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April 21st, 2009
09:41 AM ET

Ron Paul: Secession is American

CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Rep. Ron Paul about Texas' governor's secession suggestion.
CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Rep. Ron Paul about Texas' governor's secession suggestion.

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.


Filed under: Controversy • Politics
soundoff (1,136 Responses)
  1. greatlakes1

    Why delay the inevitable? Let's just quit and let America collapse and let the other countries like Russia, China and the lot split us up and claim the remaining mineral rights and territory to make the one world government a reality. We already have socialized government in part with social security and entitlment programs, and now the government current is taking ownership of banks, businesses and wants to tax the portion of the population it considers wealthy to spread the wealth around. Good day Comrade!

    April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  2. oh goodness

    Wow, let's look back on the last eight years shall we?
    Bush caused a huge amount of problems that now the whole country has to deal with, and by the way he came from Texas, and what's the first thing on Republican minds when we get a democrat in the white house? Secession, what are we, back in the 1860s? Democrat states dealt with a president they absolutely hated for eight whole years. In those eight years, I don't think any president has failed so miserably, but we held firm having faith in a new upcoming democrat possibility. We dealt with your problems like civilized individuals, having differing opinions and letting things go through our court and government system, which he did a good job butchering as it is. So, now that the republicans no longer have their handicap in Congress, they decide that the tables have turned enough for them to leave? Sorry, that's not how the game goes. Just because your ideas are no 100% represented in our government anymore doesn't give you a right to decide that suddenly you want to be on your own, you had eight years and quite frankly, you screwed up. So please, do us a favor and act like a civilized union, we've moved past the 1860s.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  3. Benaiah

    United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a Right Wing Extremist
    http://www.thehopeforamerica.com/play.php?id=897

    “…the framers …understood that for liberty to exist the populace needed to be educated enough to understand liberty and to be able to defend liberty. They also understood that liberty was not on automatic pilot, that liberty would not exist simply because it was once started, and that having won it it was very delicate and had to be protected…”

    April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  4. Andre

    What Ron Paul said was " 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." It was remark that was made by the Governor nothing else. Loud bark but no bite. And he also said "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." He did not say lets break off and leave. All he suggested was if all states had the right to break away from the Union it would make Federal Gov. to think twice before just blatantly passing laws or bailouts

    April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  5. rowzeer

    I have sane family in Texas who voted for O...too bad it's the crazies you always hear from.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  6. Jesse

    Do the Texas Republicans truly understand the cost of what they are proposing? If they secede they lose all Federal support. They lose access to Federal dollars and all Federal programs that are propping up their base. And I'm not going to be in any hurry to come charging to their rescue if something happens.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  7. Doug

    Texas tried to secede once before with the other states forming the Confederacy. My recollection is that it didn't turn out very well. Any talk of secession in our modern USA displays a level of ignorance of our national history that is mind-boggling.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  8. paula Wesley

    Texas, if you ever need help when you become a separate country, ask Mexico, not America.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  9. Steve

    sure.. WE THE PEOPLE caused the current crisis, but yet YOU THE DEMOCRATS (or at least the LIBERALS IN CA, MA, NY) are responsible for the stimulus plan.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  10. James

    Do you realize why this great country is on the wrong way?
    Because of the ignorance of the people about their history, their rights and their civil responsibilities.
    How do I know that? Read the comments above, it is all about Rep & Dem, they still don't understand that this is a one party system, they still don't understand that this country is not run by the people for the people, they still don't understand the causes of the financial crisis, they still don't understand that the federal reserve no more federal than the federal express, they still don't understand what economical faschism is all about, .... They just don't understand what FREEDOM IS ALL ABOUT.

    And YOU allow yourself to stupidly critisize the most honorable, law abiding, freedom lover and truth teller, the brilliat economist and great Dr. Ron Paul? YOU call HIM nuts? You the SHEEP call the leader of the Revolution a moron? YOU who believe everything you hear on the media and never bother research it or contact your representative, protest or even critisize the Obama administration even after they continue earsdropping on YOU? YOU the lazy B*, the worst citizen this country ever had, the best sheep the establishment can have, YOU call yourself AMERICAN and call the REAL PATRIOTS UN AMERICAN? YOU are a hypocrite and you'll come to this same result one day, on your own.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  11. Steve

    Who is this guy? I spent a year in Texas and understand the desert cowboy mentality going on here... He seems to be unaware that secessions occur through WAR. A vote doesn't end it, a War does. Unless he wants Texas to go to war for its "freedom" from a free state... well, I think he'll need a vote for that too. And Texas doesn't have any weapons that do not belonging to and provided from the United States. This guy is an idiot, almost on par with another Texas governor that comes to mind . . .

