For ten years, Texas was a sovereign territory before joining the United States in 1845. It’s the stuff of legends that the “Lone Star State” could end the ties with the U.S. if its constituents want it that way.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who's been highly critical of President Obama's stimulus package, raised the possibility that his state may one day secede from the union.
“We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people - who knows what might come out of that,” Perry told reporters last week.
The governor isn't the only one suggesting secession is not out of the realm. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a former presidential candidate, spoke with Kiran Chetry on CNN’s American Morning Tuesday.
Kiran Chetry: How serious is this secession talk?
Ron Paul: I don't think it's very serious. I don't think anybody called for secession, and I don't think the governor called for it. But he brings up an important issue. The biggest surprise to me was the outrage expressed over an individual who thinks along these lines, because I heard people say, well, this is treasonous and this was un-American. But don't they remember how we came in to our being? We used secession, we seceded from England. So it’s a very good principle. It’s a principle of a free society. It’s a shame we don’t have it anymore. I argue that if you had the principle of secession, our federal government wouldn't be as intrusive into state affairs and to me that would be very good.
We as a nation have endorsed secession all along. Think of all of the secession of the countries and the republics from the Soviet system. We were delighted. We love it. And yet we get hysterical over this just because people want to debate and defend the principle of secession, that doesn't mean they’re calling for secession. I think it's that restraining element of secession that would keep the federal government from doing so much. In our early history, they accepted the principles of secession all along.
Chetry: You said it's very American to talk about secession. It’s how we came into being. 13 colonies seceeded from the British. Are you likening the current situation to life under King George?
Paul: I think a lot of people are thinking that way. And I think that's what's important. People are angry. If we don't sense that, we don't know what's actually going on there. People are angry. I'm anticipating it will get a lot worse. When the dollar collapses and the federal government can't fulfill any of its promises, what if they send you dollars and they don't work. People aren’t going to have a violent secession; they’re just going to ignore the federal government because they will be inept. We'll be bringing our troops home and our empire will end. That's a different story. I think it's something we should talk about but we should institutionalize this principle. New England wanted to secede. No one challenged New England that it was unconstitutional in our early history.
Chetry: I want to move on to the bank bailouts. This is a source of a lot of contention. You've been opposed to them. Lately there have been some signs that perhaps it's working. Bank of America is turning a profit. Wells Fargo now saying they’re able to pay back the federal government and return some of that bailout money. In the end, could this have turned out to be the right move?
Paul: If a gangster steals money and he’s successful, you don't celebrate. Yeah they might be. This is just going to make the people angrier. They ripped us off, took all of this money, and now they’re making bundles? It's just an unfair system to penalize average people, inflate the currency and bring on another crisis and undermine the whole system.
So I would say a bank's success here and there is not necessarily something to celebrate. It's still pretty early. I don't think we're out of the woods yet to celebrate banks’ successes. What we have to realize is a lot of people stashed away a lot of money and took care of their bonuses and what not. You're not going to erase the anger that's come from that just because the bank made a profit. Like I say, it might make things worse.