Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, said today that secession was a “deeply American principle,” amid a growing number of people petitioning the White House to let their states secede from the U.S.
“Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those ‘traitors’ became our country’s greatest patriots,” the former presidential candidate wrote in a post on his House website. “There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.”
He continued: “If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.”
Since President Barack Obama was re-elected earlier this month, a flurry of secession petitions from states were created — most notably from Texas, which with more than 115,000 signatures far exceeds the 25,000 signatures needed for an official White House response. Critics have said its disgruntled voters are upset that former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost.
As of 7:55 p.m. today, an online petition calling for Virginia to secede had more than 8,500 signatures. A petition calling for North Carolina to secede had more than 29,900 signatures.
Paul wrote that secession must still be an option to be used as leverage to make sure the government doesn’t “encroach” on Americans’ liberties.
“In fact, the recent election only further entrenched the status quo. If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.”
Paul wrote that secession is a form of American freedom.
“At what point should the people dissolve the political bands which have connected them with an increasingly tyrannical and oppressive federal government?” Paul wrote.
He added: “And if people or states are not free to leave the United States as a last resort, can they really think of themselves as free? If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free.”