In 2010 Lawrence Auster published a proposal, by an anonymous reader called “Jeffersonian,” for the peaceful secession of conservatives from liberal America. Now Jeffersonian has written an expanded and fuller account of his proposal, and it has again been published at VFR.
Mr. Auster has decided, in view of his declining health, not to host a discussion of the new essay. He has left it to other blogs to host the discussion. The Orthosphere is honored to be one such blog.
To read Jeffersonian’s essay, click on the above link. [Update: I have added the full text to this post.]
Some preliminary points:
First, and most importantly, it must be emphasized that Jeffersonian’s idea is one of peaceful secession of conservatives from liberal America. It is based on the fact that liberals and conservatives overall do not like each other and wish to live in drastically different types of communities. Secession could be a way to grant each side what it wishes. Jeffersonian’s proposal is ultimately a peaceful one, albeit one that will likely spark some anger.
The first reaction of most people to this idea, even those who would be inclined to be sympathetic, will probably be to say that it is wildly impractical and therefore not worthy of consideration. To this we say that words always precede deeds. If we are to take action to restore and renew America, we must begin by understanding, at least in broad outlines, how things ought to be. Therefore even impractical ideas can be of value.
Also, as Auster has pointed out, probably Jeffersonian’s most valuable and unique idea is that of counties, not states, seceding from the United States of America (and then, of course, forming themselves into a new American nation.) Probably very few state legislatures will be sympathetic to secession, because most states are dominated by the larger cities that are usually more liberal. But if counties are going to secede, the plan may be far more practicable.
SECESSION: THE ROAD TO A REBIRTH OF AMERICA
I) The Reds and the Blues
In the aftermath of the presidential election of 2000, a map of the United States was published in which the counties that had voted for the Republican candidate (George W. Bush) were colored red and the counties that had voted for the Democratic candidate (Al Gore) were colored blue. The result was striking: The “Blue counties” made up only a small fraction of the area of the United States, but they included roughly half of the total population. Outside of the Northeast, the map consisted mostly of a large expanse of red, interrupted by geographically small – but densely populated – urban areas. (A copy of that map is attached to this article.) Note that although the original map showed the United States divided into red and blue counties, it has given rise to the terms “Red states” and “Blue states.”
In what follows, I shall often refer to the Bush voters or sympathizers as Reds (although you may prefer to think of them of them asRepublicans or conservatives) and to the Gore voters as Blues (although you may prefer to think of them as Democrats or liberals). Note that the term “Reds” in this context has no implication of Communist sympathies. Note also that if a map of the United States was made which colored red the counties that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and that colored blue the counties that voted for Barack Obama in 2012, it would look very much like the map made after the election of 2000.
Some writers have suggested that voters chose Obama over Romney primarily because of his looks, or personal charm, or because of his clever campaigning, and no doubt some voters did so. But it is clear that the main reason that Obama won is that millions of the Blues preferred his policies to those being proposed by Romney. His supporters in the media repeatedly stated their disapproval of the policies proposed by Romney, and their opinion that the programs that Obama had been trying to carry out would be better for the country than those suggested by Romney and the Republicans; so did Obama’s numerous supporters in academia. You and I may disagree with these people; but it is silly to say that they had not been following the news for the previous four years and that they just liked Obama’s smile. Most of those educated Blues (and most of the uneducated ones as well) really do have policy preferences, and in November 2012 they voted in accordance with those preferences.
What sort of society are the Blues aiming for? Obviously, they do not all hold identical political views. By and large, however, most of them want the United States to become more like the ‘socialist’ countries of Western Europe such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Holland.
• Most leading Blues strongly favor significant redistribution of wealth, partly by a steeply progressive income tax, and partly by other means.
• Most of them are internationalists and multiculturalists.
• Most of them are opposed to deporting (or removing by attrition) the millions of illegal immigrants now in the United States, and indeed wish to continue large-scale immigration of non-Europeans into the United States.
• Despite paying lip-service to the idea of constitutional government, the Blues never let the Constitution get in the way of policies they favor, but instead constantly reinterpret it to mean whatever they wish. Of numerous possible examples, here are three:
(a) Most of them strongly approve of the decision by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, a decision that overturned all existing state laws on abortion. (While one might believe that such laws were ill-advised, there is certainly nothing in the Constitution that prohibits them.)
(b) Perhaps even more extreme was the decision in Wickard v. Filburn (1942). Filburn was a farmer who had been fined by the government for planting too much grain on his land, thereby violating a federal law regulating interstate commerce. Filburn pointed out that he had not sold the grain, but rather had used it himself, and that therefore his activity was not “interstate commerce.” The court ruled against him, on the grounds that what he had done “affected” interstate commerce! By so greatly expanding the reach of the interstate commerce clause, the decision almost eliminated the restrictions placed on the powers of the federal government by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
(c) The majority of Blues approve of the federal and state governments mandating racial quotas and preferences, even though such laws clearly violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
• Despite their claims of being opposed to racism (often expressed very sanctimoniously) the majority of Blues are, by our standards, blatant racists. That is, they strongly favor laws and policies – such as racial preferences and quotas – that deprive some persons of jobs, promotions, college admissions, and scholarships just because of their race. These preferences and quotas were first instituted in the mid-1960s and have gradually become more and more pervasive.
• Despite paying lip service to the notion of freedom of speech, in practice many of the Blues often favor censorship laws of various sorts, such as laws banning “hate speech” and repressive speech codes on college campuses. These speech codes – usually adopted by a vote of the faculty (typically a very liberal group) – provide a clear indication of the way most Blues view the right of free speech and what is in store for us if they triumph.
We don’t want to live in a country dominated by such people, and we don’t want to bequeath such a government to our children. For that matter, the Blues don’t much like us either. Many of them consider us to be racists, religious fanatics, stupid, heartless, and corrupt. It is therefore time for a divorce. Just as a husband and wife with “irreconcilable differences” are often better off living apart, so the Reds and the Blues would be far better off if we split into two separate countries.
II) Why do we want a partition of the USA?
Every people naturally wants to have its own country, one in which it can make its own laws without interference from any other country or nation, and one in which they will not be exploited or victimized by other groups. The United States of America started as a society of white Europeans whose language, customs, legal system, and culture were primarily derived from England, and it was still such a country as recently as 1965. A majority of the people who inhabited that country in 1965 were strongly opposed to living in either a communist country or a European-style socialist or social welfare state
However, since 1965, a flood of immigrants has changed that country. In effect, the government has (by means of mass immigration) elected a new people. The message of the 2012 presidential election is that non-whites (particularly Blacks and Hispanics) who do not love this country or its culture – and who often dislike the white Europeans who created it – are taking over. Most black Americans are not going to like us, no matter what we do; nor will they stop voting as a bloc to further their interests over ours. Nor are the Mexican immigrants, or their children, going to assimilate to our basically Anglo-Saxon culture. This does not mean that the Blacks or Hispanics are bad individuals: It just means that they are not a part of our nation. The Mexican immigrants have their own culture, which is quite different from ours, and so do the blacks, and so do Moslem immigrants living in the United States.
Here is a simple example. Most white Americans revere George Washington. They think of him as a great man, “the father of our country,” a courageous and honest man who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” But many âˆ’ perhaps most âˆ’ Blacks despise him: They think of him as basically a rich slave owner (and most Mexican and Arab immigrants are indifferent to him).
The significance of Obama’s victory in the election of 2012 is that the white Europeans who created the United States of America, and who (despite internal divisions) controlled it for two centuries, are no longer in control. The influx of immigrants from Latin America and Asia (together with differential birth rates) has ended that situation. In theory, if Whites of European descent would vote as a racial bloc (as the Blacks do) we could – at least for a while – regain control. However, that would entail ignoring all our honestly-held differences on foreign policy, and on economic and social issues. And even if we did so, in the long run immigration and differential birth rates would doom us.
It is too late to reverse the demographic changes of the past 50 years. If we do nothing, we will end up as a persecuted and exploited minority (as the Whites are today in South Africa) in the country that we largely built, and which is now our only homeland.
It is a tragedy for a people to lose control of its homeland. For example, Ireland was conquered by its larger, stronger neighbor, England. The English ruled Ireland for centuries, during which time the Irish were exploited and impoverished. Another example: In the late eighteenth century, Poland, which had been an independent nation, was divided up by three stronger neighbors: Russia, Prussia, and Austria. For the next century, the Poles were exploited and suppressed in their own country, and they became obsessed with a yearning to regain their independence (which did not occur until 1918).
The ancient Jews for many centuries had a homeland in what is now Israel; but they were eventually conquered by the expanding Roman Empire. The Jews revolted twice against Roman rule, but both rebellions were crushed with very high casualties. The surviving Jews were scattered to the winds, and their descendants persecuted endlessly. (Since the Jews were literate, the story of the persecutions they endured has been recorded and makes for grim reading.) Like the Irish and the Poles, the Jews continued to yearn for the recovery of their independence, but it took them far longer âˆ’ over 1800 years âˆ’ to achieve it.
Still, they were more fortunate than the Carthaginians, whose capital was burnt to the ground, and who never regained their freedom. The same thing happened to many other ancient peoples; and many of the Indian nations in what is now the United States were virtually exterminated.
