Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why Arizona should secede, part III

Parts I and II

At the end of June, I suggested that the immigration crisis had reached the point where Arizona should seriously consider, and prepare for, secession from the United States. Nothing in the recent federal appellate court decision has persuaded me to the contrary, nor has the $1,000,000 price the Mexican drug lords allegedly have put on the head of Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio.

What is interesting now, is that a writer for one (sort of) mainstream medium, The Washington Times, now is advocating secession for Arizona. Columnist Jeffrey Kuhner sees this as

Mr. Obama's decision to sue Arizona is a betrayal of his constitutional oath to secure our porous border. The administration's spin is that the "border has never been more secure." It points to an influx of Border Patrol agents and more resources devoted to enforcement technology. Yet the reality remains: Aliens continue to cross every day. Arizona is home to more than a half-million illegal immigrants. Phoenix has become the kidnapping capital of America. Mexican drug lords order contract killings on Arizona sheriffs. Violent crime is pervasive. Instead of helping the people in need of protection, Mr. Obama is in effect siding with the lawbreakers.

The ruling also prevents the state from defending itself; it is unilaterally disarming the people of Arizona in the face of a dangerous enemy. The federal government has shown repeatedly that it is unable and unwilling to secure the border. The Arizona law has the overwhelming support (70 percent) of Arizonans (as well as Americans).*

The President's decision to sue Arizona is striking at the very purpose of government as defined in the preamble to the United States Constitution -- to "form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity." How, in the name of all that is just and holy, does preventing Arizona from protecting its own borders in the face of the federal government's failure to do so, promote any of those objects?

And why, in the name of all that is just and holy, is Ohio doing little or nothing to support Arizona (at least in principle) in this hour of crisis?

* Read the comments. As usual, those who support Arizona give reasoned arguments in their support. Those who support the feds resort to little more than namecalling. Why do the namecallers continue to go on with so little challenge?

Virtual buckeye to Rebellion.


Anonymous said...

That would be extremely interesting to watch. Arizona has virtually no natural resources, very few exports, and limited shipping capabilities. As a stand alone country Arizona would have it pretty tough. Although, it would most certainly cut down on the illegal immigrants to Arizona since there would be no jobs and no reason to go there.

On the other hand, it would really test immigration policies and ideals. Many, if not most, Arizonians would shortly be looking to leave the state/country to find work elsewhere. Would the US let them in? Or would we AMERICANS build a wall?

Harold Thomas said...


I'm not saying it would be easy if Arizona seceded, and the points you make about natural resources, exports, and shipping capabilities, are valid as things now stand.

On the other hand, the same can be said of the manufacturing regions that popped up in northern Mexico following NAFTA.

If Arizona followed its independence with lower taxes and free enterprise (less governmental regulation), you might be amazed at how well they would do.

Any state that secedes from the US will have to make provision for those of its residents who want to retain US citizenship, and to assist them in moving out of the new country.

I think most AMERICANS would let them in, despite resistance from some disgruntled neoconservatives...

Anonymous said...

Mr Thomas,
You equate the new country of Arizona with " the manufacturing regions that popped up in northern Mexico following NAFTA".

First of all, this is a poor analogy. Those regions popped up BECAUSE of NAFTA. If Arizona secedes over this immigration issue neither Mexico nor the US would be interested in trading with them as part of NAFTA. That leaves them with trading trading partners and no trade routes out (other than air).

Secondly, let's assume your analogy is sound, is that your vision for The Country of Arizona? A manufacturing region similar to parts of Northern Mexico? So the proud people of Arizona who chose to secede rather than live under the oppressive thumb of the US are now going to take manufacturing jobs at wages similar to Mexicans (in order to compete) and give up all of the benefits that come with being part of the greatest nation on earth. I seriously doubt it.

So while it's a fun hypothetical to discuss for political purposes, there is absolutely no reality to your (or anyone's) statements that this is actually a good idea.

Harold Thomas said...


I never said that secession would be easy for Arizona, or for anyone else; but a time comes when one has to decide what we really want. Do we want to restore the freedom of our ancestors, which entails risks to our security? Or would we rather be regulated to death, knowing that we will always have bread?

Arizona even lacks security, because the federal government will not even defend it against an invasion (non-military, granted) from Mexico. In their situation it is reasonable to ask, Why are we sending all those tax dollars to Washington? Maybe life would be harder for a time, but on the long run, maybe we'd be better off on our own.

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

Barga said...

Even ignoring White v Texas, it is clear that states do not have this right. Even in the 1810s, when SC threatened, the fathers and our President/congress, which was still pro state-rights, made it very clear that they were not allowed

The constitution gives, in Article 1, various rights to congress, No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation - this implies that a state can not leave, as it forms its own confederation

Furthermore, in Article 4 the Constitution makes it clear that congress governs all additions, changes, altering, and removing (to territorial status) of the states, clearly making this their domain

As such, the 10th does not apply

Harold Thomas said...


Assuming that you are correct (and I have repeatedly given the reasons why I do not think you are), I would still pose for you two questions:

1. Are you saying that the states are still bound by a contract that the federal government repeatedly has violated? Especially in its unwillingness to defend Arizona from invasion?

2. If you are saying that my premise in question 1 is false, then what recourse do the states have when the federal government becomes tyrannical, the processes provided by law prove inadequate to resolve the problem, and the elite currently in power in Washington (which crosses both party lines) will find all imaginable means to corrupt the system (including the Article V amendment process) to their own advantage?

Surely, you are not advocating sheepish obedience to such an authority!

Or, to put it more simply: in your opinion, when can we come to the conclusion that the federal government is fouled up beyond all repair; and when we reach that conclusion, what can we do about it?

Barga said...

I can't wake to take early american law and OI of the bill of rights, will help me far better in this conversation

that said, My answer is simple, if the government does this (which I do not think is the case yet), we use the one area the FF left for us, amendment:
We can, in the many states, pass laws requiring our legislators to initiate a petition for a convention. Congress must allow it, which then results is us amending the Constitution and then requiring our leg. to vote specific ways

this has, of course, only been used once, and not in the way i am saying. But, that, to me, is our recourse