Monday, 22 September 2014

Inspired by Scotland: Quarter of Americans want their states to secede from US

Scotland may not have followed in Sir William Wallace’s footsteps to free itself from its English bonds, but that hasn’t stopped nearly a quarter of Americans from a little bravehearted hope of their states seceding from the US.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll sought to see if Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum ‒ which failed ‒ inspired Americans to dream of secession from the United States. According to the results, 23.9 percent of those surveyed either strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away from the union.

Both Democrats and Republicans supported the idea of severing ties with the federal government, though the Grand Old Party (along with residents from the West and Southwest) was more in favor of secession than Dems and Northeasterners.

Texas Nationalist Movement president Daniel Miller told RT that Texans are unhappy with how Washington politicos ignore the issues most important to their state.

“One of the big issues in here Texas right now… is obviously the border and immigration,” Miller said. “Over the last eight years, issues related to the border and immigration have consistently polled as the number one concern for Texans, yet the federal government continues to do absolutely nothing substantial about addressing the border crisis or the immigration issues.”

A January 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that about 20 percent of Texas voters said they would support secession because of President Barack Obama's re-election, and 67 percent were opposed.

“We’ve got so many different priorities here," Miller said. "When you have these issues, whether it be here in Texas with water or the border or immigration, it’s very difficult to swallow when hard-working men and women here in Texas send their tax dollars to Washington, DC to be frittered away.”

Roy Gustafson, a South Carolinian who lives on disability payments, agreed.

"I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done," the 61-year-old told Reuters. "The state would be better off handling things on its own."

Back in Texas, Miller wants the state's legislature to put the secession question on a statewide ballot, and applauded Scotland on their referendum. “At the end of the day,what is important for us is that the Scots were able to go to the polls and have the option to call their own future, to vote for or against independence,” he said.

The Texan noted that the state already funds its own education system, and is the 12th largest economy in the world. He told Reuters that the fact that a free Lone Star State would lose big federal institutions like NASA and multiple military bases was of no concern to him.

But historical scholars and legal analysts say that secession by Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana and other states that have filed petitions to withdraw from the union is a legal impossibility.

Sanford Levinson, a constitutional scholar at University of Texas School of Law, said the Constitution has no procedure that explicitly allows secession.

"Ultimately, it's a political question," he told Reuters.



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