To avoid this happening to us and our descendants, we must set up our own ethnocentric state on a portion of the territory of the United States of America. In other words, what is now the USA must be partitioned into two independent countries.
III) What regions will be included in the new country?
In a partition of the present United State of America into two independent nations, the “Red states” will form the nucleus of the new country, which we might tentatively call the American Federal Republic (or AFR, for short).
However, the boundaries of the new country should not simply follow the present boundaries of the individual states. It is clear that many people now living in a “Red state” will not want to secede, but will prefer to remain in the United States of America. The newly formed AFR must therefore permit each county in any of the Red states the option of seceding from that state and electing to remain in the USA.
In similar fashion, we should urge individual counties that are within Blue states but whose populations are predominantly Red to secede from the state they are in and join the AFR. For example, Utah is a Red state, and might be one of the first states to secede and become part of the new AFR. Nevada borders Utah, and most of its counties are Red; but because Las Vegas – by far the largest city in the state – typically votes heavily Democratic, the state as a whole is unlikely to secede. However, the counties adjacent to Utah could secede from Nevada (and the USA), and then the counties adjacent to those, until most of Nevada had seceded. Those counties could join the AFR, where they could be joined together to form a new state (“New Nevada” or “Eastern Nevada” or whatever) which would be part of the AFR.
Similarly, all the counties in the state of Washington that are east of the main mountain range in the state (the Cascade range) are “Red counties,” while those west of the Cascades are all “Blue counties.” (The same division holds in Oregon.) Neither Washington nor Oregon is likely to secede from the USA. However, in each of those states the eastern counties could secede, thereby forming two new states (“Eastern Washington” and “Eastern Oregon,”) each adjacent to Idaho (a Red state).
Of course, not every county which has the opposite color from the state it is in will choose to secede from that state. For example, if a county in central Massachusetts (a Blue state) were to have a conservative majority, its citizens would probably find it advantageous to remain part of Massachusetts and the USA. (Some details of how the partition might actually be achieved are presented in section XIV of this paper.)
Why not permit only entire states to secede? Several people have suggested that since counties have never been sovereign bodies, it would be more reasonable to permit only entire states to secede from the United States of America. Although at first sight that may seem reasonable, on more careful consideration it appears that such a substitute plan would have grave disadvantages.
Perhaps the greatest of these is that in many of the seceding states the Blues would comprise a substantial minority of the population. For example, in the election of 2000 (the source of the original Red-Blue map) Bush received only about 53% of the vote in Louisiana, 56% in North Carolina, and about 59.5% in Texas (a state which he carried by more than 1,300,000 votes). His percentages in several of the other states he carried âˆ’ such as Missouri, Ohio, and Florida âˆ’ were much lower still.
Consequently, most of the states in the American Federal Republic would include a large number of people who had been included in that country against their will, and would therefore be disgruntled. Even if they chose to become loyal citizens of the new republic, they would continue to vote against the reforms that conservatives feel are desirable. (In like fashion, many states that remained in the Blue country would include a large number of disgruntled citizens who would continue to oppose and obstruct the policies that the liberals wanted.)
On the other hand, if dissident counties were allowed to secede, then the number of such unwilling citizens of the Red country would be greatly reduced. Most of the Red counties have very large conservative majorities, thus enabling us to make the reforms that are needed, and also giving us the advantage of a relatively homogenous and unified population. The forcible inclusion of large numbers of disgruntled liberals in our new country would give us a larger population; but rather than making us stronger, it would make us weaker. (Corresponding statements could be made concerning the Blue country and the conservatives included within it.) Another disadvantage of permitting only entire states to secede is that the Red country would thereby lose a significant fraction of its population, as well as about half of its territory.
I am not suggesting that a county-option rule is the only type of secession plan that we should accept or consider. I think it would be by far the best rule, but any method of partition that enables us to achieve a sizable independent country is preferable to us remaining in the United States, subject to the Blues, and losing our freedoms.
IV) Will the government of the USA permit us to secede?
At this point, even before presenting the details of the secession plan, it may be best to reply to the most common objection to it which, roughly stated, is: “The whole idea is hopelessly impracticable because the United States government will never permit us to leave. Liberals are far too fanatic, far too authoritarian, and far too convinced that their policies are the only just policies to ever let us secede and implement our ‘unjust’ policies in a separate country.”
Well, some of their spokesmen certainly sound that way; but in truth most of the individuals who vote Democratic are neither totalitarian nor fanatic. People like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed are not typical of the Democratic voters. Many of the people who voted for Obama sincerely believed that he represented racial reconciliation and just wanted to show that they were not racists. Many who supported Obama’s health reform bill did not do so because they are hard-line leftists, but simply because they are soft-hearted and like the idea of everyone receiving low-cost health insurance. Others support Roe v. Wade not because they like the idea of an intrusive federal government, but merely because they feel that the opponents of abortion are trying to force their way on everyone. Others who voted Democratic were merely responding to a feeling that Republican leaders have been corrupt and incompetent. For the most part, Democratic voters are not would-be Lenins or Stalins, but are honorable, peace-loving people who are in general willing to live and let live.
Furthermore, most Democratic voters have a pacifistic outlook and are generally unwilling to fight long, bloody wars. (Most liberal Democrats opposed the Vietnam War, and most of them opposed both of the wars in Iraq as well.) When conflicts arise, their instinctive reaction is to try to negotiate a peaceful compromise. Typical slogans are: “There never was a good war or a bad peace,”, “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war,” “Arms are for hugging,”, and “Give peace a chance.”
It is claimed that the crushing of the South’s attempt to secede in the 1860s proves that such attempts must be futile. But the South’s attempt to secede would probably have been successful, had it not been opposed by as resolute (and talented) a leader as Abraham Lincoln. Furthermore, even though most Northerners wished to preserve the Union, Lincoln had a hard time sustaining public support for the war. It was only because there was a second reason for the war – the moral imperative to abolish slavery, which many Northerners considered an intolerable abomination – that the public remained willing to prosecute the war. (And note that even Lincoln – as resolute an advocate of preserving the Union at all costs as any we are likely to face – delayed using force until the South made the foolish mistake of firing on Fort Sumter.)
Finally, if, despite our attempts to avoid war, it does come to actual fighting, the Blue country will be weaker and unlikely to prevail. Consider the advantages that the Red country would have:
• Its territory is far larger.
• It contains most of the mineral resources of the combined countries.
• It generates most of the electric power.
• It is self-sufficient in food, whereas the Blue country (and particularly the large metropolitan areas that contain a large part of its population) is not self-sufficient in food.
• More of our citizens are armed.
• The Red forces will have much higher morale, because they will be fighting to defend their liberties and their independence, whereas the liberty and independence of the Blues are not threatened by simply letting the Red regions leave in peace.
• Although the armed forces of the Blue state may be larger as first, they will constantly be plagued with defections, since most members of the armed forces are conservatives, and likely to sympathize with the Reds.
While in principle the Blue armies might invade the Red country, such a campaign will face serious problems in practice. Many of their soldiers will be reluctant to kill people who look like themselves and who mean them no harm. Do you think a general in the Blue army will order a unit to start shelling or bombing a city in the Red territory? And if he does so, will the unit commanders follow his orders, and will the troops under them obey?
A bit of recent history might be instructive. In December, 1989 there were large demonstrations in TimiÅŸoara against the Communist leader of Romania, Nicolae CeauÅŸescu, and he tried to suppress the uprising by force. For the most part, however, the Romanian soldiers refused to fire on the unarmed demonstrators, and the rebellion succeeded. The total loss of life was probably less than 1000.
It has been asserted that the leaders of the Blue country will feel that they have to control the Red country for economic reasons (since the Red country contains the food and mineral resources that the Blue country needs). However, it will be obvious that they can obtain those goods by peaceful trade, as they do right now.
Finally, it is sometimes claimed that the American government will feel that it cannot permit any Red state or county to secede, since any example of a state being permitted to secede might result in the entire country falling apart. Again, an example from recent history might be instructive.
Lithuania had been an independent country between the two world wars, but it was swallowed up by the USSR in the early 1940s and organized as the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, in effect making it a province in the Soviet empire. In the late 1980s, a movement to regain national independence gained strength in Lithuania. Elections were held in early 1990, and in March 1990 the Lithuanian legislature took the bold step of voting to secede from the Soviet Union. Political analysts in the West unanimously predicted that the Soviet government would never permit Lithuania to secede. “The Soviet government is a dictatorship,” they said, “and is unpopular in many parts of the Soviet Union. The rulers know that if they permit Lithuania to secede, then other provinces will be emboldened, and the Soviet empire might fall apart. Since the communist regime in control of the USSR has always been willing to act brutally to suppress any threat to its rule, there is no possibility that it will permit Lithuania to secede.”
The reasoning seemed impeccable, but that was not the way things actually worked out. The USSR first tried an economic blockade of Lithuania. That did not bring Lithuania to heel, so in January 1991 they tried a military crackdown. That resulted in 14 Lithuanians being killed and about 700 injured; however, the Lithuanians still refused to back down. Perhaps fearful of world opinion, the Soviet government abandoned their attempt to crush the rebellion by force, and in August, 1991 it recognized Lithuanian independence. (It is worth remarking that Russia had 40 times the population of Lithuania, and even larger advantages in territory, troops, and military equipment, and that Russia had not suffered any military casualties in the fighting.)
