A Second Civil War or a Constitutional Convention?

by on March 26th, 2010

In addition to all the unrest in the aftermath of the the healthcare legislation that became law this week, there may also be a battle brewing over the recent decision by the state of Texas to use more conservative-oriented textbooks in its schools. The federal government might very well try to force Texas to reverse course, claiming that the Lone Star State is making an attempt violate the separation of church and state.

However, I don’t think it’s a matter Texas wanting to teach creationism or any other Christian precept as fact in the schools. If that were the case, I would completely agree that they shouldn’t be changing school textbooks for that purpose. Instead, I think the changes are being made more along the lines of emphasizing the fact that many of the Founding Fathers held Judeo-Christian values and beliefs. That’s a fact, not just somebody’s opinion. Therefore, there’s nothing inappropriate about including it in U.S. history textbooks.

Unfortunately, modern textbook writers have opted to suppress that kind of information out of deference to political correctness. Some writers have gone even further and are now using textbooks as vehicles to indoctrinate school children with their own liberal, elitist views of the world. Schools are supposed to be places for learning, not laboratories for social engineering. I don’t blame the good citizens of Texas for becoming sick and tired of such nonsense.

There are people who actually believe the coming showdown with the federal government could result in Texas (and possibly some other “red” states) opting to secede from U.S., ultimately triggering a second civil war. However, despite all of the rhetoric and bravado, I think it’s safe to assume that secession ain’t gonna happen. No state official would seriously consider such a move because it’s just not practical from an economic standpoint. Besides, think of the logistical nightmare it would create.

Now, with that being said, I don’t see why states shouldn’t have a right to secede if they wanted to. Should a state be forced to remain joined to an entity it has irreconcilable differences with? Why should one state or group of states have a right to force its/their values on another state or group of states? In my opinion, New England has no more right to boss Texas around anymore than “old” England had a right to boss the 13 colonies around. The latter seceded from England because they desired self-rule. Was the U.S. formed as an outlaw nation?

If secession were ever to occur again in this country, it should be handled peacefully by both sides. Threats and violence are never the answer to our problems. However, like I said, secession not going to happen anyway. What might happen is a constitutional convention. The states can force Congress to call a constitutional convention if two-thirds of them petition for such. Several things happening right now – including the aforementioned textbook showdown and healthcare legislation – could provide impetus for such a call.

If that’s not enough, then there’s something else currently in the pipeline that could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Well-known lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies have taken the case of those who wish to overturn California’s state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. They vow to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. That could result in a ruling that makes gay marriage legal throughout the nation.

If that happens, look out! We’ll have a constitutional convention that amplifies the 10th Amendment and establishes states’ rights once and for all. They would finally be able to tell the federal government to kiss their collective backside and bug out of stuff like health care and textbooks. It would underscore a state’s sovereignty over – among other things – commerce within that state and what types of marriages it will perform and recognize. And it would probably even establish – yes – their right to secede (theoretically, anyway). Oh, and while they’re at it, they should seriously consider repealing the 16th Amendment and abolishing the IRS. Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Terry Mitchell