In April, several members of the Wisconsin Republican Party inserted a resolution in the State Party platform expressly recognizing the right of their State to secede from the Union. It was voted down May 3, but the move received national press. The Daily Beast published an article on both the resolution and modern secession movements in Vermont and Alaska, and the Drudge Report included a link to the story.

Predictably the resolution drew critics. A little known Democratic candidate for governor donned a make-shift Confederate uniform and canvassed the convention trying to get someone—anyone—to talk to him, particularly the media. Don’t we all know that secession is simply a code-word (a “dog whistle” as the moronic Left likes to say) for slavery and racism? He personifies American stupidity. Even cheeseheads who support limited government threw the idea under the bus. “No, sir,” they say, “I don’t support an idea that might actually rid our people of Washington oversight, heavy handed one-size fits all policies, or unconstitutional usurpation of power. I want to work within the system to affect change.” That plan has worked well so far, hasn’t it?

Americans from cradle to grave are told that secession is treason and un-American and has only been threatened or used to justify horrendous human rights abuses. I might agree if Massachusetts had pulled it off in 1803 or 1815 like they intended. Who would want to live under their brand of Puritanical nonsense?

One hit piece on the proposal in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel focused on the resolution’s author, Michael Murphy, the 41 year old leader of the libertarian wing of the State Party, and by default yours truly. Murphy embedded a video on his website I did with Tom Woods on the legality of secession, and cited the video as clear proof that his position is legitimate. According, however, to the esteemed “journalist” who wrote the Sentinel piece, my talks before the SCV and my articles critical of Lincoln invalidates my position. He obviously failed logic 101. The piece is classic ad hominem rubbish. The “journalist” cannot refute the idea of secession and does not understand the constitutional or legal underpinnings, so he attempts a character assassination. It would be funny if not so common among the media and the modern political class. If you can’t disprove the ideas of your opponents, call them names. It worked in kindergarten.

Murphy correctly points out that the idea has never been refuted intellectually or legally, only by bullets. The “journalist” calls this stance “completely outrageous.” Murphy committed a mortal sin and he must now answer to the high priests of nationalism, i.e. the political class and their media minions. His penance is ostracism from the Republican Party and ridicule from the gatekeepers of undeniable truth. Ignorance is strength.

There is, however, a sliver-lining to this exchange. We are starting to win. In the aftermath of 1865, no one would have attempted to insert a secession resolution (innocuous as it was) into a State Party platform, particularly in Wisconsin, the birthplace of Lincoln’s Republican Party. That is until now. Secession was bloodied and bludgeoned on the battlefield, but it is the American tradition, codified by Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and pursued in both the North and South several times before the War in 1861. The rise of secessionist groups in the United States in the last twenty years is clear proof that the Lincoln myth of perpetual Union and forced association is fading, albeit slowly.

Young people have seen that the emperor has no clothes and are flocking to the principles of independence in growing numbers, both personally and politically. And it is peaceful. There are Michael Murphys in every State. Our job is to cultivate them, to help them understand that the Southern political tradition of Washington, Jefferson, Taylor, Henry, Calhoun, Lee, Davis, and Bledsoe did not die after Appomattox. It lives in the spirit of liberty, of independence, and most importantly, of truth.

Brion McClanahan

Brion McClanahan is the author or co-author of six books, How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America (Regnery History, 2017), 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and Four Who Tried to Save Her (Regnery History, 2016), The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, (Regnery, 2009), The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012), Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes, (Regnery, 2012). He received a B.A. in History from Salisbury University in 1997 and an M.A. in History from the University of South Carolina in 1999. He finished his Ph.D. in History at the University of South Carolina in 2006, and had the privilege of being Clyde Wilson’s last doctoral student. He lives in Alabama with his wife and three daughters.

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