Does this prove that the secession of the Red states and counties is bound to secede, and that there will be almost no casualties? No, certainly not. All it shows is that we cannot dismiss the possibility of secession as an impractical idea that is sure to fail.
V) What about those individuals who do not wish to become citizens of the new country?
In general, each person will be a citizen of the country in which he or she resides. However, provisions must be made for ideological “Reds” living in the Blue country (the remaining portion of the present USA) at the time of the split. Three options will be available for each such person:
1) He can simply stay where he is and remain a citizen of the United States of America. No positive action will be required from him. The only ‘loss’ that such a person has suffered is that it has become less likely that the federal government will adopt policies or programs that person favors.
2) The person can, during the period preceding the break-up, move to a location within the American Federal Republic (the Red country) and thereby automatically become a citizen of the AFR at the time of the split. The Red country can also agree that any person who chooses to move to the AFR within a specified period after the split (perhaps one year, perhaps two) can become a citizen of that country merely by filing a sworn statement that he wishes to do so and is renouncing his citizenship in the USA.
3) If the person wishes to become a citizen of the AFR, but does not wish to physically move there, he or she would have to make a formal request to the government of the AFR, stating that he is prepared to formally renounce his citizenship in the USA if his request is granted. In such cases, the USA would consider that person a resident alien, while the AFR would consider that person a citizen residing abroad.
The same set of options would be available, of course, to ideological Blues who are living in states or counties that become part of the AFR. Note that no individual will be forced to move, or to sacrifice his or her property. Each individual will have voting rights in the country of which he or she is a citizen, but not in the other.
VI) The constitution of the new country
To prevent the American Federal Republic from becoming a tyranny, it should have a written constitution. That constitution should provide for a separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. It should also provide for a division of powers between the central government and the individual states or provinces, and it should include a bill of rights protecting individual liberties. It is also essential that it provide a clear procedure for it to be amended.
In these respects, it might be quite similar (although not identical) to the constitution adopted by the United States of America in 1787. However, unlike that constitution, it should contain an explicit provision that it shall always be interpreted in accordance with the original intent of those who adopted it. (That was probably the intent of those who drew up that constitution, since that had always been the standard for interpreting laws passed by a legislature; it just did not occur to them that in the distant future people would try to use a different standard.)
In general, the new constitution should not attempt to set out the laws concerning individual policy issues, but instead should leave such matters to the citizens and the wisdom of the legislatures they elect. The constitution adopted in 1787 did that, which was a major reason it lasted so long.
It should, however, include a clause explicitly permitting the federal legislature to set up a federal system of old-age pensions. In the absence of such a provision, opponents will claim that the men attempting to establish the new American Federal Republic are trying to do away with Social Security. Since the great majority of American citizens strongly support the idea of Social Security, the absence of such a clause would substantially reduce the likelihood of the new country being established. Of course, the clause should not include any specific rules concerning that pension system, but should leave that up to the wisdom of future legislatures. (Of course, until the new legislature makes changes, the existing rules concerning Social Security will remain in force.)
Similarly, the new constitution should include a clause permitting the federal government to establish a system that provides medical insurance to some or all members of the public. Without such a clause, those who are opposed to the establishment of the AFR will claim that those who favor it are trying to do away with Medicare. Here too, those who draft the new constitution should not attempt to specify any details of the Medicare system, but should leave such matters up to the wisdom of future legislatures. (For the record, the author of this article is in favor of both Social Security and Medicare, although both systems need some modifications in order to become fiscally sound.)
In addition, the new constitution should include a clause specifically saying that the matter of abortion is entirely a matter for the individual states to decide, and that each state is free to ban abortions, or subsidize them, or to regulate them as it sees fit.
Lastly, since circumstances may force the newly-formed American Federal Republic to adopt a constitution quickly, without adequate time to carefully consider all its provisions, it might be wise to include a clause providing that another constitutional convention be held four or five years later.
VII) Citizenship in the new country, and immigration into it
We expect that most of the citizens of the new country will be Whites of European descent, and in particular those who share our basic values and culture. Although we should not deport those Blacks who elect to give up their citizenship in the USA and become citizens of the American Federal Republic, it will be better for us if there are not very many of them. Although it is obvious that many East Asians are intelligent, hard-working, and law-abiding, we will be better off if they, too, comprise only a small percentage of the population of the AFR. The same is true of Hispanics, except for those of Mexican descent. (The special case of Mexicans will be discussed in the next section.)
We do not want any Moslems from Africa or Asia in the new AFR. Country after country has found, to its regret, that many terrorist acts (in fact a greatly disproportionate share of terrorist acts) are committed by Moslem extremists. While most individual Moslems in Western countries do not take part in terrorist activities, there is no practical way telling in advance which ones are dangerous and which are not. Since the potential damage done by Islamic terrorists is so much greater than any expected gain from admitting third-World Moslems into our country, the wisest course is to not admit any Moslems from Africa or Asia into the AFR. We should not admit them as immigrants, nor as students; in fact if is safer to not even admit them as tourists.
Would such a policy be ‘fair’? Well, it will be fair to the citizens of the American Federal Republic, and the immigration laws of the AFR should be designed to benefit that country. No foreigner has a right to immigrate to the AFR, or even to visit it.
A major reason for the decline of the USA has been its policy of admitting large numbers of immigrants from third-world countries. The AFR should be careful not to repeat that error. We should only accept Whites of European descent as immigrants âˆ’ and then only if it is clear that our standards for admission make it likely that most of those we admit will benefit our country.
To implement this policy we must vigorously defend our borders (building border fences when necessary). We must make it a crime for a person to enter the country illegally, or to remain here if he entered illegally or if the visa that permitted him to enter the country has run out. We must also act firmly against businessmen who knowingly hire illegal aliens, or who fail to take reasonable steps to check the status of those they hire. (A few high-profile prosecutions will probably deter many others who are thinking of hiring illegal immigrants.)
VIII) The status of Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities in the new country
A) Blacks . Most Blacks already reside in the “Blue country,” and we can anticipate that most of the others will probably move there during the transition period. Some of them will leave for ideological reasons. Others will leave because they expect that welfare payments will be far less generous in the new AFR than in the remaining portion of the USA. Others will understand that the various “affirmative action” programs going on in the United States today are unlikely to be continued in the AFR. Whatever their reason for leaving, in most cases their departure will benefit the new country.
There will be, however, a small percentage of Blacks who wish to remain in the Red country, or even to move there. We should not force them to leave, or mistreat them in any way. They should be permitted to remain in or move to the AFR, and should have full citizenship rights in the new country. We should judge such people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. (Of course, that means that the affirmative action programs now in place will be discontinued.)
Some readers may feel that allowing Blacks to remain in the country would be a mistake, because Blacks have a high crime rate, and because so many of them do not work and are a drag on the economy; also, the great majority of Blacks vote for “liberal” politicians and leftist policies. However, the new country will not be getting the “great majority” of Blacks, but rather those who are hard-working, law-abiding men and women who shun leftist policies.
B) Mexicans . We must, however, adopt a different rule, for Mexicans immigrants or their descendants. The problem is that many immigrants from Mexico sincerely believe that much of the present territory of the USA is rightfully theirs. They feel that back in the 1830s, when Mexico was weak, settlers from the United States took over Texas, and then in the 1840s (in the Mexican War) the United States attacked Mexico and stole half its territory; and since that stolen territory was never rightfully ours, Mexicans living here should not be expected to assimilate to our culture; rather, we should assimilate to theirs.
This view is promoted by the Mexican government, and by major Hispanic organizations, and many Mexican immigrants agree with it. Note that even if you personally feel that the argument is invalid, you will have a hard time convincing most Mexicans or Mexican-Americans that it is. As a result, the Mexican-American community is inherently disloyal to any “Anglo” government. (Of course, not every individual Mexican-American is disloyal, but the community as a whole is.)
The best way for the American Federal Republic to handle this problem is by a rule stating that no person born in Mexico, nor anyone living here now who has a Mexican parent, can ever be a citizen on the AFR, or be given permission to reside here. This is less difficult to implement than it might seem. Most of those immigrants (and their children) are already living in the “Blue” country, and do not have to be deported, and most of the others will prefer to move there than to live in the “Red” country where they are unwelcome and cannot receive govern largesse. Nor will those whom we deport lack a homeland or a place to go. All those who were born in the USA (regardless of parentage) are considered citizens of the USA; furthermore, regardless of where they were born they are all citizens of Mexico as well.
C) Non-Mexican Hispanics . What about Hispanics from countries other than Mexico who are presently citizens of the United States: should the new country accept them as citizens? Most of these already reside in the Blue country, and many of the others will elect to move to it – particularly those who are dependent on government handouts. However, many of them will prefer to become citizens of the AFR, and we should not refuse to accept them, but rather should accord them full citizenship rights in the new country.