    April 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  12. crimedawg

    Plenty of talk by these two but in reality, they are both wussys.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  13. Jeff2

    Texas: Please keep us posted. When you seceed, I'll happily move to Texas and bring my company with me.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  14. happydadoffive

    First of all this is political grand standing. It is nothing more than the TX gov being nothing more than a political shock jock!!! Now though as a vetran with two purple hearts I am ticked off that a gov would do this. He is a little spoiled brat!!!! One I say we need to start taking all of our active duty military bases out of TX. The state enjoys the paychecks of 70,000 active duty military people. Then add all the federal civilian employees that are employeed at those bases!!!!! On top of that we need to also take away at one of the air national guard wings and reduce the army national guard by at least one regiment. Then TX will be inline with what states like Ohio and PA have military wise. In fact we should give those military jobs to those states!!! Considering it was corp raiders from TX that took away 10's of thousands of jobs away from those states. After all if they want to leave the US then they do not need those military jobs any way!!!!!

    April 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  15. rowzeer

    Texan4secession is off his meds again.....someone hurry up and refill his Rx

    April 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  16. Evan D

    I agree with Ron Paul. I think the United States is becoming more and more divided along political lines. People no longer unite behind a new President, they immediately splinter along ideological lines. This article for the Economist talks about this: http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13496418&source=most_commented

    I say why should we have to be subject to 4 years or more of one or the others views? I hated living under George W. Bush and it's my understanding that people already hate living under Barack Obama. So why not split? Obviously it would take debate over borders and which states go to which side, but compromise should be made so we can go our separate ways peacefully. I do think it's realistic and potentially possible in my life time (I'm 23 years old).

    Scotland is considering leaving the UK and they've been one country for a lot longer than we've been one country. So, there's no backbone behind an argument that it can't done. Believe it or not neither side secretly wants to be on the other, as both seem to believe. So let's stop taking turns forcing each other to live by principles half the country doesn't agree with.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  17. paula Wesley

    Texas belongs to Mexico.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  18. Terri

    I'm from Texas and I was never a supporter of Bush. The talk of seccession is stupid. If you look at the election results, not everyone in Texas voted for McCain.

    What really blows me away is that people keep talking about the money we 'gave' the banks. It isn't free money, they have to pay it back and some are already moving to do so.

    If McCain has been elected what would have happened? The banks would have failed and we would be in the midst of another great depression.

    Apparently republicans don't read history.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  19. James

    Divided we fall. That's exactly what's happening now. We are divided I don't think there's ever been a time that the reds and blues have been more different. Yet they are both corrupt to extremes. The federal government has been screwing the people around for to many years. I'm not sure about anyone else but I'm tired of bailing out bad companies and bad people that can't pay their own mortgages. To every one that thinks Texas is doing this because of Obama or just that crazy to think Obama is the savior of this country. Clinton, Bush, and now Obama have screwed the American people and have got this country into a mess. Now is as good of time as any to just cut the ties and be done with the feds. I foresee Montana following Texas if it starts going that way.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  20. Chris

    I think it's about time we talk about session. I'm sick of seeing my tax dollars going to welfare and bailouts. The socialist state that we are moving towards needs to stop. Socialism doesn't work in large scale societies.

    If a second round of states secede from the Union, I seriously doubt that a second civil war will end the same way.

    Oh yeah...declaring independence from England was a form of secession. It was the forceful breaking away from the rule of the English monarchy.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  21. honkey

    Texas was a penal colony at its origin, we only kept it because we didn't want the mexicans to have it.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  22. g

    I love how everyone is so insistant on calling Paul and the residents of Texans unamerican, and then posting comments like HANG THEM!
    Hanging fellow Americans, even if they are unamerican, is unamerican in itself, and in violation of American Ideals. By suggesting we hang everyone who is "unamerican", you likewise suggest (by my logic) that you yourself should be hanged. Hypocrisy? A bit.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  23. Tony Justin

    The secession talk is funny for the time being. Of course, it will be less humorous when someone starts to talk about violence against the federal government. For the past 3 months, the survivalists and freepers have been loading up on weapons. It is just a matter of time before they start getting busy. Another generation of McVeighs is out there and it will be extremely scary when they pounce.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  24. Steni

    King Obama is a Wall Street representative so what can we expect from him, having delegated all the banksters representatives to his cabinet, Geithner, Volcker and on and on. This administration is in full force backed up by the elite of the world to usher in the New World Order look at what Kissinger had to say about him, google the word Obama and Kissinger New World Order. America sheeple is blind when all is set and done there won't be a flag or national currency or country. Start saying goodbye to the US Dollar and prepare for the Amero, and the North American Union I have sources in the FBI that can assert that.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  25. Jeff

    In the context of this debate, "secede" and "declare independence" mean the same thing. Its all semantics. If you think a specific region or populous has a legal right to leave a political union, then its called secession. If you don't think they have that right, but they're doing it anyways, then its called declaring independence.

