Texas Secession? No, Just States’ Rights

Texas Governor Rick Perry never suggested his state secede from the United States of America. Despite what you may have heard, he simply stated support for Texas House Concurrent Resolution 50 which merely reiterates the United States Constitution’s 10th Amendment.

I apologize; I sometimes forget nobody remembers what the Constitution is.

The Tenth Amendment 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.” Governor Perry placed his support behind a Texas bill that asserts his state’s sovereignty. “I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state.”

Bravo, Governor. But where were you during the previous administration?

Regardless, all the recent criticism thrown Perry’s way misses the point, especially the claims of treason. When the Union was being formed, where the states created the federal government, every state thought they had a right to secede otherwise there would not have been a Union. Thomas Jefferson said, “Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

Our Constitution represents a compact between the states and the federal government. As with any compact, one party does not have a monopoly over its interpretation, nor can one party change it without the consent of the other. So calling Governor Perry “treasonous” is a cop-out by those who refuse to think about the issue. I liken it to Godwin’s Law of inevitable Nazi analogies.

This country is extremely vast and immensely populated. Why so many trust bureaucrats in the District of Columbia with regional decisions is beyond me. Specific issues can only be handled honestly and productively by those invested in the outcomes, and that means by dealing locally. Washington’s immense shadow over the states and municipalities should alarm everyone.

The fact that Governor Perry would like to retain some control should be embraced, not derided. Frankly, it’s about time his sentiments received a national audience. We must remember that Washington, DC is a product of the states, not vice versa.


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