D) East Asians . What about Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans? Unlike Hispanics and Blacks, these groups have very low crime rates. In addition, these groups are generally well-educated, have few illegitimate children, and low rates of alcoholism and drug use. Furthermore, their average intelligence is high, as is their average income. In most respects, therefore, the majority of them are ideal citizens. Their voting habits, however, are unhelpful: In 2012, more than 60 percent of them voted to reelect Obama.
Most of them live in metropolitan areas, and will opt to remain citizens of the USA. Those who elect to become citizens of the AFR should be accepted (even though, because of racial factors, we can anticipate that not all of them will be loyal in a pinch). However, the AFR should not accept any additional immigrants from those countries.
E) Jews . Like the East Asian groups just mentioned, American Jews have a very low crime rate, and they have low rates of other social pathologies, such as alcoholism and drug use. Their high intelligence and love of education are well known. Unlike Chinese and Japanese, most American Jews are plainly white Europeans, and most of them are descended from people who immigrated to the United States more than a century ago. Many American Jews have close friends who are Christians, and in recent years intermarriage between Jews and Christians has become very common.
Unfortunately, Jews are even more prone to left-wing voting than Asians are, or even Hispanics. It is a sad fact that many American Jews were sympathetic to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and substantial damage was caused by the large numbers of Jews in the media who repeatedly portrayed the United States in an unfavorable light, while apologizing for the misdeeds of communist governments.
It is therefore understandable that some conservatives would be happy to exclude Jews from the AFR. I think, though, that this would be a very unwise policy. It is true that about three-quarters of American Jews are leftists or liberals, and only about one-quarter are conservatives. However, the great majority of the liberal Jews live in the large metropolitan areas which will remain part of the USA. Most of the others will move to the Blue country rather than remain in what they consider a “fascist” country. The Jews who elect to live in the AFR will therefore be primarily conservatives. Because of their high intelligence, education, commercial abilities, and strong work ethic, they will be very useful citizens of the new country.
It is also worth mentioning that for the new country to rigidly exclude all Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Jews âˆ’ regardless of their political leanings âˆ’ will antagonize many other Americans who would otherwise be likely to support the formation of the AFR. The new republic needs all the support it can get, and should (whenever possible) avoid actions or policies that will cut into our popular support.
Having said this, we must not allow any American Jews into leadership positions in the secession movement. Jews have made many valuable contributions to Western civilization; but creating America was not one of them. White Anglo-Saxon Christians created the American republic on their own, and they can and must recreate it on their own. (Nobody expects the Israelis to select a Christian as their leader, and they would be foolish to do so.) The secession movement can gain enough support only if it led by White Christians. (For the same reason, American-born Chinese, Japanese, or Koreans – no matter how capable – cannot be included in the leadership of the secession movement.)
F) Moslems . As explained in the previous section, we do not want to admit any Moslems from Asian or African countries into the AFR (not even as even as tourists) because they pose a security risk, and we should deport all such persons already here. However, we should not attempt to deport native-born Americans who have converted to Islam. We definitely do not want government agents prying into the religious beliefs of ordinary American citizens.
IX) Economic factors
A) Should the American Federal Republic be a socialist country? Certainly not. We want it to have a free market economy, partly because such a system permits more individual liberties, and partly because experience has shown that countries with free market economies become more prosperous than countries with centrally planned economies. (Compare, for example West Germany with East Germany [when they were independent countries], or Japan with the old Soviet Union, or South Korea with North Korea; or Cuba with Puerto Rico.)
B) Will the AFR and the remaining portion of the USA trade with each other? Of course they will. We should anticipate that there will be a brisk trade between the two countries. For the most part, that trade will simply be a continuation of the trade between the two regions today. The majority of the food produced in the USA today is coming from Red counties. So is most of the production of oil, natural gas, iron, copper and other minerals. The AFR will therefore have a sizable surplus of agricultural products available for export, as well as many raw materials. In exchange, the Red counties are now receiving many services and many manufactured products from the Blue country, and it will continue to do so. Of course, the Red country does have substantial industry already, and that industrial output will steadily increase after the AFR becomes independent.
C) What about Blue enclaves? Part of the Blue country (for example, the St. Louis metropolitan area) will consist of large metropolitan areas completely surrounded by Red territory. How could such regions trade with the other parts of the Blue country? Answer, very easily: They could ship goods to other parts of the Blue country by truck, or by train, or by air, just as they do today, passing through or over territory belonging to the Red country; and the AFR (the Red country) should not levy any tariffs on such freight.
Could not the AFR refuse to permit such shipments, thereby economically strangling the metropolitan areas and forcing them to join the AFR? In principle, yes, but why would we? We do not want those people to be part of the new country, where they will constantly vote for liberal politicians and liberal programs; on the contrary, we want them to remain in the Blue country.
D) What about ports? A glance at the original Red-Blue map shows that virtually all the major ports in the present USA are located in Blue territory. Could the AFR survive without large ports of its own? Of course it could! Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland are all land-locked countries, and all of them are prosperous. Yes, it would be better if the AFR had its own ports, but it is not a necessity. Would you rather have a country without its own ports, or not have an independent country at all?
But wouldn’t this enable the Blue country to strangle the AFR by not allowing it to use those ports, or by charging high tariffs on shipments from foreign countries to the Red country? In theory, yes; but in practice countries do not do that. Austria and Switzerland are able to trade with Latin American countries through ports in the Netherlands and Germany without unreasonable tariffs or port charges.
Even if some future US government contemplates closing its ports to freight headed to or from the AFR (or placing high charges on such traffic), they will be deterred by the knowledge that the AFR could easily retaliate by shutting off shipments to the Blue enclaves or by refusing to ship food or raw materials to the Blue country. In any such contest, we would hold all the high cards. However, such a contest is unlikely to occur. Experience shows that countries do not engage in such hostile acts unless they are willing to engage in a shooting war.
E) Will the American Federal Republic have its own currency? Of course we will. It would be reckless to permit another country (like the USA) to have the authority to print currency which will be legal tender in our country. We have already seen that the government of the USA lacks the discipline to balance its own budget, and instead succumbs to the lure of the printing press. This will inevitably result in high inflation (possibly runaway inflation). We can’t stop the people of the Blue country from doing that to themselves, but we don’t want them doing it to us.
F) Will the American Federal Republic have a Social Security program? Of course it will. Polls consistently show that the public strongly supports such a program. Therefore, any government which derives it powers from the consent of the governed will inevitably have a social security program. Originally, the AFR will simply continue the present system. Fairly soon, however, it will have to make revisions so that the system will be financially sound and will not bankrupt the country. The most likely change – and perhaps the fairest – would be a gradual increase in the retirement age. This will not affect anyone who is already receiving social security.
G) But won’t many people opt to remain in the Blue country because they fear that the AFR will not pay them Social Security benefits? Probably some people will, but those who do will be making a grave mistake. In fact, the government of the United States of America is fiscally irresponsible, and its policies are leading to serious inflation. It may nominally honor its financial obligations, but only by paying them in a debased currency. The currency of the AFR will be sound, and the payments it makes to retirees will be worth far more than similar payments made by the Blue country.
H) Will the American Federal Republic have a Medicare program? Yes, for the same reason it will continue to have Social Security. It will need to be revised, of course, so as not to bankrupt the new country. It may not sound as generous as the health care proposals that the Blue country will offer; but it will in fact be more useful to its citizens. (Citizens of the USA will have a promise of free health care; but the AFR will have most of the doctors!)
I) How will the new country be able to achieve a balanced budget and a sound currency? Mostly by a great decrease in non-entitlement spending. Because of all the talk about the need to rein in entitlement spending, mostly people don’t realize how much the federal government is spending on other programs. Some of those programs may indeed be desirable, but when funds are low we must choose between what is merely desirable and what is essential. For example, NASA (whose current budget is about $30 billion a year) may be desirable, but it is certainly not essential. Most of the $300 billion a year that the Department of Housing and Urban Development currently spends is not essential. The food stamp program (now about $120 billion a year) should be phased out, and such matters should be left to the individual states or to private charities. (Fortunately, most recipients of those stamps reside in the Blue counties.)
Our educational system got along fine for two centuries without a federal Department of Education. It is not noticeably better now, and may be worse. The department should be abolished. Our foreign aid program is spending tens billions of dollars a year. If the USA wishes to continue such programs, they can do so, but leave us out.
God only knows how much money the CIA and similar organizations are costing us. The amount is kept secret, allegedly for military reasons (although it is unclear what the Chinese or Iranian governments could do if they knew the total amount we provide the CIA). It is a reasonable guess that we could reduce such expenditures by $30 billion a year (maybe much more) without endangering our security. Nor do we need to maintain tens of thousands of troops in Germany (long after the cold war has ended), nor in Japan and dozens of other countries. Money spent of agricultural subsidies is largely wasted; and federal agencies like the EEOC are positively harmful.
Discontinuing many of these programs (and greatly contracting others) may cause howls of rage by those who have become accustomed to feeding at the public trough; but it can be done by the government of the AFR, and will enable the new country to have a balanced budget and a stable currency.
I realize that some of the suggestions above are controversial, and that not all of them will be adopted by the AFR. But many of them will be, whereas the present government of the United States will make no significant reductions in non-military spending, and will lead us into a fiscal disaster.
