Neo-Secessionists: Too Much Talk And Too Little Action

by Thomas H. Naylor

When the Second Vermont Republic was launched in 2003, there were no books available on secession, few articles on the subject, and only a handful of websites devoted to specific secession movements such as those in Alaska and Hawaii. Seven years later the country is awash with books, articles, and websites extolling the virtues of secession. Secession is definitely on the national radar screen. Although a lot of people are talking about it, precious few are actually doing anything to make it happen.

Unfortunately, most of what is currently being written about secession focuses on its constitutionality, arguably the least important aspect of this provocative topic. Ultimately, as was the case with the American Revolution, whether or not a state is allowed to secede is neither a legal question nor a constitutional question, but rather a matter of political will. The ultimate test of sovereignty lies with the people themselves: How strong is the will of the people of the departing state to be free and independent of the control of the larger nation it was a part of?

Although thirty or so states now have some form of political independence movement, in most states it’s all talk and no action. Some so-called secession movements are little more than computer websites.

If the people of a particular state are serious about secession, mounting such an effort requires an extensive grass roots campaign, the ability to raise money, and supporters who are actively engaged in the political process, not just sitting in front of a computer screen all day. Currently there are only two secession movements in the United States which are seriously engaged in this process. They are the Texas National Movement and the Second Vermont Republic.

Arguably, the Texas Nationalist Movement is the largest, best organized, best financed, and most effective secession movement in the United States since the Civil War. Led by 36-year-old, charismatic, politically sophisticated Daniel Miller, TNM was catapulted onto the national stage when Texas Governor Rick Perry threatened to secede from the Union while participating in an April 15, 2009 Tea Party rally in Austin.

TNM is currently engaged in a campaign to collect one million signatures calling for a statewide referendum to consider secession. The Texas political culture is not unsympathetic towards independence, since Texas was an independent republic between April 22, 1836 and December 29, 1845. Texas probably has the best chance to become the first American state to secede since 1861.

Not unlike Texas, tiny Vermont was also once an independent republic between January 15, 1777 and March 4, 1791. Under the leadership of gubernatorial candidate Dennis Steele, the Second Vermont Republic is supporting ten candidates in the 2010 statewide election. Open secessionists are running for Governor, Lt. Governor, seven Senate seats, and one House seat. They all support the return of Vermont National Guard troops from Afghanistan as well as the return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic.

Steele, who is part Abenaki Indian, is truly bigger than life. Some think he could become the Lech Walesa of the Vermont independence movement. (Walesa was the leader of the highly successful Polish Solidarity movement in the 1980s.) When you meet Dennis on a one-on-one basis, he comes across as a harmless pussycat. But when he enters the political arena, he goes straight for the jugular vein of his opponents. He is vehemently opposed to the policies of the morally corrupt American Empire.

In spite of its relatively high energy level, the Second Vermont Republic operates on a financial shoestring. We receive almost no funding from sources outside of Vermont. If we are going to prevail, we must have the financial support of secessionists from all over the country. Even if you are not yet ready to run for public office as a secessionist in your own state, you can help Dennis by sending him a check.

Visit his website and make an online contribution or send your check to Steele for Governor, P.O. Box 28, E. St. Johnsbury, VT 05838. He needs your support.

Imagine…Free Vermont.

Thomas Naylor is the founder of the Second Vermont Republic.

One Response to Neo-Secessionists: Too Much Talk And Too Little Action

  1. Hello, my name is Robert Wagner, and I am one of the open secessionists that Mr. Naylor mentions, running for office in Vermont.

    The internet is chock full of articles about the broken-ness of the U.S. Empire. You could spend forever reading them, never plant a garden and learn to grow your own food, never oppose in a practical way the bad policies IN YOUR OWN STATE that are designed to keep most of your money and your state’s common assets into huge metanational corporations.

    The authors of these articles describe an imperial leech on the underbelly of the American republic. By implication if you burn off the leech the Republic is restored. Exactly the kind of false-hope that the Vermont public were deceived with already, deceived into supporting Barack Obama. Deceived into supporting Democrats in the Vermont Legislature.