    The arguement that secession under a monarchy is ok, while under a democracy its wrong, takes a twisted view of democracy and ignores some of the founding principles of the United States. This country was founded on the idea of freedom, not democracy. Democracy was seen only as a means to ensure that freedom, but freedom itself was always to be paramount. The Bill of Rights itself is a testement to the fact that the founding fathers knew that democracy was not infallible when it came to maintaining freedom. In the context of the United States, secession, or the threat of it, in order to assert freedom, is perfectly inline with this countries most fundamental principals, regardless of the overlaying political structure.

    That being said, secession at this time is meaningless. The Republicans had six years to establish the freedom they now claim to be losing, but they dropped the ball on every front. They're now just angry that the other "team" is driving the gravy train. The only people who see the Republicans as victims are their own hardcore base, and that's not enough to found a secessionist movement on. Also, as evidenced in this thread, there's still a lot of people who are strongly, and quite emotionaly, opposed to any idea of secession, as long as they feel that they still have a voice.

    Even though the ruling party has switched, its still essentially business as usual in Washington. Secession carries huge risks... a civil war being the most disasterous outcome, followed by a secessionist government founded not on freedom but instead on its own brand of tyranny. People are only willing to take those kind of risks if they think they don't have much to lose. Either the percieved tyranny needs to grow substantially, or the economic situation needs to deteriorate drastically, before the middle class would start to think about secession as a viable alternative to federal authority.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  26. Benj

    Can we please stop using the Bush era labels of unpatriotic and unAmerican? They mean absolutely nothing.

    Perry and Paul can talk all they want. They are free to do so. Differences of opinion are necessary in a democratic society. Judge for yourself whether a State that shares so much of its border with Mexico would not end up as a welfare state if it stood alone. Plus, the drug cartels would rip Texas to pieces.

    In the end, if Texas secedes, their no tax attitude and "rugged individualism" will leave them totally defenseless against an organized military force. The US could simply push the current inhabitants into Mexico and resettle the area with Americans. It has happened before...

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  27. cats

    I am a native Texan. I love my country and place allegiance to it way above the state of Texas. Only an ignorant few talk of sucession. Texas is a great location to live in, but there are more that a few right wing nut cases throughout the state. They tend to be a very small minortiy, but with a large population comes a larger number of fringe thinkers living among the rational thinkers. These are difficult times in Texas to "live and let live" because of the sense of panic the radical right seems to feel since they did not get their way in the election.
    More than 3 1/2 million Texans voted in support of Barack Obama. Millions of Texans support the Obama administration and are getting drowned out by the chorus of radicals, but we are a strong and determind force and proud to be helping bring about reforms to our great country.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  28. Fleece

    Let Texas secede. I am sure they do not need the FAA, FDA, National Guard, Coast guard, FCC, Medicare, Social Security, NOAA, DOT, Military or other government services. Good luck!! It is amazing, everyone from Texas, by chance of being born in Texas, believe they are the only ones who work hard....Please...

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  29. Puh-leeze

    Yeah, talk about secession is fine, unless you're a Democrat, in which case you're an unpatriotic traitor and should be charged with treason.

    Shoe's on the other foot now, Repugs.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  30. Northern Light

    It is plausible to compare apples and oranges, but irrational and stupid to compare secession with the declaratin of independence from a ruthless, and corrupt English dictator.

    Every state in the union thinks it will be better off if it secedes but only one or two elected morons who believe and express such opinions.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  31. Camilo

    I’m a recent US Citizen and an Immigrant, and to her prominent people of the Republican Party wanting Obama to fail and now about secession of Texas is sickening.
    The great strength of our country “The United States Of America” is that we are united. The republicans lost the elections fair and square, meaning the people voted for change. Stop been childish and start thinking, how you can help our president and our country.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  32. Scott

    One of the fundamental differences of conservatives and liberals is how they view federalism. Conservatives, such as myself, have built our thought on the foundation of a smaller federal government and allowing the states to freely govern themselves where laws weren't extended from the federal constitution (a.k.a. anti-federalism).

    Thus it isn't a case of "in the Bush era if liberals would have wanted to secede, conservatives would have called them traitors" as earlier posters have indicated, since a major component of the conservative platform is rooted in these ideals. While we certainly want our union to be a effectively functioning unit, the threat/notion of secession is something that we consider empowerment of the states, which we are clearly a proponent of.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  33. Jim

    What an idiot. I think the Civil War settled the issue of secession by states from the Union.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  34. paula Wesley

    The last time states tried to seceed, we had a Civil War because Lincoln said' I'm going to be President of all of the United States, not half of them. Texas, are you ready to go to war with 49 states of America. Mexico won't help you. Guess why?

