Posted by: The Last Liberal Gwinnettian | May 14, 2009

GOP Traitors

It’s interesting to be a Yankee/Southern hybrid like myself and so many others — we get to see two vastly different perceptions of this country. Perhaps the most useful illustration of this is the way that Northern and Southern schools teach the history surrounding the Civil War.

For any Yankees reading this, no, I have never heard a teacher refer to the Civil War as “The War of Northern Aggression” (except as a joke).

However, there is a marked difference in the way that aspect of history is taught. Essentially, it boils down to this: In the North, the War was all about slavery; in the South, the War was a little bit about slavery, but mostly about states’ rights and secession.

Personally, I agree with Abraham Lincoln: slavery would eventually have died out on its own, regardless of what lawmakers or war mongerers did. Yes, the issue that raised the question of states’ rights was slavery. However, slavery alone does not fully account for going to war. Consider that the vast majority of Confederate soldiers were not slave owners (and did not particularly like slave owners, since slave owners tended to be higher up on the socioeconomic totem pole).

However, whether you believe that the War was fought over slavery or states’ rights, the fact remains that War was fought, the South lost, and the Supreme Court declared secession to be unconstitutional. It’s over. It’s been over for about 150 years.

In Texas v White, the Court ruled that: “The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible
Union, composed of indestructible States. … Considered, therefore, as transactions under the Constitution, the Ordinance of Secession, adopted by the convention and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, and all the Acts of her Legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance, were absolutely null. They were utterly without operation in law. … Our conclusion, therefore, is, that Texas continued to be a State, and a State of the Union, notwithstanding the transactions to which we have referred.”

See? Secession is not allowed. Once you are a state of the union, you are a state of the union. It’s a bit like being in the mafia — you are a member for life…or until they kill you.

Some people, however, still think secession is a good idea. In fact, four out of the six GOP candidates for Georgia Governor have said that they would support seceding from the Union if the federal government passes certain firearms restrictions.

I find this interesting because I happen to love my country — even when it’s screwed up, even when the rest of the world frowns upon us, even when I fundamentally disagree with its leadership — I love my country. I express my love for this country by exercising my First Amendment right to free speech whenever possible. I consider the use of my rights to be the utmost example of patriotism. And I consider the idea of leaving the Union for any reason to be treasonous, contemptible, and (for lack of a better word) stupid. And yet, the very same people who support such an unconscionable act are those who labelled me and others like me unpatriotic when we dared voice objections to the questionable acts of the Bush administration.

Don’t be stupid. Don’t vote for a traitor. If you support secession, then perhaps you should simply leave this country. Don’t try to drag the rest of us with you.

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