X) Military factors
A) Who gets the armed forces? This will not be decided by negotiations or by legislation. Each individual soldier, sailor, or airman will decided for himself whether he prefers to serve in the armed forces of the new American Federal Republic or instead to remain in the armed forces of the Unites States of America. To try to force a soldier into your army, when his loyalties lie with another nation would not only be immoral, it would be foolish and futile. Both the AFR and the USA will therefore wind up with a substantial military, each consisting of soldiers that feel loyalty to their state.
B) Who gets the military equipment? As the remaining portion of the USA will control most of the existing ports and naval bases, it seems likely that they will get most (maybe even all) of the naval vessels. Equipment such as tanks, artillery, aircraft, and missile batteries will probably wind up with the units that now control them. However, if the attempt to secede terminates with an agreement between the government of the United States and the leaders of the new country, then it seems likely that the agreement will include an explicit division of heavy weapons. Since the United States possesses large quantities of such equipment, and since both countries will be able to manufacture new equipment, the exact division of the existing weaponry may not be crucial.
C) Who gets the nuclear weapons? A fair solution would be to divide the present nuclear arsenal of United States between the two countries. However, we should not let this be a sticking point when negotiating a peaceful separation. The truth is that the American Federal Republic can temporarily do without nuclear weapons, and it will easily be able to build up its own arsenal after it obtains independence.
D) Will the American Federal Repuiblic be strong enough to defend itself?The AFR will be one of the largest and richest countries in the world, with a population of over 100 million. Aside from the remaining portion of the present USA, the only countries it will border on are Canada and (perhaps) Mexico, neither of which will pose any military threat to it. After obtaining independence, the AFR will have ample time to organize a large army and a large air force, both well-equipped with modern weapons.
E) Will the remaining USA be strong enough? Unlike the new AFR, the USA will still be faced with major foreign adversaries. However, it will still have an air force that is larger and better-equipped than any of those adversaries, or by any plausible combination of them. Its navy will be far larger and stronger than any other navy in the world, and it will also possess a large, well-equipped army. Furthermore, its possession of a large nuclear arsenal (with a variety of sophisticated delivery systems) ensures that other countries will be very hesitant to actually go to war with it. It may be less able to intervene in the affairs of other countries, but it will easily be able to defend itself again military attacks.
XI) Some errors that the new country should avoid
A) Birthright citizenship .
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an amendment to the Constitution was passed that began: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
The intention of the men who drafted that provision (and of those who ratified it) is quite plain: They were afraid that some states would refuse to grant citizenship to the former Negro slaves, or even to those Negroes who had been free men before the Civil War. Unfortunately, the words they chose did not say precisely that. As a result, the fourteenth amendment has often been applied to cases that were not remotely intended by its authors. It is now generally construed to mean that if a woman who is a tourist – or even an illegal alien! âˆ’ gives birth to a child on American soil, that child will automatically be an American citizen.
This principle âˆ’ that any person born here is a citizen âˆ’ is often called “birthright citizenship.” It is quite different than the rule which has been applied in most countries in most eras: that a person’s citizenship follows that of his or her parents, regardless of where the child happens to be born. For example, the rule has been that a Frenchman traveling in Japan (or even living there) is still a Frenchman, and his children will be also. The Japanese will not consider the child to be Japanese; whereas if the child returns to France, the French government will consider him a citizen, and other Frenchmen will readily accept him as a fellow-countryman.
The practical effect of the birthright citizenship rule (other than giving foreigners an incentive to break our laws and sneak across our borders) is to give citizenship to many people who have no loyalty to America, and may even detest it. The rule has greatly harmed the United States of America, and should not be adopted by the American Federal Republic. In fact, it would be best if the AFR had a clause in its constitution specifically renouncing that rule.
B) Instituting preferences or quotas that disadvantage white Europeans .
One can understand an African or Asian country instituting such a set of preferences or quotas; but for a country founded by Whites of European descent to do so is sheer insanity. For several decades, the United States of America has been doing this, ostensibly to atone for our guilt in holding slaves or tolerating slavery. However, the Whites currently living here today never held any slaves, nor did they approve of the institution, nor did they benefit from it. (In fact, we are clearly worse off because of it.)
I am sorry that many Blacks and Hispanics have relatively low incomes, but it is not my fault. Nor is it the fault of you, or your friends, or your parents or descendants; nor are you or they benefitting from it. We probably cannot stop the government of the USA from supporting this pernicious system of racial (and gender) preferences, but we must make sure that the government of the American Federal Republic (and of the states and local districts within it) discontinue the practice and never repeat the error.
A related issue concerns the freedom to speak freely about racial differences. That these differences exist, and that Blacks are, on average, less intelligent than Whites is quite obvious. How to best deal with that problem may be less obvious, but refusing to discuss the matter (or to let others discuss it honestly) cannot help.
C) Refraining from “nationalist” education in our schools .
Most countries take for granted that they should use the schools to inform children of the virtues of their country and the contributions it has made to civilization. A century ago, American schools were doing that (as were many parents), and most American children grew up loving their country and being proud of it. In the twentieth century, the notion arose that our schools should also inform students of the shortcomings of our country. Gradually, the schools spent more and more time teaching about the shortcomings of America, and less and less time talking about our virtues. The natural result has been a decline in national pride and patriotic feeling.
People who hate America will always be disparaging our history, our people, and our culture. If we wish to maintain a proud and loyal population we must repeatedly tell our young people about the positive accomplishments of America, and why they should feel both proud and fortunate to be Americans. (This should, of course, be done by individual parents, as well as our schools.)
D) Lifetime tenure for judges .
Under our present constitution federal judges have lifetime tenure. Because of this provision, if a president makes a poor decision in selecting a judge (and the Senate confirms his choice), neither he, nor anyone else, can ever reverse it. (In contrast, a poor choice for any elective office can be reversed at the next election, and a poor choice for a cabinet post can be dismissed by the president at any time.
It is true that lifetime tenure does protect the ability of judges to make decisions which are unpopular, but which protect our constitutional structure and vital civil liberties. However, it also protects their ability to make decisions that simply substitute their personal wishes for laws duly passed by the legislature. (A glaring example was the decision in Roe v. Wade, that overturned laws duly passed by 50 state legislatures. Perhaps those laws were ill-advised: but if so, it was up to the legislatures to change them.) This type of judge-made law is difficult to overturn by any normal political procedures. The freedom of judges to uphold the constitution against popular passions can be protected by giving them fairly lengthy terms in office – perhaps 12 years, perhaps 18 years. Lifetime terms, however, encourage judges to act as petty tyrants, unconstrained by the constitution.
Lord Acton famously said, “Power corrupts,” and most philosophers agree with him. But if this is true, it follows that those who exercise power for an extended time are likely to become bad men. In point of fact, Acton did say, “Great men [by which he meant powerful men] are almost always bad men.” The moral would seem to be that a sensible constitution should not permit long terms in office by any government officials, and certainly not lifetime tenure.
E) Filibusters .
A filibuster is an attempt by a minority to prevent a legislature from voting. It is therefore a profoundly unconstitutional action, undermining the very basis of a republic in which the laws are made by an elected legislative body.
People sometimes romanticize the filibuster as an attempt by a brave individual to prevent an unfair or unconstitutional law from being passed by a tyrannical majority. However, a filibuster can just as easily be used to prevent the majority from passing an unquestionably constitutional law, and one that benefits the nation as a whole.
Indeed, the overall effect of filibusters is to increase the likelihood of tyrannical rule. This is because the main threat to a constitutional government comes from the chief executive. One of the most important checks âˆ’ perhaps the most important one âˆ’ is an independent legislature. However, even if in theory a constitution gives great powers to a legislature, in practice that body – since it is composed of dozens or hundreds of individuals who frequently do not agree with each other – is always weaker than the executive branch, because in the executive branch power is concentrated in a single leader. The effect of allowing a small group of congressmen to prevent the majority from passing needed legislation is to increase the demand for the chief executive (or unelected judges) to step in and solve the problem.
The right to filibuster arose from certain procedural rules of the US Senate that were originally intended only to permit a full discussion of pending legislation. In time, some members of the Senate started to misuse those rules to prevent the Senate from voting on an issue even after lengthy discussion. (In particular, this was done when the issue involved the civil rights of black Americans.) This misuse of the right to debate, while effective for a few decades, eventually antagonized many voters, and is partly responsible for the attitude of many people today that on important matters we should just do whatever needs to be done and ignore violations of the constitution.
If filibusters were really a useful method of handling controversial issues, we would expect them to be used in other contexts, and by other countries. But other countries do not permit filibusters; nor are they used by other organizations in this country. In deciding policy matters, colleges do not permit filibusters; nor do sports teams; nor do industrial corporations; nor banks, nor charitable enterprises. The United States of America made a grave error in permitting filibusters in the Senate, and the American Federal Republic should not repeat that error.
F) Avoiding the use of identity cards .
In many civilized countries, the government issues official identity cards to its citizens, which can be used in a variety of contexts. However, in America (and the other English-speaking countries) this sensible practice has not been adopted. Our failure to do so appears to have arisen from some romantic belief that the use of formal identity cards will destroy our individual liberties.