    April 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  35. Michael

    To make this a race issue is shows just how little substance you have on making such a statement. The bottom line is the government is out of touch with the people that’s the point they are trying to make. When you are made out to be the enemy because you are not living off of the government that’s a problem. There has been nothing but clowns running this country on all three levels of government for a good 20 years. No one trusted the previous administration and if anything the past and current or one in the same. A dimwit is still a dimwit whether they are from Illinois or Texas, democrat or republican. Yes the previous did his best to run up spending and this one will finish us off. Regardless of who is running the show the path to ruin is our destiny and so be it.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  36. Eric Thomas

    I'm from the South. The concept of secession from the union plays pretty large in our history down here. Back in the 19th century a bunch of our people thought it would be a peachy idea. A bunch of folks from the other side of the Mason-Dixon line disagreed. As best I recall, the issue was pretty well settled back then! News Flash to Ron Paul and any other of these new age secessionists: The secessionists lost! "These United States" became "The United States" and we've never looked back. If these new-age secessionists were trying half as hard to come up with solutions to our problems as they are in having tantrums, the Union would be much better off. Barring that, the sane portion of the citizenry should just ignore or ridicule them for the idiots they are.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  37. Joe

    Let's stop condemning Republicans for running up the national debt. Compared to the leftists now running the country, the Republicans look like pikers.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  38. Mike

    Ron Paul, I supported you last year. When did you drink the noe-con coolaide?

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  39. TexasButter

    Wow, I thought Bush got the first stimulus for banks and large firms. Obama did the second one. Why is there so much rhetoric over Republican this or Democrat that. If you ask me the real issue is that republicans help allow our trade deficit to convert to foreign dependence (less industrial jobs) while the democrats help our national debt to reach alarming levels. What we really need is a grass roots movement that finds the right balance between the two. Texas secession would not be a good thing for anyone in the country. 85% of the nations oil/petroleum comes from this state. Those crying out hurry leave, would be the first to cry like babies after they did. Stop whining and start doing. " The only way to make a difference in the world is to be the difference."

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  40. Brandon

    Sure, let's secede. The United States considers secession unconstitutional and therefore historically considers the secession of the southern states never to have actually happened. Nevertheless, if Texas can pull it off, more power to us.

    Since we don't pay state income taxes, we don't have that deduction from our federal taxes and hence must pay more to the federal government. I'm ignorant of the statistics, but I'm fairly sure Texas doesn't get its fair share of federal money, which apparently isn't a problem as demonstrated by Governor Rick Perry when he denied the stimulus money. If I have to pay taxes anyway, I'd rather pay it to Texas instead.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  41. Ian

    Wow! The people who comment here are all a bunch of brainwashed fools.

    States joined the union voluntarily; they weren't conquered. Since they joined voluntarily, then why can't they leave on their own volition?

    Also, the "Civil War" was NOT a civil war. The south just wanted to leave the union, not control the union. In a true civil war, both sides fight to become the central authority.

    Sorry, people, your government schools told you exactly what the government wants you to think.

    The federal system was devised so states would want to stay in the union because they benefit, not because they're forced.

    Oh, I'm a Yankee. This isn't a southerner thing. This is about the Constitution, which we might as well burn at this point since no one seems to understand it anymore.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  42. Rob

    I respect and admire the people of Texas who are considering seccession.

    They've opted their taxes into a bailout which, though it may have trickled down from the recovery of Citigroup et al, was largely spent in the mahogany corridors of offices in places like NYC and Boston than on other important things like, oh, border security.

    NAFTA was not appreciated either.

    So I can't agree that Texas is a brat state. I doubt it would happen but if Texans decide to secede then let's celebrate such independence. If it doesn't let's celebrate their loyalty and wherewithall.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  43. jpeak

    why is it that Obama is the one to bankrupt America? Bush started and passed the 700 billion TARP funds...not Obama. That is the money that is going to the banks.....so how is Obama to blame for that? Where was all the talk when Bush was pres and giving out billions in no bid contracts to Holoburton, spending billions on weapons we will never use, degregulating the banking industry, giving tax breaks to the wealthy, buring through the surplus we had and racking up the deficit to record levels, going to war with Iraq on lies of WMD's that were never found....Obama has not even been in office for 100 days and yet he is already destroyed the country so Texas needs to leave? Not sure how people can stand behind half the stuff they say....You want to blame anyone, the man who ran the country for the last 8 years would be a good start.....blame Obama in 4/8 years when he has done something. Till that time....SHUT UP

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  44. Jo

    I believe that Texas is wanting to secede because they vehemently oppose the movement toward socialism going on in our government with this current Administration. I don't blame them. It would be a grand experiment, right? - of how much better free-trade and capitalism fares against controlled-socialist government. Oh, but wait - that's been done already in North and South Korea ... and we already know those results!

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  45. Edward

    What would be the advantages for Texas if it did secede from the union? How much would it cost the state and residents? Would this benefit Texans at all?

    I think this is just a political ploy to get attention. There is a marketing idea that publicity, ANY publicity is good, as it keeps you in the minds of consumers (or constituents). But, it is a flawed concept. Being known for being an idiot is not the same as being known for being a genius.

    The Gov. of Texas is making himself look foolish, as is the GOP. They need to come up with meaningful discourse and alternatives instead of empty threats and name calling.

