Robert Ringer

States Have a Right to Secede from the Union – No Matter What the Polls Say

By Robert Ringer - Thursday, June 7, 2012

According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, 24 percent of Americans believe that states have a right to secede from the union.  It’s not surprising that this number is ten points higher than it was in 2010, given the Obamaviks’ march toward an all-powerful, all-controlling central government.

Should Obama manage to retain power in 2013 (through the elective process or otherwise), that number will rise significantly — and quickly.  But it’s doubtful we’ll have any proof of it, because you can bet the government will repress poll results that aren’t to its liking.

The 24 percent figure on secession should not be surprising, given what happened in Wisconsin on Tuesday.  Governor Scott Walker won his recall election by eight points — 56-46 — in a very liberal state, so one would like to think it’s a sign that more and more Americans are waking up to the reality that they fall into the category of the subjectively defined “rich” — those who were put on this earth to support the lifestyle of the far-left’s voting base.

In all honesty, I believe that regardless of who is in office in 2013, the 24 percent number will continue to rise.  But will it matter?  After all, we already fought a war — America’s bloodiest, by far — over that issue, and the federal government won.  Abraham Lincoln, we are taught, fought the Civil War to free the slaves, but any well-informed student of history knows that is not true.

Lincoln made this crystal clear in a letter to Horace Greeley in 1862, when he wrote, “My paramount object in this struggle [the Civil War] is to save the union and it is not either to save or destroy slavery.  If I could save the union without freeing any slaves, I would do it.  If I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”

Even so, the one good thing that came out of the Civil War was that blacks were given their freedom.  But the truth is that the war was fought primarily because the Southern states, whom the Northern states had continually burdened with stifling tariffs and levies, wanted to secede from the Union.

What Lincoln really accomplished in bringing about America’s deadliest war was to reestablish government’s superiority over the individual (i.e., that individuals had to belong to the country whether they wanted to or not). And since the North’s victory, the issue of the federal government’s authority over all people within its borders has never again been seriously challenged.

So, while the 24 percent figure is encouraging, the fact is that the people of every state already have a natural right to secede from the union, regardless of what the polls say.  Where things will start to get dicey is when that figure begins to approach 50 percent.

This time around, however, secession is a much more complicated problem, because even in the most anti-big-government states, 25 to 40 percent of the residents are hard-core progressives, or worse.  Which means that any state that tried to secede from the rule of the feds would also have to fight against many of its own citizens.

But don’t despair.  The way things are going, it’s possible we’ll all be citizens of the Chinese Empire by then, and at least China is moving in the right direction.

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Copyright © 2018 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.

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0 Responses to “States Have a Right to Secede from the Union – No Matter What the Polls Say”

  1. reunion says:

    lincoln was a wordsmith, but also a lawyer. & a psychologist/salesman. so his use of the word "save" needs to be understood in terms of the resonance & empathy he was trying to achieve in listeners. "retain" or "keep", as in continuing to control, are more accurate words. also remember that lincoln & crew's "union" differs only in scale to trade unions. well, that & the fact that trade unions can be joined, or not, but bondage to the uber-union is imposed at birth (or naturalization). citizens, comrades, etc, are union property.

    if secession conforms to natlaw (it does), what does that (yet again) indicate about the con-servative reverence for the con-solidating con-stitution? it can't be had both ways, cake & cake consumption…and if you think about it, insisting otherwise is just a variation on "let them eat cake". but & so, the comeuppance course ~ just deserts, lol ~ will be served, at some point. the trick is, will be, to illuminate context in enough minds that the gabbling mob does not surge into a cake consuming tsunami, only to recede again into somnolence, sleeping off all those binged calories, as with the french. i don't think the houdini exists that can pull that rabbit…..

  2. James Parker says:

    I must respectfully disagree — with the wording, not the sentiment. States do not have "rights", they have "powers". In this case, states have the power to secede, as contractually stated in the US Constitution, under Amendment 10 — which was in place prior to the acceptance, by any state, of the constitutional contract.

    • reunion says:

      right. never rest on implication with these eels, as in the people of the states, rather than the states themselves. then of course must be dealt with the error of reverence for amalgamations, 51% majorities, etc. some of the states, like va, had secession options codified into their docs, too. words vs sword & cannon, "i got the conch" vs getting conked on the head.

      • reunion says:

        persons have the right to secede…..freedom of/from association. states are just names for chunks of geography where particular persons happen to be situated. which makes "states rights", taken literally, a sort of pagan religion, doesn't it?

        holy lands & bullet holes…..

  3. topeka says:


    great column as usual….