There are two things wrong with this notion. In the first place, there are in fact many free countries that require individuals to use government-issued identity cards. For example, they have been used in Sweden for many decades. They are also required in Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, and the Netherlands. Likewise, Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg require identity cards, but have not become police states.
In the second place, for practical purposes, we already require identity cards in this country. We all carry various identity cards, such as driver’s licenses, social security cards, and credit cards. Even if carrying these cards is not strictly mandatory, as a practical matter it is very difficult to function without them. The main difference between such cards and formal identity cards is that items like social security cards are far easier to obtain by fraud and provide far less reliable identification. (For example: a social security card does not include either a photograph or a fingerprint.)
Issuing formal identity cards which include a photograph and a fingerprint is a necessary part of any program to reduce illegal immigration. It is a useful tool in crime control, and it will help to reduce the frequency of “identity theft.” Last, but not least, it will make it far more difficult to commit fraudulent voting.
G) Permitting criminals to vote .
The idea that we should permit criminals to vote (after they have completed their sentences) arises from the mistaken notion that permitting people to vote is a goal in itself, rather than being a method for achieving good government.
Any government is basically an alliance, one in which the members of the alliance seek to maintain a monopoly of force within a specified geographic region. Some of the most important activities of that alliance are directed against enemies, or potential enemies. In particular, the alliance is intended to prevent its territory from being invaded by foreign governments or groups; and it is intended to prevent persons residing in its territory from killing, raping, robbing, or otherwise harming the law-abiding citizens living in its territory. In order to that achieve that goal of suppressing domestic criminals, it must pass and enforce laws directed to that end.
Criminals, of course, do not wish there to be effective laws suppressing criminal activity. It is normally a reasonable presumption that an individual who does not have a criminal record wishes crime to be suppressed. However, once an individual has engaged in a serious crime that presumption vanishes. Some convicts who have served their time in jail do not thereafter engage in crime and sincerely desire that we have effective laws suppressing crime; however, many do not, and there is no simple way of telling the two groups apart. Since there is very little to be gained in giving former criminals the right to vote, and a fair amount to be lost, the wisest policy is to deny the franchise to those who have been convicted of felonies.
It is sometimes claimed that many former convicts strongly wish to vote, and that denying them the vote will alienate them from society. This seems fanciful: About half of those without criminal records don’t bother to vote, and no survey of convicts show that they consider voting one of their chief concerns. The main pressure for giving ex-cons the right to vote seems to come from unscrupulous politicians, who believe (probably correctly) that the ex-cons can be easily bribed, or otherwise manipulated.
H) Permitting those without adequate identification to vote ?
This issue would appear to be a no-brainer, and it is hard to believe that anyone who sincerely wants free elections would simultaneously wish election fraud to be easy. Two rules that do the most to prevent election fraud are: (a) a requirement for preregistration; and (b) a requirement that anyone who wishes to vote produce clear identification before being permitted to do so.
As a practical matter, clear identification should include a photo ID. In those countries (whose ranks include most constitutional republics) that issue formal identity cards to all adults, this is no problem, since those cards always include a photograph, and often include a fingerprint as well. But even if the AFR does not issue formal identity cards, most citizens of voting age either already have official cards (such as driver’s licenses) that include photo IDs or can easily obtain them. There is no excuse for us to make election fraud easy.
I) “Diversity is our greatest strength” .
No, it is not! Repeating that ridiculous statement endlessly does not make it true. Ethnic diversity is not a strength at all, it is a grievous weakness. The wisdom of the ages is concisely expressed in two well-known maxims: “In unity there is strength” and “Divide and conquer,” and those maxims have been amply confirmed by events in modern times.
Ethnic diversity destroyed the Soviet Union, despite that country’s enormous military power. It destroyed Yugoslavia, which (like the Soviet Union) fell apart into smaller states. It weakened the old Hapsburg Empire, which likewise dissolved into smaller national states.
Had diversity been a strength, then England in 1500 would have had poor future prospects, while the Ottoman Empire (which in 1500 included not merely Turks, but also Arabs, Greeks, Jews, Armenians, Copts, Kurds and other peoples, and which at that time dwarfed England in size, population, and military prowess) would have become ever richer and would have made great contributions to world culture. In fact, in the course of the next 400 years, the Ottoman Empire made few contributions to world culture, and gradually declined militarily. In those same four centuries, England produced a truly extraordinary host of scientists, mathematicians, literary giants, and philosophers, and it became both rich and powerful.
Moslem immigrants in European countries have caused a marked increase in crime (and have provided a source of terrorists), while contributing almost nothing to the cultures of those countries. Ethnic clashes in places such as Indonesia or Rwanda have resulted in horrifying massacres.
Different ethnic groups in the United States often hate each other, and frequently this hatred results in prison riots between Blacks and Hispanics, or similar clashes in schools. Attempts to reduce ethnic hostilities seem to be a major reason for the speech codes on American campuses. Whether in schools or in business corporations, diversity is not a benefit to be enjoyed, but rather a problem to be managed (generally expensively).
Each year, the USA suffers from about 30,000 interracial rapes (the large majority of which are black-on-white) and about 1500 interracial murders (also mostly black-on-white). The AFR will start out with far less “diversity” and should keep it that way.
J) “The Constitution is a living document.”
This is a clever, feel-good statement. However, what a person who says it normally means is, “The Constitution is an old, out-of-date document, written by men who died two centuries ago. It should be disregarded and replaced by whatever clauses I would include if I were writing it now.” Of course, those who wrote the Constitution understood that it would from time to time need amending, and they provided an orderly method for adopting needed amendments. But those who say “the Constitution is a living document” (but feel it is really a dead document) realize that most of the amendments they desire do not have sufficient public support to be passed, so they bypass the amendment procedure and simply pretend that the Constitution means what it so obviously does not say.
The basic purpose of a constitution is to limit the authority of the chief executive (and certain other government officials), who could otherwise exercise tyrannical powers. If a constitution has no clear meaning, but can be interpreted in whatever way seems necessary, it will fail in its primary objective. When judges look beyond the meaning that the Constitution had to those who wrote it and ratified it, what they almost always find is just their own prejudices. As James Madison once put it, ” If the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation â€¦ be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a â€¦faithful exercise of its powers .”
K) “All men are created equal”
The Declaration of Independence, contains the memorable phrase, “All men are created equal,” and even says that it is a “self-evident truth.” Indeed, that is the best-known statement in the entire document; it has been endlessly repeated, and is often said to be one of the keys ideas upon which America was founded. However, an absurd statement does not become true merely by being constantly repeated. Obviously all men are not equal in size, or strength, or speed, or intelligence. Nor are they equal in kindness, or courage, or firmness of character.
“Oh,” you might say, “but that is not what Jefferson meant.” However, nobody is certain just what he did mean. Perhaps he was just saying that a person should not be entitled to any special legal rights merely because he inherited an aristocratic title. (Plainly, Jefferson meant at least that.) But maybe he also meant it in a religious sense: Perhaps he meant that God is equally concerned with the souls of any two human beings.
That is an interesting idea, but it is not what Jefferson said. The popularity of his statement is probably due, in large part, to the fact that people can give completely different meanings to it. This enables two people who disagree on the substance of their political beliefs to imagine that they are in agreement simply because they are using the same words to express very different âˆ’ and often conflicting âˆ’ views.
This may sound harmless, but it is not. Many people interpret Jefferson’s words to mean, “I am just as good as anyone else, and therefore should continue to have the same rights and privileges as anyone else, and to be treated in the same way.” This leads to the view that every individual should always have the privilege of voting, even if his conduct has shown him to be irresponsible. In like fashion, everyone should be admitted to some college (and even given government subsidies to do so), even if his prior school work shows that a college education would be wasted on him. It often leads to the view that each person is entitled to have as many children as he or she wishes – even an unmarried woman who has already had six illegitimate children that neither she nor the men involved are supporting.
It also leads to the view that all ethnic groups should be equally represented in government positions, and indeed in all jobs. After all, if all men are equal (the reasoning goes), then the only reason why blacks and Hispanics have a smaller percentage of the higher-paying jobs must be unwarranted white prejudice.
The fact is, however, that all men and women are not equal and the attempt to base government policies on the view that they are leads to absurdities. We should abandon the use of Jefferson’s phrase.
L) Including the “Establishment clause” in the Constitution
The very first sentence in the Bill of Rights starts out: “Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion;” (which is often called the “Establishment clause”) and is followed by the words “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” (which is often called the “free exercise clause”). A problem is that the Establishment clause has often been interpreted in such a way as to limit the free exercise of religion.
The phrase “an establishment of religion” is generally taken to mean a government policy of designating one particular religion or creed as the official religion of a state or country. For example, in various countries the Roman Catholic Church has been the official religion, and the Anglican Church is the official religion of England (even though many English citizens are not members of that church).
Those who wrote the Bill or Rights were fearful that the federal government that had just been created would interfere in religious matters by establishing an official religion, or perhaps by forcing one of the states that already had an established religion (there were six such states at the time the Bill of Rights was adopted) to disestablish it.
