Those Who Secede

Texas Governor Rick Perry's recent defense of the 10th Amendment has unleashed a flood of liberal outrage.  To our friends on the left, those who mention the word secession and federal government in the same breath are about as sophisticated as "beady-eyed stump jumpers" to quote from one of Mike Royko's old columns.  In other words, only a knuckle-dragging right-wing extremist could find a way to oppose President Obama's benevolent and compassionate autocracy. 

The modern secessionist movement however has been a mostly left-wing phenomenon.  "Sanctuary Cities" like New York and Seattle are only the latest manifestation of the leftist secessionist mindset that abandoned America long ago.  Famous Hollywood actors and actresses threatened to secede from the union during Bush's presidency.  Cities like San Francisco have passed measures in recent years to throw out military recruiters in area high schools.  Harvard University, like many universities across the country, still prohibits the establishment of ROTC programs on campus.  Secessionists all.

Barack Obama's Chicago friend Bill Ayers seceded from the union decades ago, making war on the state.  He famously said "kill your parents" and was photographed standing on an American flag for a magazine cover that was released just after 9/11.  Screaming "US of KKKA" certainly established the Reverend Jeremiah Wright as a card carrying member of the leftist secessionist movement. President Obama's recent decision to release the CIA's interrogation records seems, in my opinion, to border on something like secession.  Investor's Business Daily went so far as to call Obama's release of these documents an "inexcusable lapse:"

"How in good conscience could our President have given this gift to those trying to destroy us?"

Obama's own cryptic references to the U.S. Constitution represent more evidence of his secessionist mindset.  The Constitution, Obama has said, is full of "constraints" that make it difficult for the federal government to redistribute wealth.  By weakening the glue that holds America together -- the Constitution -- the President unwittingly stimulates more talk of secession.  So much for unity.

College campuses across America are breeding grounds for secessionists.  In all my years in academia I've rarely seen Old Glory displayed proudly in an office or a hallway, but I've seen plenty of images of Che Guevara and Karl Marx.  I even had to endure a life size portrait of Mao Tse Tung in a colleague's office for some years during graduate school.  It comes as no surprise then that secessionists like Noam Chomsky are the favored speakers at our universities, not patriots like David Horowitz.

Some say the leftist secessionist movement began back in the late 60s, but intelligent historians like Christopher Lasch, in his book The True and Only Heaven, place the movement to actively humiliate and detach from American culture much earlier.  Back in the 1920s for example writers like H.L. Mencken and Sinclair Lewis were encouraging liberal intellectuals to see themselves as a "civilized minority" occupying the heights of sophistication over and above what they considered to be the typical American hillbilly. 

In the early 1920s the left-wing Nation magazine sponsored a celebrated symposium entitled "These United States" in which writers were encouraged to weigh in on the quality of American life, state by state.  The result, according to Lasch, was "a satire of local customs bound to leave the impression that the United States was populated largely by rednecks, fundamentalists, and militant adherents of the Ku Klux Klan."  In other words, not much different from the recent Department of Homeland Security report on right wing extremism in America published some ninety years later.

In 1995, just a year after his untimely death, Christopher Lasch's most important and prescient book was finally published, The Revolt of the Elites.  Lasch outlines in fascinating detail the disdain our modern American elites hold for Middle America and its values.  According to Lasch:

"The new elites are in revolt against ‘Middle America' as they imagine it: a nation technologically backward, politically reactionary, repressive in its sexual morality, middlebrow in its tastes, smug and complacent, dull and dowdy."

Lasch observed that while most of these elites settled on the east and west coasts, it was doubtful whether they ever considered themselves Americans at all:

"Those who covet membership in the new aristocracy of brains tend to congregate on the coasts, turning their back on the heartland and cultivating ties with the international market of fast moving money, glamour, fashion, and popular culture.  It is a question whether they think of themselves as Americans at all.  Patriotism, certainly, does not rank very high in their hierarchy of virtues."

When the media, intellectuals, politicians, and educators joined the attack on family, faith, self-reliance, and limited government they believed they were doing it in the name of progress.  America to them represented something shameful and backward.  They were able to enjoy the benefits however of living in a land where these same American values established the moral capital that held the country together and provided the source of their livelihood.  In other words, leftists like Bill Ayers chose secession without the consequences of secession. Typical. 

My guess is that if Texas does decide to secede, it will remain more "American" than the ravaged carcass it will have left behind.