    I'm sure you were kidding… given China's movement towards more economic freedom and our descent into greater socialist chaos…. but

    I'm not so keen on joining China … no doubt we would NOT be allowed access to the Favored Few in the Klepto-class, let alone enjoy access to their Overseer class. More likely we would be lucky to be the Pampered Serfs and Not Relegated to the Class of Less Than Human Minorities….

    Which is why I really, really want to save the situation … I doubt my kids will have anywhere to go where they have a future…

    … assuming the Virtual Berlin Wall can still be breached when the need arises.

  4. Lawrence says:

    Tyrants always attempt to perpetuate themselves. If any state cecedes they will have to expect federal troops to come in and occupy their state.

  5. Rocketman says:

    I have to disagree Mr. Ringer. Succession is very simple. The process is that at least 2/3 (34 out of 50) of the state legislatures pass an identically worded Constitutional amendment that states that the United States of America is offically disolved. Once the 34th states passes that law the United States no longer exist and the various states can therefore go their own way to form whatever alliances they so choose. As far as a civil war I think that the best way to prevent that would be to have a one year grace period where anyone who wants to move from say high tax New York state to say low tax Wyoming could do so with no penalty to themselves. All the statists can live in the northeastern part of the country and leave the rest to us.

    • reunion says:

      after samantha wiggled her nose, the response to that marquesss of queensberry gambit would be simple, too, just as it was 1861-65. and darrin would still be befuddled.

    • Rob Larson says:

      An even more interesting idea is to allow people to choose which state citizenship they would like. Remove citizenship from the idea of territory and you'd soon see high tax states like California reverse themselves as people began to associate with low tax states like Wyoming.

      • reunion says:

        if that was an interim step toward abolishing "citizenship", maybe. states are cartels, monopolies, & their number 1 natural resource is the captive populations within their territories, aka citizens.

  6. john bear says:

    Apparently no one reads these musings: where are the Hank toon?

    Lincoln's War froze the idea of states withdrawing from the union. What happened to the South can happen again and to any single state or group of states even hinting at dropping out. Although the constitution has an opt-out clause for the states, when a president becomes a fascists dictator like Lincoln was the constitution is meaningless.

    • reunion says:

      i read them. but i've never had any idea what "hank toons" you ask after are…

      your understanding used to be mine. ba/aa (before appomattox / after appomattox). it wasn't that clean. a big pot of water takes time to get to boiling.

      it was more like this: the young girl's feet were bound, to prevent further organic (uncontrolled) growth…circulation was cut to the point of septicemia…an attempt was made to remove the bindings…but too late, & the legs were amputated.

  7. Gill O’Teen says:

    I've long felt that South Carolina erred by attacking Fort Sumter as the Constitution does empower Congress to "suppress Insurrections". By opening fire, it gave the statist Lincoln the opening he needed. If they had simply invoked the 10th Amendment they may have had a chance in court.

    • reunion says:

      faith (that's what it is, not secular confidence) in parliamentary procedure (follow the bouncing ball), is astounding to behold, given the countless times it has been, continues to be, abrogated.

      sc had already seceded. lincoln/amerika trespassed against a sovereign nation, purposively, to provoke the legitimate response he was able to use to as pretext. like fdr & stimson: how do we get then to fire the first shot?

  8. Laurence Tribe says:

    Just how many folks would seriously consider seceding from the Union when they realize they would forego any possibility of receiving the socialist security money they have been duped into contributing to. You understand that membership into socialist security changed citizenship from being a state citizen into a national citizen, a significant difference, and a contrivance to create a single national citizenship to overcome the two kinds of citizens created by Congress following the War Between the States.

  9. Warrior Princess says:

    Secession is an entertaining thought, but who has time to secede when the powers that be are taking us off to hell in a hand basket? We are on a wild ride getting bounced around and floundering around and constantly getting knocked down. The obama admin has a strong grip on the basket handle.

    People are getting smarter and wiser. This is an entirely different scenario from 2008. obama is learning he can't do his puppeteer job so easily now. An inevitable revolt is going to take place because a majority is fed up with intimidation, lack of logic, and non working plans which make things a hundred times worse and brings destruction of our domain. I believe secession is not as likely as a down and out revolution to take back what is rightfully ours. This is the way I feel about it.

  10. Erato says:

    Revolt is an entertaining thought as well… who has time to revolt when they're busy working to pay the bills and taking the kids to soccer practice? Who has the attention-span for revolt when they're distracted by the latest version of ipad, fashion styles, celebrity gossip, reality TV shows and video games? Who has the energy or strength to revolt when they're suffering the effects of poor nutrition, drinking fluoridated water, and taking anti-depressants? The majority may be fed up, but they're not going to do anything about it.