Today, the likelihood that some particular Christian sect will be established is remote. However, many persons who might be described as “secular humanists” are quite hostile to all organized religions, and are attempting to use the Establishment clause to establish secular humanism as the preferred creed. Some of them want all mention of God removed from government property, and some even wish to remove the words “In God We Trust” from currency. Some of them vigorously oppose suggestions that the federal government (or a city or state) offer tuition vouchers equally available to all schools (even those with no religious affiliation) since some of the funds may be used to help children attend Catholic parochial schools. They know that such a program (if equally available to schools run by any other denomination, or even to schools run by secular humanists) cannot reasonably be considered an establishment of any particular religious group, or even of religion in general. However, they also know that in the absence of tuition vouchers, everyone is forced to support only the public schools (which are often dominated by secular humanists).
Since the Establishment clause is now being used not for its original purpose, but instead to establish a particular creed (secular humanism), the United States would be far better off without it, and the AFR should not include such a clause in its constitution.
XII) The “Wolf-Sheep problem”
This refers to an issue that early advocates of democracy had not fully appreciated, but which experience has shown to be a serious problem. In a system that allows popular votes to determine policy, it is possible for the majority to use its power to plunder a smaller group and distribute the proceeds among its own members.
It takes its name from a metaphorical statement that runs something like this: “The inherent wickedness of theft does not disappear merely because it is achieved by democratic processes. Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner may be democracy, but it is not justice; and a prudent man should not entrust his fate to such a system.” The basic problem was stated clearly by Aristotle more than 2300 years ago (although he did not use the “Wolf-Sheep” metaphor) and by various other philosophers since he wrote.
An old English proverb says, “He who calls the tune must pay the piper.” (It could just as well have been put, “He who pays the piper has the right to call the tune.”) Either way, it seems in accord with most men’s natural feelings of what is just. The sentiment behind the saying is similar to that behind the slogan “Taxation without representation is tyranny” (or the closely-related view: “Representation without taxation is tyranny”). The essence of all those statements is that it is morally wrong for one person (Mr. A) to force another person (Mr. B) to pay for the things that A wants.
The Wolf-Sheep problem has bedeviled all democracies. If is often very easy to convince Mr. A that it is “fair” to make Mr. B pay for the things that Mr. A wants (especially if B has more money than A). Many politicians claim that they will raise taxes on the bad guys (normally, the rich, but sometimes ethnic minorities); and even more of them promise to hand out money (or low-cost housing, or free medical care, or free school lunches, or various other benefits) to those who “need” such benefits. As a result, the governments of most Western democracies have badly unbalanced budgets. Even a rich country like the USA, which has been blessed with enormous natural resources, is running annual deficits of more than a trillion dollars a year; and some other democracies are doing proportionately worse.
We might anticipate that the voters in the AFR, having witnessed the disastrous effects of such policies will not repeat them (at least for a while). However, since the Wolf-Sheep problem is rooted in natural human greed, it will eventually reappear in the AFR unless the constitution of the new country includes provisions specifically designed to avoid it.
The U.S. Constitution left to the individual states the question of who would be eligible to vote. At that time (1787), each of the American states had property qualifications for voting, which effectively denied the franchise to most poor people, thus avoiding the Wolf-Sheep problem. The system worked well at first, and for forty years the country enjoyed both good government and increasing prosperity. However, the notion that many law-abiding citizens were not permitted to vote seemed unfair; and a central feature of the “Jacksonian Revolution” was the removal of those property requirements for voting. By 1850, most such restrictions had been repealed, and no modern politician has advocated restoring them.
What might the American Federal Republic do to handle the Wolf-Sheep problem? Here are a few suggestions:
1) It is known that younger voters have, on average, lower incomes than middle-aged voters, and therefore pay less in taxes. Furthermore, many of them are used to being supported by others. They are therefore (on average) “wolves” who wish to take other people’s money, and spend it for the “general good.” Raising the minimum age for voting to 24 or 25 might therefore greatly reduce the Wolf-Sheep problem.
2) There are other identifiable groups whose behavior indicates that they are (on average) irresponsible, and statistically likely to vote as “wolves” in order to get others to support them. One such group consists of women who have borne illegitimate children. A rule that such women lose their voting rights would probably significantly reduce the Wolf-Sheep problem. (Note that had such a rule been in effect last year, Obama would probably not have been reelected.) Another such group is the men who impregnated those women and then walked away; and it might be wise to have them too lose their right to vote. A third, easily identifiable group who (on average) are mostly wolves are consists of persons who have been convicted of felonies.
3) A third possibility is to deny the franchise to people who are living on welfare.
Each of these ways of dealing with the Wolf-Sheep problem has its drawbacks, and it does not appear that the problem has any simple solution. A more complicated proposal âˆ’ but which does not deny any person his or her right to vote âˆ’ goes as follows:
Suppose that in addition to the Congress there was an additional legislative body (one which might be called the Appropriations Assembly, or AA for short). The only power the AA would have would be the right to authorize expenditures from the federal treasury. Congress (although it would retain all its other powers) would lose the right to authorize such expenditures. The members of the AA would be elected, but with one important proviso: In voting for members of the AA, each voter would have one vote for each dollar he paid in direct taxes.
The AA would therefore be dominated by those who paid most of the taxes. In other words, those who paid the piper would call the tune (or at least have a veto) on federal expenditures; whereas those who paid little in the way of taxes could not insist that the federal government spend money on the programs they favor. There would be neither taxation without representation, nor representation without proportional taxation.
Would this mean that federal monies could not be spent on programs that benefit the poor? Not at all: Rich people often give large sums to charity. However they usually do so only if they are convinced that those sums are not being extorted from them, are not being wasted, and benefit the nation as a whole.
There is no space here to describe the details of such a plan; and in any event it is still an untried plan which would need some modifications. However, the basic idea may provide a method of handling the Wolf-Sheep problem.
Some of the above proposals sound undemocratic. That depends, of course, on how one defines “democracy.” For Aristotle, who initiated the set of definitions of political types, democracy was a form of government in which all citizens can vote and the majority rules. As a practical matter, this meant rule by the poor, since in every state, he said, the majority of the citizens are poor. He thought that democracy was a bad form of government (although far from the worst). This was partly because he realized that the majority would use the powers of government to plunder the rich âˆ’ what I have termed the “wolf-sheep problem.” He also felt that, since most poor people did not have virtue, a state controlled by them would also lack virtue. In addition, he said, although “democracy” sounded fair in principle, in practice democracies always deteriorated into tyrannies.
Many other political philosophers have agreed with Aristotle, and it is easy to point out examples of countries with democratic constitutions that have turned out badly, often because they were corrupted by clever demagogues. That has occurred in many Latin American countries in the course of the last two centuries. Of course, the most horrifying example of a democracy leading to a tyranny was Weimar Germany, which had a democratic constitution but wound up with the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler.
Our founding fathers did not know about Hitler, or Mussolini, or the numerous failures of Latin American democracies. However, many of them were aware of the warnings about democracy expressed by Aristotle, Plato, and other political philosophers. Consequently, in writing the constitution of the United States they deliberately avoided setting up a democracy. They did not trust the masses to choose the president; so they arranged for a council of elder statesmen (the “electoral college”) to make that choice. In fact, they did not even trust the people to choose the members of the electoral college, but instead let the state legislatures choose the electors from their own states.
Furthermore, not all adults in each state were eligible to vote. Back in 1787, neither Blacks, nor American Indians, nor females were allowed to vote. In addition, the individual states had laws that made even adult white males ineligible to vote unless they were property owners. The reason for this restriction was that the founding fathers wished to insure that only responsible individuals who were paying substantial taxes themselves could make decisions concerning major government policies, including what taxes would be levied and how the resulting government income would be spent.
That constitution may have been undemocratic; but our founding fathers were not primarily concerned with setting up a system that was theoretically fair to each individual, but instead wished create a system that would produce good leaders and government. They obviously succeeded âˆ’ the first five presidents of the new country were George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe; and the new country enjoyed both growing prosperity and a high degree of personal liberties.
Unfortunately, the constitutional system they set up has gradually been abandoned. The property qualifications for voting were largely eliminated by 1850, and by 1930, both females and American Indians had been given full voting rights. Blacks had in principle been given voting rights in 1875, but it was not until the 1970s that most Blacks were really able to vote. We now have a constitution that is theoretically fair, but is not producing good government.
Let me be clear: I am not suggesting that the American Federal Republic should be a monarchy, or a military dictatorship, or that it be led by a tyrant such as Hitler, or Mussolini, or Stalin. On the contrary, I suggest that the AFR can only obtain its just powers from the consent of the governed, and that this can only occur if we put in place a system of regular free elections. But that does not mean that the most important officials in the government should be chosen by direct election, nor does it mean that every citizen must have the right to vote.
XIV) How do we get from here to there?
Consider how our founding fathers proceeded in the 1770s. After several years in which grievances against the current government (the British crown) were discussed, they proceeded to call a Continental Congress, with delegates from most of the states present. The first Continental Congress assembled in 1774, but met for only a few weeks. The second Continental Congress assembled the following year, and it was that body that, a year later, adopted the Declaration of Independence.
In similar fashion, after preparing the way with various discussions, articles, and conferences, we might assemble a new “Continental Congress,” with delegates from all states in which there is substantial interest in leaving the union. After due discussion, this Continental Congress will draft and approve a new “Declaration of Independence.”
