David Talbot wrote an interesting article in Salon. Well ... actually it's a lame attempt "hit piece" on Sarah Palin, so let's take a look at his charge that Sarah and Todd Palin are "un-American". The article starts off with this:
The Palins' un-American activities
"My government is my worst enemy. I'm going to fight them with any means at hand."
This was former revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers back in his old Weather Underground days, right? Imagine what Sarah Palin is going to do with this incendiary quote as she tears into Barack Obama this week.
Only one problem. The quote is from Joe Vogler, the raging anti-American who founded the Alaska Independence Party. Inconveniently for Palin, that's the very same secessionist party that her husband, Todd, belonged to for seven years and that she sent a shout-out to as Alaska governor earlier this year. ("Keep up the good work," Palin told AIP members. "And God bless you.")
AIP chairwoman Lynette Clark told me recently that Sarah Palin is her kind of gal. "She's Alaskan to the bone ... she sounds just like Joe Vogler."
Is this an act of treason as Talbot charges? Let's take a look ...
The House of Representatives in Oklahoma recently passed Joint House Resolution 1089 by an overwhelming 92-3 margin. Resolution 1089 reads in part:
"Whereas, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.' ... and whereas, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and Whereas, today, in 2008, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government ... therefore, be it resolved ... that the State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. That this serve as Notice and Demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers."
As reported in the Washington Post, there is a strong secession movement in the state of Vermont too. In fact, it's happening all over the country! Authors Ian Baldwin and Frank Bryan say of Vermont:
The winds of secession are blowing in the Green Mountain State.
Vermont was once an independent republic, and it can be one again. We think the time to make that happen is now. Over the past 50 years, the U.S. government has grown too big, too corrupt and too aggressive toward the world, toward its own citizens and toward local democratic institutions. It has abandoned the democratic vision of its founders and eroded Americans' fundamental freedoms.
Vermont did not join the Union to become part of an empire.
Some of us therefore seek permission to leave.
In the greatest single document providing for the rights of man, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following in our Declaration of Independence:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness ... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
As a country founded on an anti-state creed, being believers of individual rights over governments, I'd argue that contrary to Talbot's historically-challenged point of view, secession is as American as apple pie!
You could say it's our most primal act.
In 1776, our Founder's accomplished secession from the tyranny of England. Then in 1814, the New England states gathered to consider secession because of disapproval of the War of 1812. They seriously considered it two more times until 1860, when the Southern states determined they wanted to be independent.
Suddenly, the Southern states were considered "treasonous," with false claims bandied about that they wanted to overthrow the federal government. This was not true. They just wanted to peacefully secede.
The American war known as the Civil War, was in fact, not a civil war at all. In a civil war, all parties involved are fighting for control of the central government. Some call this particular war, the "War of Northern Aggression," which may be a more appropriate name. Again, the Southern states didn't want power over Washington, they simple wanted to leave the Union and form their own government.
In the first major attack on our Constitution, war broke out in an effort by the federal government to stop the states of South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas from seceding.
The history, spirit and soul of America is not one of federal power, but in fact one that is passionately opposed to federal power. Whether any state should secede is up to them, but their true American spirit of secession should be honored!
Those who claim them to be un-American have no sense of history, nor a belief in the American creed at all.