Sunday, April 19, 2009

Teabaggers in Austin Applaud Secessionist Rhetoric.


On Wednesday April 15th the least informed and loudest segment of the conservative movement gathered together in cities and towns across the nation for what Fox News promoted as Tea Parties. Fox encouraged conservatives to come together to protest the President Obama, his policies and the economic stimulus package. On the appointed day a collection of misfits and malcontents showed up to voice a number of complaints, many not related to the talking points Fox had outlined for the faithful. Some held signs depicting Obama dressed as Hitler and many where from the NO TAXES camp. Others decried the fluoridation of public water, our monetary system and the price of oil. A Boston teabagger held up cartoon depicting Obama bowing to a drawing of what appeared to be Saudi King Abdullah. I could go on and on. It was a mixed bag to say the least. But the Teabagger that really got my goat was was Texas Gov Rick Perry speaking at a rally in Austin TX. In his speech he hinted that there was a possibility of Texas seceding from the Union over the Obama Administration and the policies it has put in place. He was a big hit with that bunch. In an interview taped right after his speech he said what amounted to ... well if the country keeps going down the path outlined by the Obama administration no one should be shocked when states try to secede... Secession = good idea. As if it's reasonable option for a real patriotic American to pursue if she's just plain pissed off about anything.

Everyday I walk my Corgi dogs in the old graveyard that borders my property. The oldest graves there date back to the 1660s and contain the remains people who either came to this land around the time of the Plymouth settlers or soon after. I don't want to turn this into a big history lesson but if you think back to grammar school you'll remember hearing about the Mayflower Compact. This was a big deal because it was the first ever 'all for one and one for all' document signed by a group of people from differing religious, political and class backgrounds. It stated We are all going to pull together for the good of all. Our country was founded on the principals laid down and agreed upon in November of 1620 as the Mayflower floated at anchor in what would come to be known as Provincetown Harbor.

When Lincoln ordered the first shot fired in the Civil War it was to up hold the principals in the Mayflower Compact. Together as a Union we stand or divided we fall. In the graveyard by my house there are many graves of the men who died in that bloodiest of all wars which was waged to keep the South from seceding from the Union over the issue of slavery. One of those has always touched my heart in a special way.
Charles E Leland was 17 years old when the 16th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers took up that fight against secession at Cedar Mountain Virginia in In August of 1862. He fought at Thoroughfare Gap, Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville some of the worst battles of the Civil War. In July 1863 he died at the Battle of at Gettysburg. He was only 18 years old. I shudder to think of what that boy must have seen in those 11 months. I'm sure he died a very different man from the boy who left Walpole in the summer of 1862.
My skin crawled standing in front of his grave this afternoon pondering the inflammatory rhetoric of Gov Rick Perry. No American should utter the word secession around without first meditating on the sacrifice paid by 360,222 Union soldiers like Charles Leland who died to keep this Union together.

2 comments:

David-That Blue Jeans Guy-Byrd said...

I'm just glad that the right-wingers are attracting the kooks right now. We lefties have had more than our share of the "fringe," and it's time they knew what it meant to feel the pain.

Evan said...

As an Austinite, and a secessionist, I must vehemently disagree with your authoritarian rhetoric. Secession has a long and honored history as the most clear and concise means of declaring one's fundamental dissatisfaction with the current system. Rather than wasting time attempting to reform and campaign, secessionists quite practically simply withdraw their consent and support from a system they find morally repugnant and antithetical to their value expression.

And less you assume I am a member of "the least informed and loudest segment of the conservative movement," I am in fact a radical leftist, (a mutualist anarchist in the tradition of Proudhon, Tucker, and Warren.)

Secession is every individual's absolute right. Without the consent of the governed, what authority can any government possess? Those serious about equality and liberty must declare their autonomy, their personal sovereignty, their equality of authority. Such is the only leftist position on secession that has any substance.