    People will remember the foolishness in the voting booth. They aren't so stupid (well, many of them) they'd vote for a name because they remember it from some insane proposal and inflammatory remarks.

    I may be naive, but I believe the majority of Americans actually DO think. The GOP is out of line and producing the most amazing soap opera ever produced. If this were a movie, it would be labeled a comedy.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  46. Hubert

    How do we discuss the legality of secession in the United States and not even mention the Civil War? One of the bloodiest wars in American history was fought primarily to determine the issue of whether states could leave the Union. The answer was no. It's still no. Freedom of speech gives people the right to talk about it. I can talk about committing murder. However, if I plot murder or treason, I'm moving beyond freedom of speech into criminal activity.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  47. deathweezel

    I can't think of anyone who would have a problem with California seceding.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  48. bennadatto

    Secession sabre rattling has been going on for a while. Several states beginning with California in '93 have passed Senate Bills warning the Federal Government that they will seceed if they (the Fed) don't stop interfering with States' Rights. Obviously California is still a part of the Union.

    And whether or not a state will actually make good on their threats, I think it's a useful exercise in keeping the Federal Gov't on alert that rights are granted to the People, the state, and THEN the Union. This is a fundamental truth to the founding of America that seems to have been forgotten over the years.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  49. paula Wesley

    Texas is in be with the Arabs, and the Bushes are in cohusts with them. Send the Bushes to Saudi Arabia to live and get rid of Texas.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  50. Stan Risdon

    "...this is treasonous and this was un-American," yes it's about the oath assorted Public Officials have taken to..."Protect and Defend the Constitution against all enemies..."

    Support for secession will, of necessity, violate that Oath. It's not technically "Treason," until it actually occurs. Then the secessionists become enemies of the United States.

    Good luck with this nonsense!

    April 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  51. Son of Dixie

    Hey Chicago Jerry, in 1814, New England made a lot of noise about seceding from the United States.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  52. Shel

    You know if we had been listening to Ron Paul for the last 20 years instead of ridiculing, we wouldnt' be in this mess to begin with. You really think either of your corporate-sponsored parties gives a **** about you? Keep dreaming until the dream collapses...

    April 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  53. Michael Lacy

    How ironic that the state that gave us the Republican President who was elected without a majority, required loyalty oaths be signed just to serve in his administration and lead us as a nation into this messed up economy and war, are now saying their mad and don't want to play in the sandbbox anymore. Stop your griping and pitch in to help fix the problem your native son left with the rest of us.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  54. Peter

    Great - let them go. Then we can occupy them and steal their oil.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  55. Jewels

    So much for the UNITED States of America, this great UNION we have. The last 8 years under Bush/Cheney proved that we are no longer a union; must be part of the Republican platfrom.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  56. Max

    I read an article not that long ago that most red states take in more federal money than they pay out in taxes. For many blue states, including New England it is the reverse. It's the great irony of today's political culture.

    I thought democrats were poor losers at times, but the GOP is getting just silly. It has not even been a year. Everyone needs to calm down.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  57. Michael

    It pains me to read how stupid many Americans really are, spewing hate filled comments like "Let Texas secede" and "WHERE WERE THESE MORONS WHEN THEIR FRIEND, BUSH, WAS RUNNING UP THE NATIONAL DEBT."

    Ok, first off the American economy would absolutely cave if Texas seceded. The talk of secession is by a Republican governor up for re-election who's playing a political game. Second, Bush is from New Haven, Connecticut you dolts. Texas didn't put Bush into the executive office, so if you HAVE to blame someone, let it be Florida.

    It's junk like this that makes me question democracy, if there are so many idiots out there that are willing to state falsehoods as facts, imagine how they vote. I don't blame Congress, how can I? That's like blaming a special ed teacher for your kid being retarded.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  58. S9

    Please everyone...

    It's SECESSION.

    Not SUCCESSION.

    Can't believe how many people get it wrong.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  59. Jason

    Talk of secession is good, acting upon it, not so much. Dr. Paul hit the nail on the head when he said "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." The Federal Government is TOO INTRUSIVE and Dr. Paul is 100% correct. The Fed need to fear its people, and talk of secession is a good tactic.

    Thomas Jefferson: Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  60. Charles

    Ron Paul has more sense than anyone on this entire website and network. Keep voting to expand the federal government and much of what he's saying will come true. As for wanting Texas to "go away"–it's one of the few places where business is still flourishing a there is a government that has money left over in its budget. You don't want Texas to leave–you'll want the loans and taxes from its very large and productive economy.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  61. Toro

    @Joan – Get your facts straight. Bush ran up 5 trillion in debt not 459 billion.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  62. Will Richmond, VA

    It amazes me that Ron Paul sites history as a defense of Governor Rick Perry’s secession talk. He is quick to run back to the revolutionary war while foregoing the Civil war, which was started with just that line of reasoning. Southern politicians who made those claims and tried to carry through on them have the blood of more Americans on their hands than a whole room full of Osama bin ladens! I know Gitmo is supposed to be closing within a year, but maybe we could send Perry and Paul down just for the summer.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  63. Steph B