Secession, you see, is a state of mind.
Texas Governor Rick Perry's recent defense of the 10th Amendment has unleashed a flood of liberal outrage.  To our friends on the left, those who mention the word secession and federal government in the same breath are about as sophisticated as "beady-eyed stump jumpers" to quote from one of Mike Royko's old columns.  In other words, only a knuckle-dragging right-wing extremist could find a way to oppose President Obama's benevolent and compassionate autocracy. 

The modern secessionist movement however has been a mostly left-wing phenomenon.  "Sanctuary Cities" like New York and Seattle are only the latest manifestation of the leftist secessionist mindset that abandoned America long ago.  Famous Hollywood actors and actresses threatened to secede from the union during Bush's presidency.  Cities like San Francisco have passed measures in recent years to throw out military recruiters in area high schools.  Harvard University, like many universities across the country, still prohibits the establishment of ROTC programs on campus.  Secessionists all.

Barack Obama's Chicago friend Bill Ayers seceded from the union decades ago, making war on the state.  He famously said "kill your parents" and was photographed standing on an American flag for a magazine cover that was released just after 9/11.  Screaming "US of KKKA" certainly established the Reverend Jeremiah Wright as a card carrying member of the leftist secessionist movement. President Obama's recent decision to release the CIA's interrogation records seems, in my opinion, to border on something like secession.  Investor's Business Daily went so far as to call Obama's release of these documents an "inexcusable lapse:"

"How in good conscience could our President have given this gift to those trying to destroy us?"

Obama's own cryptic references to the U.S. Constitution represent more evidence of his secessionist mindset.  The Constitution, Obama has said, is full of "constraints" that make it difficult for the federal government to redistribute wealth.  By weakening the glue that holds America together -- the Constitution -- the President unwittingly stimulates more talk of secession.  So much for unity.

College campuses across America are breeding grounds for secessionists.  In all my years in academia I've rarely seen Old Glory displayed proudly in an office or a hallway, but I've seen plenty of images of Che Guevara and Karl Marx.  I even had to endure a life size portrait of Mao Tse Tung in a colleague's office for some years during graduate school.  It comes as no surprise then that secessionists like Noam Chomsky are the favored speakers at our universities, not patriots like David Horowitz.

Some say the leftist secessionist movement began back in the late 60s, but intelligent historians like Christopher Lasch, in his book The True and Only Heaven, place the movement to actively humiliate and detach from American culture much earlier.  Back in the 1920s for example writers like H.L. Mencken and Sinclair Lewis were encouraging liberal intellectuals to see themselves as a "civilized minority" occupying the heights of sophistication over and above what they considered to be the typical American hillbilly. 

In the early 1920s the left-wing Nation magazine sponsored a celebrated symposium entitled "These United States" in which writers were encouraged to weigh in on the quality of American life, state by state.  The result, according to Lasch, was "a satire of local customs bound to leave the impression that the United States was populated largely by rednecks, fundamentalists, and militant adherents of the Ku Klux Klan."  In other words, not much different from the recent Department of Homeland Security report on right wing extremism in America published some ninety years later.

In 1995, just a year after his untimely death, Christopher Lasch's most important and prescient book was finally published, The Revolt of the Elites.  Lasch outlines in fascinating detail the disdain our modern American elites hold for Middle America and its values.  According to Lasch:

"The new elites are in revolt against ‘Middle America' as they imagine it: a nation technologically backward, politically reactionary, repressive in its sexual morality, middlebrow in its tastes, smug and complacent, dull and dowdy."

Lasch observed that while most of these elites settled on the east and west coasts, it was doubtful whether they ever considered themselves Americans at all:

"Those who covet membership in the new aristocracy of brains tend to congregate on the coasts, turning their back on the heartland and cultivating ties with the international market of fast moving money, glamour, fashion, and popular culture.  It is a question whether they think of themselves as Americans at all.  Patriotism, certainly, does not rank very high in their hierarchy of virtues."

When the media, intellectuals, politicians, and educators joined the attack on family, faith, self-reliance, and limited government they believed they were doing it in the name of progress.  America to them represented something shameful and backward.  They were able to enjoy the benefits however of living in a land where these same American values established the moral capital that held the country together and provided the source of their livelihood.  In other words, leftists like Bill Ayers chose secession without the consequences of secession. Typical. 

My guess is that if Texas does decide to secede, it will remain more "American" than the ravaged carcass it will have left behind.

Secession, you see, is a state of mind.