    • Erato says:

      And too, what chance does revolution stand in a society where the majority choose to be un-armed? Or one that has been educated since birth to be 'good' law-abiding citizens, to obey, follow the rules, line up in a neat and orderly fashion (boys on one side, girls on the other before being 'allowed' the privilege of returning to class)? What chance does revolution stand in a society that is no longer self-sufficient, and believes they need government? I think probably the only reason the american and french revolutions were initially successful is because they were conducted by an armed and not-formally-educated populace.

    • reunion says:

      more importantly, there have been many revolts in history. what of it? malaria is a "permanent" affliction. fevers come & fevers go…and come again. the effort must be directed toward solving malaria, not mistaking one of its symptoms as solution.

      • Erato says:

        I think fever is a symptom of an overly-dense population… once a village grows into a city, government seems to become inevitable. And now the government 'owns' most of the land. Malaria, on the other hand, seems to be inherent, genetic perhaps, among a certain percentage of humans… 80 maybe?

        • reunion says:

          malaria may well, probably is, human condition. but even villages, for most of time, have been under control of raiders, criminals (only later did those brigands realize the looting was better via institution of gov, & keeping the cattle close).

          80/20 (pareto) is usually a good rule of thumb.

          • Erato says:

            True, but a scattered population is also vulnerable, and there is strength in numbers… what do you think the ideal is?

          • reunion says:

            the net of "numbers" is stupidity, apathy, fear, conformance, etc. these are weaknesses, vulnerabilities, not strengths. fragmented persons glomming together to feel, fantasize wholeness.

            the ideal is real individual persons working toward wholeness in themselves. aggrandized & aggrandizing agglomerations of cyphers is the anti-ideal, and the ongoing agenda.

          • Erato says:

            Are humans whole at birth, I wonder? At conception? At what point does fragmentation occur? What an interesting idea, thanks reunion.

          • reunion says:

            no, not whole at birth. tabula rasa & pure potential. plastic & malleable. thus the impetus to corral & cordon the kiddies for 12 years, or more, parch-ment away the moisture, attain the dead hardness, boneheadedness.

            water brothers not welcome…(you've read heinlein's allegory?…stranger in a strange land…the land isn't strange, but most of the people upon it are).

          • Erato says:

            Heinlein's been one of my favorite authors for a long time, I must have been 14 or 15 when I read 'Stranger'. I feel that way myself. He was an unusually perceptive man, which is reflected in his earlier work also. Water brothers, yes… are not parch-ment-ed. I like it, lol.

          • reunion says:

            midnight ramblering…working back thru some butler shaffer essays, over at lewrockwell, this bit fits (from "the remnant meets the white rose"):

            "If we pay close attention to events in our world, we are reminded of the fallacy of the long-standing belief that "in unity there is strength." Formalized, structured systems foster strength for the organization only to the degree it promotes the weakness of its members. Centrally-organized behavior creates a jugular vein of vulnerability, a point which, when attacked, allows the attacker to control or destroy the entire group. The ease with which Adolf Hitler took over so many European nations by causing the surrender of their officials contrasts with the difficulties the French underground movement caused Hitler’s armies. It also helps to explain how Switzerland has managed to stay free of wars for so many years."

          • Erato says:

            What an excellent argument against government! You'd think that just the definition of that word, all by itself, would be convincing enough:

            govern – to rule by right of authority

            government – the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states

  11. Warrior Princess says:

    Erato, I relate to your post regarding the induced states of fragmentation and stress. It described my state of mind and I am sick of fighting it. Stress causes an acidic reaction in the body and flesh and I figured mine was close to battery acid equivilent. It may be medically wrong, but I take 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of blackstap molasses in 8 ounces of water each night before sleep. It caused a calming effect and I feel victorious that bho has not claimed my body with the stress he causes. Also, another counteraction I use is that I recalled the rule of ten which has been used since the beginning of time. Always look in the immediate surroundings for the solution or remedy. I call it the rule of ten because the solution is often within10 feet or multiples of ten. This applied to antidotes for poisons and I think it will apply to an antidote for bho if one keeps searching. This is how I exist, in a created happy state of balance and optimism with no drugs or alcohol. This is my personal revolt and I work to find solutions for our problems which includes population at the top of the list. The greater the population, the greater the problems with water, air, ecological damage, crime, drugs, poverty, and outdated sewers cities can't afford to fix. bho promotes all these problems and a top priority is his removal.

    • Erato says:

      Warrior Princess, thank you for sharing. It's great that you've found a solution. For what it's worth, here's what works for me… whole, mostly organic food, no grains or sugar, lots of saturated fat, clean water, and country living. But the best method I've found for combating mental stress is to withdraw from the rat race… and futile politics, and man-made holidays are among the primary stressors. (oh, and marriage, lol) It doesn't matter who is president, bho may be promoting these problems but he's not in control, is merely a figurehead for those above him… above any and every president. As long as there is a president, we will have these problems. Granted, without a president, we will have different problems, but we'll have a better chance at solving the ones that matter and discarding the ones that don't.