    Wow...... I'm speechless. Everyone saying, "leave Texas, go away". Please explain to me why half the nation is moving to Texas because their state economies are falling apart?! I do know that Texans are armed and ready for the riots that will begin when it all falls down.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  64. Jessie

    We really just need Texas as a large penal colony site for the tens of millions of republicans that are slated to be rounded up and deported to Texas for long term incarceration.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  65. Joe

    What is really upsetting to me as a Texan when I read these posts is all the Hate and ignorance pointed towards my state. I read the post above and am blown away by all the stereotyping going on. The ultimate form of ignorance here is to think that this one or the other parties fault. It is the American peoples fault . And the funny thing is we think we have it soooooo bad. Try living in Columbia or somewhere of the like. They're are not a bunch of ignorant hillbilly christians sittin on thier the front porch with thier shotguns in Texas sayin get Obama. This is the Hatefully ignorant perception of alot of the people posting here unfortunatley. Honestly we in Texas don't want to Secede most people talk about California breaking off and floating away. LOL thats was a joke.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  66. paula Wesley

    Ron Paul is a nerdy, geek. He couldn't make it to first base to be President, how is he going to be convincing to get people to seceed Texas.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  67. William

    With all the comparison between Obama and Lincoln right after he won the election does Texas really want another thing we can compare them with.

    I am sorry but anyone that thinks this country should be split up in anyway should never be allowed to hold any office in said government.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  68. Lone Red Posting

    Mr Paul is using an analogy to relate what we as a people did to our governining stewards during the American Revolution. We broke our ties with that governing body, which was in effect a union/political affiliation. The definition of secede is to withdraw formally from an alliance, federation, or association, as from a political union, a religious organization, etc. Ron is spot on. We DO have a history considering secession; it IS an option at the ultimate end of the political spectrum. When democracy fails, or simply can't undo a travesty of corruption in a timely manner, responsible people act as they must. Don't fool yourselves, government spending IS quickly becoming a disaster that makes any prior administration's agenda look like strong fiscal policy.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  69. Joe

    Remove all of our military assets from Texas and let them secede. Give them to Mexico, they deserve each other.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  70. Michael

    Anyone can say whatever they want. The first amendment guarentees that right. It's just a shame that the first amendment did not apply when some republicans, the same ones now talikng of secession, criticized those who opposed the war for speaping their mind. They went so far as to tell those who opposed the war to shut up or leave the country. The bottom line to all this talk is simple. The majority of Americans still support the president and his policies, which is why they elected him. To talk secession is to do what the republicans did to the American people for 8 years....try to scare them. They should simply take a page from theirown book...if you don't like it, shut up and leave.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  71. Dave Norton

    I doubt that Ron Paul is bitter or is incompetent as many people are trying to characterize him. Anyone who has actually read what he has said over the last 10 years or followed his carrier for more than this 10 second interview would know ...

    If you are capable of reading more than 40 characters that were not tweeter-ed to you, dig up his voting record in congress and see for yourself ... He is one of the only politicians who will say his mind ... and get this ... stick with his opinion even when public opinion is not favorible.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  72. Mitch Eisenman

    If Governor Perry wants Texas to secede, so be it.
    Who needs a state that executes people at the rate most of us change underwear.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  73. Justin Branum

    Texas is not leaving and for the most part the citizens here wish that Perry had not said that word in the media, I include myself in that list.

    However, the notion that we voted for free spending Democrats and Republicans is somewhat disingenious if you take a moment to reflect on it. What other choice does the American voter have but to vote Republican or Democratic? Third party candidates don't have the money to be competitive and voters are disuaded by the chant of "throwing their vote away" if they even consider not voting republican or democrat.

    I personally have not had a meaningful Presidential vote in my voting lifetime because Texas is strongly republican and I have disagreed with every Republican Presidential candidate. However, the electoral college doesn't look at percentages, just the state, so through default, my vote for president is republican regardless of which box I chose.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  74. Katie

    Back when Bush got elected, I was a far left liberal, and would proudly entertain the idea of people moving to Canada. As much as this Texas matter infuriates me, I remember how I felt when I didn't get my way. As I have aged a bit, I realize how pathetic both views are. We live in America! We might bicker and fuss, but we have it great here! If we all agreed on everything there would be no moderate agreements. (and for those of you who say it's not moderate here, please. everyone knows we could swing much more right/left as a nation). Let's work together and come up with ideas that benefit our country, not destroy it!
    United We Stand

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  75. Randall

    I understand that liberals want the government to provide for the people, but it hasn’t done a good job of utilizing our tax dollars up to this point. It isn’t an issue of President Bush vs. President Obama – They both spent/spend our tax dollars too liberally.

