Family Research Council

James Madison, Rick Perry Quash Secesh Talk

By Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment and Bob Morrison is Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The American Thinker on November 17, 2012.

It was said of the royal Bourbon family of France that "they forget nothing; they learn nothing." Have some of the fringers on our own side become Bourbons? Or have they just been hitting the bourbon since Election Day?

What is this nonsensical talk of secession? Now people are wasting their time drafting and, worse, signing petitions calling for secession. If at first you don't secede, try, try again, eh? Is it a sign of the times, the failure of public education? Has anyone here heard of Appomattox?

Gov. Rick Perry is quite right to dismiss all such talk. Texas is a great state and a valued member of this perpetual Union. Texas is not going anywhere but up. The Union forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah!

The last time secession was tried, 630,000 young Americans died. An entire region of the country was laid waste and did not really recover until the 1970s. That was also the time when segregation ended. See a link?

For black Americans, in particular, the Civil War meant the end of "two hundred fifty years of unrequited toil," in Lincoln's graceful words. Frederick Douglass was more pointed. He endorsed Jefferson's statement that even one hour of slavery was worse than decades of British tyranny.

Throwing off chains for black folks was great and important, but it was soon replaced by that badge of servitude, Jim Crow. Segregation blighted this nation's life for another century.

Knowing all this, how can we countenance foolish talk of secession? There is no state -- not one -- where such a move would command majority support. It is an invitation to bloodshed.

America's enemies have been emboldened under this administration. They have gotten away so far with the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. Any talk of secession here only stokes the flames of their hatred of us.

When we tore ourselves apart over the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky Affair, Saddam Hussein took advantage of our distraction to boot out U.N. arms inspectors. Osama bin Laden declared war on America. Just months later, he killed hundreds in attacks on our embassies in East Africa. The terrorists watch CNN, too. If they hear talk of secession, they can take it only as a signal to attack us.

James Madison is rightly regarded as the father of the Constitution, the author of the Bill of Rights. When Anti-Federalists in New York State were scheming to ratify the Constitution conditionally in 1788 -- and to leave the door ajar for secession if they didn't get a Bill of Rights to their liking.

Young Madison was having none of it. New York could not be forced to ratify the new Constitution, he wrote. But there could be no playing of games.

New York must ratify unconditionally and forever, Madison wrote. If that lesson had been taught in all our schools for half a century, and remembered in all our legislatures, we might have averted the Civil War. While Madison lived and gave voice to his pro-Union sentiments, we did avert a civil war.

There are a host of reasons why Mitt Romney lost. Actor Eduardo Verastegui is a legal Mexican immigrant. He did a video during the last campaign appealing for the lives of unborn children. Minority children, Eduardo says, are aborted at twice the rate that white children are. "And President Obama does not want you to know if your 13-year-old has an abortion." No, said Eduardo, but he wants you to pay for it.

In forty years, no Republican Party operative has said anything so strong or so true. Maybe if Eduardo had been allowed to speak before the GOP Convention in Tampa, we might have seen a different result. Maybe if Romney and Ryan had visited inner-city pregnancy care centers, more minority voters would have rallied to their cause.

In the next four years, pro-life conservatives will seek a more perfect Union with our fellow Americans who are Hispanic, Asian, and black. We'll base our appeal on the values of life, marriage, and religious liberty.

To those who talk nonsense about secession, we can point them North. Canada is still up there. But something tells us the Canadians are not saying "come on up."

Meet The Author
Ken Blackwell Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council. He serves on the board of directors of the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers (Full Bio)

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