Congressman Ron Paul reacted to the secessionist movement sweeping America today by reminding people that the United States seceded from the British empire, while slamming those who suggested their fellow Americans should be deported merely for talking about the idea.
In the aftermath of petitions from all 50 states to secede being posted on the White House website and signed by over a million Americans, the secessionist movement has been portrayed as anti-American, unpatriotic and even treasonous. In reality, as Ron Paul has emphasized, it is as American as apple pie and George Washington.
Paul updated his thoughts on secession during an appearance on C-Span today, noting how “The founders believed in it, there’s no prohibition in the Constitution against secession,” adding that the union was voluntary and therefore secession was also voluntary under the tenth amendment.
“They want to put them on a list that they’re committing treason, put them in prison or throw them out of the country – what about the First Amendment,” asked Paul in response to calls by some on the left to have pro-secessionists deported.
“The principle of secession is very important, not so much for the purpose of seceding, but the purpose of saying to the federal government ‘if you mistreat us that’s what we might consider’,” said Paul, noting that New England talked about secession in the early 19th century and was not condemned for doing so.
Paul explained that the principle was really about states nullifying laws that were anathema to the Constitution.