'United' but separate
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another ...”
So begins the Declaration of Independence of the 13 colonies from the king and country to which they had given allegiance since the settlers first came to Jamestown and Plymouth Rock.
The declaration was signed by 56 angry old white guys who had enough. In seceding from the mother country, these patriots put their lives, fortunes and honor on the line.
Four score and five years later, 11 states invoked the same right “to dissolve the political bands” of the Union and form a new nation. After 620,000 had perished, the issue of a state's right to secede was settled at Appomattox. If that right had existed, it no longer did.
What are we to make, then, of petitions from 25,000 citizens of each of seven southern states — 116,000 from Texas alone — to secede?
While no one takes this movement as seriously as men took secession in 1861, the sentiments behind it ought not to be minimized. For they bespeak a bristling hostility to the federal government and a dislike bordering on detestation of some Americans for other Americans.
One America believes our history is a catalog of crimes against people of color, that women have an inviolable right to abortions, that condoms should be handed out to sexually active teens in schools where Darwinism should be taught as revealed truth, while Bibles, prayers and religious symbols should be permanently expelled.
The other America sees all this as unpatriotic, godless and decadent.
Now that Christmas and Easter have been expunged from public schools, and the public square and the popular culture have been thoroughly de-Christianized, we Americans seem to have but one holy day of obligation that brings us all together: Super Bowl Sunday.
Could today's America come together to build an interstate highway system? Environmentalists would have killed Ike's highway system and the Hoover and Grand Coulee dams, as today they seek to stop fracking for oil and natural gas and block the Keystone XL pipeline.
As for states seceding, however, is that really a solution to national disintegration? Tens of millions with Blue State mindsets live in Red State America, and vice versa. While folks in Texas may talk of seceding from the Union, folks in Austin talk of seceding from Texas.
Yet we should take seriously what is behind this desire to separate and sever ties, for it mirrors what is happening across our civilization. The West is decomposing.
British Tories seek to cut ties to the European Union. Scots want to leave Britain. Northern Europeans are weary of carrying their profligate southern brethren and muse about cutting Greece adrift and letting it float out into the Mediterranean.
And Americans are already seceding from one another — ethnically, culturally, politically. Middle-class folks flee high-tax California, as Third World immigrants, legal and illegal, pour in to partake of the cornucopia of social welfare benefits the Golden Land dispenses.
Eighteen states have gone Democrat in six straight presidential elections. A similar number have gone Republican.
“Can we all just get along?” asked Rodney King during the Los Angeles riot of 1992. Well, if we can't, we can at least dwell apart.
After all, it's a big country.
Pat Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Cervelli’s inspiration
- Supreme Court justices ream EPA for ignoring costs to meet air standards
- More witness intimidation charges are filed against Plum teacher
- 80 percent of drivers found exceeding speed limit in Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park
- Pirates hope 1st baseman Alvarez starts to regain power stroke
- Downie, Ehrhoff lead list of likely Penguins leaving in free agency
- Penguins bringing back defenseman Cole with 3-year extension
- Pittsburgh Public Works supervisor disciplined for text message
- St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data
- Murrysville native Bullock vying for health magazine’s ‘Next Fitness Star’
- Brooklyn man’s cross-state taxi ride leads straight to jail in Uniontown