It is probably best if the new Declaration follows the format of the one adopted in 1776, and even copies some of the wording of the original Declaration. Even so, we should not expect more than a few states to sign the new Declaration.
The provisional government of the new republic (the American Federal Republic) should promptly invite other states to join it. In addition, the AFR should make it plain that if any county in one of the seceding states wishes to remain part of the United States of America we will not stand in its way. Correspondingly, if a county in a state that has declined to join the AFR wishes to secede from that state (and from the USA) and link up with the AFR they will be welcomed.
Since it is important that the AFR function as a constitutional republic, one of the first things it should do is to hold a constitutional convention. We anticipate that the resulting document will be similar to the present American constitution, but not identical. Once a constitution has been adopted, the new republic should proceed to elect a Congress and a President, and at that point judges and cabinet officers can be selected. Only then will the new republic be ready to pass new legislation, including important laws regarding immigration and citizenship.
At every stage of this process we should avoid resorting to violence . It might be that at some point we are attacked and have no choice but to defend ourselves, but under no circumstances should we initiate military action. Even if we are attacked, we should delay striking back, but should instead try to negotiate a peaceful compromise.
XV) Do we need to create a new political party ?
The crucial difficulty we face is in getting states to secede from the United States of America. How can this be achieved? It cannot be done by a decree of the governor of the state. The most promising method of secession is by a vote of the state legislature (probably followed by ratification in a referendum).
However, in order to accomplish that we must win elections. We won’t have to win a presidential election, nor elections for seats in the U.S. Congress, nor elections for governor (which is fortunate, since we lack the financial resources needed to win such elections). But we will need to elect people who share our goals to the state legislatures.
The easiest method of doing this is to win primary elections in conservative legislative districts (for the state assembly or state senate) which are typically won by Republican candidates. These districts typically have small populations, and the cost of conducting a primary election in one of those districts is comparatively small.
Nevertheless, for an insurgent candidate to win a primary in such a district, he will need an organization. In fact, we will need organizations in many such districts, and we will need some state organizations, and a national group to coordinate their efforts.
One important thing the national organization can do is to disavow groups which share some of our views but take stands (or engage in actions) that would discredit our movement. In particular, we must promptly disavow any groups that advocate violence.
This national organization will not be a true political party, since it will not directly nominate any candidates, but will merely endorse (or disavow) candidates chosen by local groups. Nor will it support candidates everywhere. (In many states there is little hope of our electing anyone, and we should not fritter away our money and time in such places, although we can raise funds in those areas.)
The national organization must take care that it is not subverted by groups that are hostile to its goals. Any votes that it holds internally must therefore be restricted to dues-paying members in good standing.
At this point, a sympathetic reader might reasonably say, “This proposal sounds good, but what can I do now to help it come true?” Well, you can:
• Help build up support for the program by discussing it with your family, friends, or other associates.
• Organize or join an organization that is working to further our goals.
• Contribute money to such an organization.
• Organize or attend conferences to discuss possible problems and tentative solutions..
- Do NOT engage in any violence.
As we do this, leaders will emerge and we will discover how to proceed next.
XVI) Will the new country prosper?
This is really two questions: Will the new American Federal Republic (the Red country) prosper? And will the remaining portion of the United States of America (the Blue country) prosper? Let us consider the latter question first.
We certainly hope that the Blue country will prosper. The AFR will be much better off if its principal neighbor âˆ’ the United States âˆ’ is economically prosperous. Fortunately, the remaining portion of the United States will have all the material assets that help to produce a prosperous country.
As the majority of the industrial output of the USA today is located in the Blue counties, after the split-up the remaining part of the USA will have a substantially larger industrial output than the new AFR. Furthermore, since the United States currently has far more than twice the GNP (gross national product) of any other country, after the split-up it will still have a higher GNP than any foreign country, even such industrial powerhouses as Germany, Japan, or China. It will also have military forces far stronger than any plausible (or even implausible) combination of enemies.
The territory of the USA will of course be less than it is now; but with more than 600,000 square miles it will still be one of the larger countries on Earth. Furthermore, the value of that territory is greatly enhanced by the fact that it is crisscrossed by a network of railroads and superhighways, and the fortunate circumstance that virtually all of it lies in temperate climates. In addition, it will include an unmatched set of great natural harbors (such as those of New York and San Francisco) and port facilities.
The Blue country will probably start with a population of somewhere between 150 million and 200 million people. Furthermore, most of those people are literate, and a large number have very valuable job skills. In addition, the Blue country will enjoy all of the supposed advantages of diversity.
Since most of the most prestigious universities in the United States âˆ’ indeed, in the world — are located in the Blue country (schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Caltech), the stripped-down USA will still contain the most remarkable group of scientists and scholars in the world.
The Blue country will also wind up with the majority of the leading cultural centers (such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York), as well as a majority of the leading hospitals, and almost all of the great museums.
In addition, it will include Wall Street – which, despite some recent reverses, is still the world’s leading financial center âˆ’ as well as the aircraft and motion picture industries (which together provide a sizable portion of our overseas earnings).
Last, but certainly not least, it will include a working constitution, and a complete set of government institutions (including the federal courts, the various federal agencies, and a group of experienced personnel to run them) that have been built up under that constitutional framework.
Therefore, the Blue country certainly could prosper; however, it is not certain that it will prosper. History shows that a country can have all the obvious material requirements for success, and yet still do poorly. Intangible factors such as ideology, partisanship, and leadership sometimes prove more important than territory, climate, natural resources, factories, or education. The Blue country will have, in exaggerated form, all of the political problems that plague the United States today:
• A large number of citizens who favor leftist economic policies
• Large numbers of welfare recipients
• Large numbers of criminals
• Ethnic groups that mistrust each other
• A superabundance of diversity in language, race, and religion.
I therefore suspect that within a few decades, the Blue country is likely to fail badly. I may be wrong, of course, and certainly hope that I am. However, even if my prediction is correct, the Blue country will still be in control of its destiny and therefore able, at least in principle, to modify or reverse ill-advised policies and again become prosperous.
At first sight, it might appear that the Red country – the new American Federal Republic âˆ’ will face greater difficulties than the Blue country. It will have far less industry, almost no ports, and will lack the great universities (with their assembled scientific talent) that the Blue country has. Furthermore, it will lack the “diversity” that most Blues believe is necessary for success in the modern world. A more careful analysis, however, suggests that the AFR is likely to prosper:
With an area of perhaps 2,500,000 square miles, it will be one of the largest countries on Earth, with the additional advantage that most of it will enjoy a temperate climate. As its territory includes most of the food-producing parts of the present USA, it will be self-sufficient in food and will probably have a large surplus for export. It will also include the lion’s share of America’s mineral resources, enabling it to meet most of its own needs and also to gain foreign exchange to pay for needed imports.
Even more important will be its human resources: about 150 million persons, mostly literate, hard-working, and with useful job skills. Furthermore, since most of the high crime areas in the USA today are in the big cities, the Red country will have a markedly lower crime rate than America does today. For the same reason, it will also start with a smaller fraction of its citizens on welfare.
Another feature that will help the AFR to prosper is that the great majority of its population are devoted to the idea of living in a constitutional republic and that they favor a constitution that protects vital civil liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press. (None of the countries in Europe has as profound a devotion to those rights as we do.) Furthermore, our population is experienced in the actual practice of democratic government, rather than just liking the general idea.
Still another advantage that the American Federal Republic will start with is that most of its citizens are proud of our heritage. (In contrast, many of the Blues are ashamed of their heritage, and keep apologizing for their past.) Furthermore, most of the citizens of the AFR strongly favor free enterprise and will resist any conversion to a socialist state.
In addition, the AFR will have the inestimable advantage of starting out with a relatively homogeneous population. As Publius wrote in 1787 in the Federalist Papers (see paper number 2, probably composed by John Jay):
Providence has been pleased to give this â€¦ country to one united people – a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customsâ€¦
Actually, Jay was overstating his case somewhat. There were actually three quite different groups living within our borders at the time. Only by ignoring both the black slaves and the Indian tribes could he call us “one united people.” The white Europeans that Jay was referring to comprised less than 80% of the total population at the time.
Today, fortunately, we have eliminated the blight of slavery. And while non-Hispanic whites are only about 70% of the population of the present United States, they will constitute about 85% of the starting population of the AFR (because the large majority of Blacks and Hispanics live in the Blue country), giving the AFR more homogeneity than the United States had when the American constitution was drafted. Actually, the situation is even better than those figures imply. Virtually none of the American Indians or black slaves had been assimilated when Jay wrote, whereas many of the Blacks and Hispanics living in the Red counties today have been assimilated.
The American Federal Republic will therefore in its most important attributes be similar to what the United States of America was in the late eighteenth century. It may start out with fewer factories than the Blue country has, and have far fewer museums and libraries, and less prestigious universities (just as the early United States had fewer factories than England, fewer museums and libraries, and no universities that could rival Oxford and Cambridge). But factories can be built, and museums and libraries can be created, and our colleges and universities, unhampered by quotas and preferences, will acquire better students and better faculties than the established universities in the Blue country. Just as the United States flourished after gaining its independence, and built a “shining city on a hill,” so – with courage and determination – can we.