver coinage and/or paper gold and silver certificates backed by gold and silver bullion held by the treasury. The coordination of these certificates with other state banks can provide the states with the ability to conduct interstate commerce. The certificates can be identical from state to state with each certificate displaying a state seal of the issuing state. This will identify where it was issued and where the actual bullion is located to back the certificate.
To initiate the separation of the state operations from the federal operations, the state would engage in full spectrum nullification. All federal laws and regulations would simultaneously become null and void within the state and all elected federal representatives from the state would be reclassified as diplomats from the state to the federal government with the senior senator acting as Ambassador. All federal agents and employees operating within the state would be directed to leave or face imprisonment for unlawful conduct. The federal government would respond to this action with threats of force and monetary retaliation.
The threat of monetary retaliation would already be resolved with the new state currency. The threat of force would be difficult for the federal government to face as they would have to be the ones to actually move forces into the state initiating the first shots. All states have National Guard forces that are fully trained and equipped. Most states have substantial bases controlled by the National Guard and they also have Air National Guard units with the latest aircraft. Those that scoff at the ability of the National Guard need to keep two things in mind. The National Guard now comprises about 60% of the nations combat arms units. These are the actual trigger pullers on the battlefield. With all of the recent wars in the mid east, many of these National Guard soldiers are combat veterans with a great deal of experience in combat operations.
Many states also have state defense forces. There is also a militia contingency in many states. In Virginia for example, every able bodied man between the ages of 16 and 55 belong to the unorganized militia, whether they know it or not, and can be activated at the Governors command. This would instantly generate an army of over a million men just in the Commonwealth alone. Everyone knows by now about the millions of weapons and billions of rounds of ammo owned by civilians in this country, so these men would not be empty handed.
One of the perils of some states such as Virginia is their location and disposition of critical federal infrastructure. Virginia has the nations only nuclear carrier building facility, the CIA headquarters, the Pentagon, Military bases and storage warehouses, the presidential bunker at Mt. Weather and one of the nations largest navel bases. These are not facilities the federal government would let go of very easily.
The largest opposition from within the state would be from those receiving payments from the federal government. They would not want to lose those payments for any reason and would resist this change. The state would also need to decide how it would deal with these dependant persons after separation. Would the state continue payments from its’ state coffers or would it eliminate these payments?
Also something everyone needs to keep in mind is that the government we now have is the way it is because it is a direct reflection of the people that voted for it. That is one reason we can never “vote the bums out”. This fact leads to the question of how to prevent this segment of society from creating another corrupt entity to rule over us.
Three other potential problems for a state, especially one surrounded by federally backed states, would be energy, food and transportation. Many states have power plants but they require fuel deliveries from outside sources that could be cut off by federal forces. Most states have some food production but they would need sufficient supplies if the distribution lines were cut. Those states that are land locked would have the disadvantage of having their land routes cut off in order to force submission to the federal government. Some states would be less susceptible to these things than others but the state must evaluate these things prior to any unilateral actions.
If a state took these actions in preparation of seceding from the federal government, it would be difficult for the federal government to prevent it without initiating hostile action to prevent it and they would be at a disadvantage especially if several states acted in unison. In this situation it would be difficult to say how many liberals would be willing to put their lives at risk to prevent this separation from happening. Many are vocal in these types of matters but would be reluctant to spill any of their own blood over it.
The act of separating from the federal government is a simple and straight forward process but it will only happen if the state legislature and Governor is willing and they have a sizeable portion of the population to back them up. This could happen if things deteriorate enough and the outcry is sufficient. This type of action is like walking through a mine field. It must be done very carefully or things could go very wrong, very fast. Time will tell how this story plays out but there are many possible endings.
If the state governments went this route, they could do it peacefully without firing a shot. It is simply a matter of withdrawing their support for the federal government and moving on. The problem will be whether the feds will allow it or not. They will either stand back and allow it to happen or they will try to prevent it by force of arms. It would be a safe bet that they would try to maintain their power at all costs and that is the problem. Secession is a messy problem that is not to be taken lightly and is not to be dismissed out of hand.