    Rebranding large-scale CRIME into a candy-coated Democrat version worked because it kept the oil trough filled, pure & simple. It helped the Left feel nice and sustainable, driving the Prius to the Organic Cooperative Market. But public transport never developed in Vermont. Without cheap oil, there’s no way to get local organic produce or customers to market. We are utterly dependent on the pleasures of a corporate oligarchy that controls 95% of the food in Vermont. Our local energy production is exported: over 90% of hydroelectric privatised and sent off to Massachusetts, without compensation to Vermont. This is the reality of what being part of an Empire has bought for Vermont.

    Is Conservative rebranding of the Empire a solution? Audit the Fed (but don’t abolish it). Put in Romney. ANYTHING to stall for time, as the oligarchy quietly loots what’s left of Vermont’s natural resources and opportunities. AT YOUR EXPENSE.

    The oligarchy know very well about Peak Oil and Collapse, and are preparing themselves AT YOUR EXPENSE.

    The plain fact is, liberty, freedom, democracy… are not a matter of restoring an American Republic, because NO REPUBLIC exists. Did it ever? A Vermont Republic existed from 1777 to 1991. It can exist again. Rather than waste time and resources, I implore you to donate to Dennis Steele’s campaign. and spread the word.

    The Soviet public wasted time supporting Gorbachev, who tried to fix a broken system. Always a few bad apples to get rid of, then everything will be OK. Only late in the game did he acknowledge that systematic failure was endemic to his Empire. I doubt that there’s anybody in Washington with this kind of intelligence: to admit the failure of an Empire built on cheap plentiful oil, infinite economic growth, and hyper-exploitation of natural resources worldwide.

    I recommend that you get involved with your local Transition efforts, and TELL them about Dennis Steele, the only gubernatorial candidate that understands Peak Oil & Transition, the only candidate with a real energy policy, the only candidate that challenges Big AG on behalf of the family farmer, the only candidate that is committed to relocalisation, the only candidate that speaks out against the wars and wants to bring home our VT Guard plus Vermont’s $1.5 billion per year in war funding. Support your local Independent challengers to the Legislature:

    1. The incumbent Vermont Legislature is directly responsible for weighing VT’s tax code heavily in favour of large corporations, with a direct $1.2 billion/yr give-away to the likes of Nestle, Entergy, Coca-cola, AIG, Trans-Canada. When UVM Gund Institute showed ’em the evidence, they decided against tax reform, against taxing major corporations, and to have a ‘budget crisis’ instead. The Vermont Legislature broke the social contract. They are driving business and small farms away, and sending the message to our young people to look for opportunities someplace other than Vermont.

    2. From the Burlington Free Press: Vermont lost “an incredible opportunity” to buy eight hydro dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers in 2004 – 05, state Sen. Vincent Illuzi, R-Essex/Orleans, said last year.

    “We could have bought them for $385 million. There was a lot of foot-dragging in Montpelier and lobbying (against the purchase) by the utilities,” he said.

    “The dams sold for $505 million,” he continued. “They’re worth more than $1 billion now; they would have provided a quarter of the base power (478 MW) needs for the state. They would have reduced the cost of doing business in Vermont.”

    Executive & Legislative work in concert. We get out the word for each other when campaigning. We support each other.

    If becoming a republic again is important to you, it HAS to be more important than loyalty to the Empire. Just look at what the US Empire really represents, and be honest with yourself.

    The Steele-Garritano team needs funds to reach out and be heard. They’re fighting an uphill battle because the mainstream media receives a tax break in the hundreds of millions per year (courtesy of the VT Legislature), nonprofits, educational institutions & VPR get their handouts, and all understand that they have to SILENCE the popular, independent voice in Vermont. This they do well. The federal grants flow, funding six-figure executive salaries in a state where most people can’t afford health care and wholesome local food.

    Bottom line, less talk, more action. Restore the only republic we’ve known. Please donate via the website

    Imagine Free Vermont !

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