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Secession: Breaking a Psychological Barrier (2012)

The spate of secession petitions that flooded the White House in the wake of Barack Obama’s re-election on 6 November probably won’t amount to much from a legal perspective. After all, despite the fact that several States, including Texas and others of the old Confederacy, got considerably more than the required 25,000 signatures during a thirty-day period to warrant a Presidential response, Mr. Obama really owes them nothing. And nothing is what they’ll get from that quarter.

But the real matter of the secession petitions is not a legal one. Rather, it is a psychological one. The simple fact is that so many of those who put their John Hancock to a document that supports breaking up the union committed a revolutionary act for the first time in their lives. In doing so, they broke an extremely important psychological barrier. They fundamentally challenged the power of the Establishment elite.

Oftentimes a man crosses an important line and afterwards is no longer the same person. He begins to see things differently and then act upon them with changed mind and heart. He has made a basic decision from which he cannot retreat without some sense of shame or even cowardice. I suppose you could say many little personal Rubicons have been crossed during the month that has elapsed since the election in early November.

What’s next, you might ask? It depends. Most of these signatories likely are not really revolutionaries or even serious secessionists. But they are frustrated and rightly concerned about the future. They know, instinctively and viscerally, that the America they once knew or the one they hoped to see is no longer there. It has been hi-jacked by those who care nothing for its past or its foundations. They see a bleak future for themselves and their progeny.

These good folks need a legitimate avenue for their frustrations, and politics-as-usual is no longer it. They need uncompromising leaders and disciplined organization. They need to be told that their reasons for signing those petitions in the first place were sound. And they need to know that, as free men and women, it was necessary finally to break through that psychological barrier. It was meant to be their perpetual prison cell.

Michael Hill