    We need smaller government – less intrusion into our lives, not more. People need to be able to work hard, keep the money they earn, and provide for their families.

    What Ron Paul is saying is that the people have the right and obligation to declare that the government has grown out of control and we need change. Right now the checks and balances of our three party system is broken.

    I wish President Obama all the luck and fortune during his term/s. I want him to succeed as I know he’s trying to put the country on the right course. My opinion is that his path only leads to more spending, and increased national debt, and a financial burden for our children.

    Ron Paul may not verbalize things correctly. He may take historical liberties. Nevertheless, his message is correct – if the majority of the citizen’s of a state don’t have faith in the federal government, the threat of succession should be an option to open up a dialog for change.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  76. Bob

    Please go! Can the rest of the country take a vote to toss them out?

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  77. Revolution

    Texas may want to secede

    The outlook for the commoner is looking VERY grim.

    Whats even more hilarious is the collection on bad loans.

    Even though the goverment paid the banks bad loans the banks and creditors will STILL come after you for the amount owed at huge percentage rates and penalties.

    By the time it is all over with they will get paid DOUBLE.

    I will guarentee you if you didn't pay your credit card the banks would call it bad debt and get the money from the taxpayers.

    Then come after you in a year or so to get paid yet AGAIN for the amount owed even though it was paid off by the goverment.

    This whole thing stinks

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  78. Aaron

    "No one challenged New England that it was unconstitutional in our early history."

    Well, that's because we didn't have a constitution yet.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  79. Son of Dixie

    If Texas does secede, how many of you are going to join the army to fight and stop her? I'd like to see you people put your money where your mouth is.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  80. Peter

    It's amusing that we're even talking about this! Or a few people are holding "tea parties." Or talking secession. This is not even remotely like the 1700s. Why? Because then, we were fighting over taxation w/o representation. Here... we have taxation WITH representation. The majority of Americans voted for Obama... and the majority of "state citizens" elected democrat senators and congressmen(/women). People chose our elected officials, largely in response to the previous set of elected officials (i.e. Republicans). If people truly don't like what's going on... you don't have to seceed... you have to go to the ballot box. Wow... what a concept... democracy.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  81. Denver Duke

    I went to one of those "tea parties" the other day and it was great, there were men and women from across the aisle, Republican and Democrats protesting the bailout which remind you both Bush, McCain and Obama supported. One would think that Obama would be a better salesman that the general public would be content with every word he says, possibly, but fortunately some know better, only 2 months into his presidency and we see his approval rating shrinking, with Obama who was an anti-war candidate sending more troops into Afghanistan, a war that might spill over to Pakistan creating a Cold War II. A president who won on a ticket as a champion of the people, "to spread the wealth" and seemingly more like a champion of wall st., and a president who has decided to keep the infamous "patriot act" his predecessor signed in. I think the man ran off with your change! Succession is unreal today, it's unreal because most people go about their lives 9-5 without knowing what's going on in government and without thinking they can do much to begin with and because so, government no longer work for the people. While we may ask for more government to save us and provide for us, by giving all that authority and money to government, we saw how they spent it: bonuses for the rich. By generating a stimulus in the economy through inflation is not a wise decision, neither is backing a bounced check with another bounced check, in fact it is criminal, Paul is certainly not the most eloquent speaker, but he says it like it is, at times the ugly truth we so don't want to hear. If you want change, it must begin with the people and "power to the people"!

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  82. Darryl Schmitz

    Amen, Jeff... Well stated.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  83. paula Wesley

    Give Texas back to Mexico !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  84. Kansas Veteran

    The question of Texas secession was determined in the Civil War. Texas lost, the Republican party came about because of the causes for the Civil War and placed States Rights where they belong, under the Federal Government. There are no provisions in the Consitution of the United States for a State to remove itself from the Union. Talk of this nature is treason, and should be handled as such.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  85. doogie

    The word is "SECESSION", not "SUCCESSION". Idiots. And you wonder why this country is in the sorry state that it is in. The dumbing down of Uh-merica continues. Keep outsourcing and keep printing fake money. Maybe we'll get lucky and global warming will swallow up Washington DC, New York City, and LA.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  86. Cheryl

    Wait until severe weather hits Texas again and they have a "state of emergency" situation, then they'll be crying where are our federal emergency funds?

    April 21, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  87. josh

    Many comments like this-

    "Jim April 21st, 2009 11:12 am ET

    Ron Paul shows his true colors as an anti-Union secessionist who would reopen the Civil War. Traitor!
    "

    April 21, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  88. paula Wesley

    Texas should be divided up into 5 different states. It is big and dusty with to many cowboys who think they are high and mighty. Of course, no one else thinks this but them. .