    • reunion says:

      wp…this population dx is too simple. it is also old, and has been wrong from malthus to erlich.

      this is the distinction: populations artificially crammed into cafo's (concentrated animal feeding operations), like beef cattle, versus bison on the plains (before the lincoln genociders wiped them out on their way to erecting…cafo's).

      authoritarianism enervates, creates dependencies, mouths to feed, messes to clean up. liberty, which is grounded in property (despite what the metaphysical types are wont to insist) unleashes creative solution to…everything.

      liberty & states/govs are antithetical.

  12. Warrior Princess says:

    bho's main priorities are exercising his power and promoting his personal agenda. he is the first and hopefully the last POTUS to rule by all alinsky tactics. Alinsky said to keep pushing issues and they will eventually reach the other side. bho does not play Simon says; he plays Alinsky says, and in so doing he treats citizens the way a cat does a mouse, by tormenting it before it is devoured.

    Numbers USA has all info on how population will double and about damages of immigration. We hear lies about bho's outstanding job of protecting the border and ridding illegals. Numbers USA gives truth and bho gets an F- on his report card. he will not speak against birthright citizenship for anchor babies. It is okay for America to be destroyed as long as he gets support of ethnic groups, illegal votes, etc.

    The Enumerated Powers Act (S. 1248) is in the current 112th Congress. It requires strict adherence to the Constitution and outlines accountability for those who ignore constitutional boundaries. bho is probably the main culprit inspiring the passage of the act.

    bho reminds me of the snake I whacked with an ax last night. The snake had been stealing eggs and devoured new hatched babies. Like our children, the babies had no chance for a future. The stolen eggs were like the treasury wasted by the government. And the snake still got away.

    Secession, revolution, reform, or whatever it takes,,, it is nice to imagine transforming to better place than this snafu.

    • reunion says:

      a poorly designed coop/incubator invites snakes, other predators. the con-stitutional coop was designed by the snakes….

  13. Scott says:

    This country has a fatal flaw, the the Great Civil War nothwishtanding, which has never been resolved. "Where and with whom does power reside?" That question, as before the first Civil War, is even now being debated in the courts. The states and federal government find themselves once again, locked in legal combat which is always the precursor to the sword.

    I hold little hope that the people will step in and assert their god-given rights, putting not only the federalists on notice, but the states as well. Not until many more individuals become more enlightened and desire personal liberty, pushing back on all tyrants and despots efforts to control, will we see improvement.

    • reunion says:

      < “Where and with whom does power reside?”

      to those who have rolled it up, with the help of their legions of rent collecting, welfare identity embracing followers / apologists.

      rolled up newsprint for the dog, rolled up parch-ment for "the people".

  14. Michael J Lawrence says:

    Secession is actually a constitutional right, not just a "natural" right. The 9th amendment says that enumerated rights of the federal government shall not be inferred to deny right retained by the people. The 10th amendment then goes on to define those rights as "the powers not delegated to the United Sates by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states…"

    The power of secession is neither delegated to the federal government nor prohibited by the constitution. Therefore, it is a standing right.

    I have long felt that the civil war, moral issues aside, was an illegal one against the people. There is NOTHING in the constitution which allows the federal government to force any state to stay in the club. But when guns trump honor, it doesn't really matter, does it?

    • reunion says:


      the con-stitution, particularly the bill of rights, was a delineation of natural in/un alienable rights. ostensibly only, of course. the parch-ment, & its wielders, grant no rights – no such authority exists.

  15. halftruthlies says:

    Secession needs to happen now. We are far to devided now. There will be gridlock for decades….nothing will get done. Dividing the country is the only way to allow the government for each side to give what the people want. It will also show whos model and values truly work, and we already know the answer to that question.

  16. Ron says:

    Tyranny of the majority is sadly what we are faced with, and is what demands us to secede from this Union. There is now effectively no separation of powers; the organizational separation of powers is now meaningless with the erosion and neutering of the one party that even vaguely represented our conservative interests.

    Erato, though, may be right; we may be "too busy" with soccer, work, who's winning Dancing with the Stars, etc. to take our individual liberty seriously. Unfortunate, because those who would erode our individual liberties are deadly serious!

  17. nightmare says:

    i would hate to see my country divide but it may be neccessary to give people their freedom from an oppressive goverment but like most people what would it take to get the majority to have had enough? i may fight for my idea of freedom of goverment but you will always have those who will fight for their goverment free stuff. Our nation has been stolen by those who will not work and it is what the goverment has worked for since Truman. Those who control the food control the masses.

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