Secession or Civil War? Considering Options with the Left in a Post-Trump World

What’s come to be called “Calexit,” the movement among some Californians to secede from the United States, is gaining momentum.

Let’s hope that it is ultimately successful.

First of all, despite the postbellum, i.e. Lincolnian, conventional wisdom that states are not morally and legally entitled to secede from the Union, the historical truth is that secession is as American as the proverbial apple pie. These United States were founded in secession. Had the original 13 colonies not seceded from the Motherland of England, there would have been no independent country that we now recognize as America.

Californians have a right to secede.

Second, if, as they purport, those Californians who seek a divorce from the Union regard President Donald Trump as something on the order of a 2017 reincarnation of Hitler, then they ought to secede. It is as immoral for them to subject themselves and their children to the rule of Hitler as it is immoral for a battered wife and mother to subject herself and her child to the abuse of a tyrannical spouse.

Third, of course, Trump is not Hitler.

Those of us who Californian Trump-haters view as “Deplorables” should do whatever is necessary to help them realize their dream of an independent California. There can be no rational dialogue, and possibly not even any peaceful co-existence, between those Americans who voted for Donald J. Trump and those who view them as nothing more or less than a bunch of frothing-at-the-mouth fascists or Nazis. Neither the aspiring secessionists nor the Hitlerians that they despise should want to have anything at all to do with the other, and each would be immensely better off if they went their separate ways.

My suspicion is that, regrettably, California will not secede. Hopefully, though, its efforts will get Americans to revisit secession, for as recent events have definitively established, the topic couldn’t be timelier.

For decades, there has been much talk of the “cultural wars.” This now sounds as mild as it is antiquated. If ever Americans of all backgrounds, and conservative-leaning Americans especially, needed proof that the cultural wars have given way to a rapidly warming civil war, events surrounding the candidacy and election of Trump have supplied it in spades.

From the time that it started to become increasingly clear that Trump was going to be the GOP’s presidential nominee to the present, leftist thugs—virtually all of whom were incited by an anti-Trump media and many of whom were subsidized by the villainous George Soros and those connected with the Democratic National Party—have been waging a kind of warfare against, not just Trump, but his supporters.

Hordes of leftist agitators have spared no occasion to don signs, masks, and an assortment of weapons before crashing Trump’s rallies. No attendee would be exempt from verbal and physical abuse. Men, women, and children, the old and the young alike, were routinely the targets of obscenity-laced tirades and assaults. Sometimes these assaults involved weapons. Police, whose precious resources the “protesters” commandeered, also sustained injuries.

After Trump was elected, the size and hostility of the street mobs expanded. Property has been destroyed and more innocents have been harmed under the pretext of “protesting” Trump.

These organized, paid orgies of psychological warfare, property damage, and overt violence are not going to stop anytime soon. Those who participate in them render civil discourse and any social harmony impossible. This being the case, it would seem that there are four and only four possible ways forward.

The first is for the majority of the country that is not on the left to surrender totally to leftist rule. Conservatives and others should no longer even vote and resign themselves and their children to living in a socialist-communist kind of order in which white, heterosexual, Christian men are continually made to relinquish and repent of their “privilege.”
The second is an all-out, white-hot civil war. I would like to think that I speak for an ever-growing number of Americans, men in particular, who are becoming increasingly enraged upon seeing and hearing of innocent people getting beaten up and harassed simply because they support, or they are suspected of supporting, President Trump. I would like to think that the number of otherwise peace-loving Americans (like myself) whose patience with the violence is about to expire is growing with every new outrage committed by leftists against the innocent.
The third is secession. The latter is a peaceful way for Americans with conflicting moralities to avert war by going their separate ways. This could involve something as radical as the essential dissolution of the United States of America. But at least it would avoid bloodshed.

The fourth and final possible outcome of current circumstances is a restoration of the Constitutional Republic that the Framers intended. This would require us to abandon the imperial presidency and return all but the small handful of responsibilities that the Constitution assigns to the federal government to the states. By slaying the Leviathan created by Democratic and Republican politicians alike and refashioning our government so that it is in accord with the Constitution, the citizens of the states would be able to enjoy a freedom the likes of which they haven’t experienced in a very long time.

The first option, I have to think, is not one that many who oppose the left will find appealing. And, interestingly, though the last option is theoretically the easiest—we already have the blueprint—it is the least likely that will be pursued. The left has been fighting long and hard against the vision of “limited government” embodied in that artifact, the Constitution, produced by so many dead, white men.

Unfortunately, then, this leaves civil war or secession. If the left continues with its havoc and violence, our range of options will narrow down to these two.
God help us.

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


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