    April 21, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  89. irishtexan

    As a native New Yorker and now a Texan, I say we should leave. Our capitol building dome is taller than that of the US, our national guard would be the 5th largest army in the world, we have all the natural gas, oil, wind power, and other resources to be self-sufficiant. The battleship Texas is parked in Galveston, the USS Lexington is parked in Corpus Christi so we got a Navy. Bud is made in Houston, Miller beer in Ft Worth. GM plant in Arlington, Toyota plant in San Antonio. Dell Computers and AMD in Austin. We will export more than we import.. We all carry guns so we can defend our borders without a fence. We don't need or want bail out money. Our economy is fine here in the Lone Star State. This is a no brainer.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  90. Stu

    Neuro...you forgot this one from Thomas Jefferson (how true it is)

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  91. Al

    According to the US Census report on domestic spending, the US spent 2.45 trillion on domestic spending with Texas receiving 6.8% of that in 2006. These are old figures but a good base to start with. That would mean a budget cut of at least 166.6 billion to the US government and a budget debt to the new Texas government. Do you think their taxes will be less? All seniors would lose the Social Security checks and medicare, so all the things that seniors receive due to the US government would disappear. That would impact their tax base since many seniors would have to leave the country of Texas. Defense spending would disappear so again taxes would have to be raised to accommodate loss of those funds. Businesses would probably have to choose since it would probably not be allowed to have joint business with a foreign country hostile to the US. Do you think Texas Instruments would move or stay? What about Dell? They would go where their bigger market would be. All said and done, the cost to the Texan would far outweigh the cost to staying in the US so realistically, it would be better for the people of Texas to stay within the US. Having a country is expensive.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  92. Sky in Seattle

    So when Galvestan is covered over in water again.....do they still want to be separate?

    What these people are really saying is that they do not believe in Democracy. They do not believe in the Constitution. They are only "good" Americans when their party is in office.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  93. Chris Bandemer

    Once again you all let the ignorance of big media totally distract you from the fact that the good ole US of A is about a millisecond away from completely imploding on itself.

    Did any of you even read the article? NO ONE is proposing sessesion, just remarking that it is a common feeling amongst Texans. Everyone of you people should be ashamed of yourself for TRAMPLING the Constitution you claim to be defending. First Ammendment- FREEDOM OF SPEECH...

    Its ok though... keep cowtowing to the idiots printing more money and writing checks you will never be able to cash. The United States of Complacency will always be YOUR home.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  94. ca_ny

    See ya later Texas. Have fun. Just one thing, next time a Hurricane hits you, you can't ask us for help. Good luck.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  95. G. Meade

    "Texas... it's like a whole other country". – Texas tourism ad

    If only! Not only wouldn't Texas be missed by the rest of us, it would greatly lower the number of illegal immigrants, high-school dropouts, crystal meth labs, and executions of mentally-handicapped prisoners in the United States. I say let them do it! Thanks for all of your oil, Texas, now go have fun being the newest member of Latin America!

    Seriously, though, Ron Paul is showing the typical American lack of historical perspective. The 13 colonies didn't "secede", they revolted. You have to an actual member of some kind of union or alliance to secede, which the colonies were not. And New England did talk of secession during the War of 1812, because they realized a war with Britain would've (and did) destroy New England's mercantile economy. Obviously, Mr. Paul didn't pay much attention in history or English class.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  96. Riplakish

    For each and every person that considers succession silly, I have two words: Bite me. You are clearly ignorant of your own governmental framework.

    Here in Massachusetts, both the birth- and resting-place of American liberties, the government routinely, and as a matter of course, violates the constitutional rights of its citizens.

    Its constitution clearly calls out that participation is both voluntary, and can be terminated.

    The Federal Government has done no better.

    As a citizen who has lost close to $2m due to the illegal activity of our government, I give you two choices: Pay the damages in full, as required by the constitution, or I will fully utilize my right to "alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness." (from the preamble of the Massachusetts Constitution), including ignoring the government.

    Succession is not only reasonable when a government ignores its responsibilities, it is a right, regardless of which moronic idiot is in the White House.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  97. Joe

    The far rights' reaction to everything Obama reminds me of babies throwing tantrums. Here's some constructive advice for them: GROW UP!
    Cast your votes in the elections and in the meantime, try to make things work.
    You guys are like some kind of spoiled kid who takes his ball home because the other kids don' want to play by all his rules.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  98. I L

    The Republican thing to do is definitely cut and run when a bunch of dolts are running Washington. Intelligent people need to look out for their own self-interest. The problems you create by voting an ultra-liberal president into office with not even a basic understanding of economics are your own.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  99. Son of Dixie

    All of y'all that are getting hysterical over the secession issue are against everything principle behind the Declaration of Independence. I bet you are against a wife leaving her husband even when he is beating the tar out of her.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  100. Willis

    Jeff, and poopship destroyer are correct. We need to get a clue, and think for ourselves. It is pointless to be a Democrat or a Republican. I can't wait until these parties BOTH dissolve. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one in here with core beliefs that are above those of 2 parties with the same underlying agenda. Yet, if Texas was to undergo a secession, I'm glad that I will be within her borders.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:43 am |
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