We’ve had close presidential elections before, but this one is
emblematic of dangerous, unbridgeable and growing gaps among the
American people. Some of this can be seen by examining a map showing
U.S. counties won by George Bush and those won by Al Gore.

In general, the densely populated counties along the East and West
coasts, Midwestern counties mostly along the Mississippi River and a
smattering of counties in the southwest were won by Gore. But if the
election were to be decided by who won the greatest number of the
nation’s 3,142 counties, Bush would have bested Gore by at least 2,500
counties.

While who won how many counties is irrelevant to the presidential
selection process, it says something about the degree of national
polarization. What are the characteristics of counties won by Bush
versus those won by Gore? The values, politics and religion of the
counties in the southern, western and rural sections of the country, won
by Bush are not like those in the mostly coastal, highly populated
counties won by Gore. The Bush counties are: more conservative and
respectful of traditional values, pro-life and more religious, and they
have less social pathology such as high crime, illegitimacy and
deviancy. Counties won by Gore tend to be just the opposite.

By no means do Americans who voted for Bush enthusiastically and
unequivocally support the values expressed in our Declaration of
Independence and Constitution, but they are not nearly as parasitic,
interventionist and contemptuous of the principles of liberty as Gore
supporters.

The constitutional provisions created by the framers to protect us
against the interventionist and parasitic classes have long been under
siege and are severely weakened. The Bill of Rights, election of
senators by state legislators and other protections against mob rule
have been weakened or eliminated. Limitations on the power of the
central government, through the enumerated powers and separation of
power doctrines, have also been severely compromised. Constitutional
protections against parasitic plunder, through its prohibition against
direct taxation (no income tax), have been abolished.

Thomas Jefferson gave voice to our most important protection in his
First Inaugural Address in 1801, saying, “If there be any among us who
wish to dissolve the Union or to change its republican form, let them
stand undisturbed, as monuments of the safety with which error of
opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

The right of secession was taken for granted in the founding of our
country, and it wasn’t only a Southern idea. Timothy Pickering of
Massachusetts was George Washington’s chief of staff, his secretary of
war and secretary of state, and later a Massachusetts congressman and
senator. In 1803, Pickering wrote, “The principles of our Revolution (of
1776) point to the remedy — a separation — for the people of the East
cannot reconcile their habits, views and interests with those of the
South and West.”

Irreconcilability faces us today. There’s one group of Americans who
does not wish to bother anyone but wishes to be left alone. Another
group of Americans wants to plunder and control the lives of others.
This latter group of Americans shows no sign of letting up, much less
retreating. A return to rule of law and constitutional government or
separation are the only peaceful solutions. Separation and independence
don’t require that liberty-loving Americans overthrow the federal
government any more than it required George Washington to overthrow
England or his successor secessionist, Jefferson Davis, to overthrow
Washington, D.C.

So here’s my question: Should we Americans continue to forcibly
impose our wills and values on one another, or should we part company
and be friends?

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