Secession: A How-to Guide



Image: The 2016 elections revealed a nation divided. If we are already de facto two countries, why not explore what it would look like de jure?

Frank Buckley is one of my all-time favorite guests. In his new book, American Secession, he's outdone himself – presenting a convincing contrarian argument that when it comes to country size, bigness is bad and small is beautiful.Would America be better off as many smaller countries? While the case has been made by many inferior minds, Buckley brings a historical context that makes it seem less far-fetched to envision a Republic of California, Vermont, etc.


When the Framers set out to tinker with the Articles of Confederation, few thought they would come up with a brand new Constitution.

28 states have proposed a constitutional convention, or “con-con,” to tie federal government’s hands with a balanced-budget amendment. If the necessary 38 states pass such resolutions, we could end up with a much more dramatic event – secession.

Buckley thinks we are on the verge of a break up. The United States is no longer one country, but at least two. He’s issued this warning in previous books and on my show before. A left-leaning elite (mostly clustered in coastal cities) now comprises a “New Class” that shares little in common with the rural population that elected Trump in 2016. And although “secession” is still a dirty word for most progressives, that hasn’t stopped a number of breakaway movements like Calexit and the Second Vermont Republic from gaining momentum. If Trump is elected to a second term, these will surely gain steam.

So let’s say California got fed up and wanted to opt out. Then what? Texas tried it in 1861, but was smacked down by the Supreme Court in Texas v. White after the end of the Civil War. The Court ruled that Texas’ vote to secede from the Union prior to the war didn’t count – in other words, the relationship between states in the Union was “dissoluble.”

Nothing has changed since then, meaning the only legal route to secession is through a “con-con.” While most historians look favorably on the preservation of the Union during the Civil War, Buckley argues that there’s more to be gained today from a legally-sought secession.

Today, America increasingly looks like a unitary state than the republic the Framers gave us thanks to the explosive growth of Federal government in 20th century. This “bigness” has taken a toll on our happiness, our wealth, our freedom, and the overall effectiveness of the government.

Listen to the show to hear the full argument and the “how-to” guide for a modern day secession movement. Those who read his new book will come away with a very message. Namely, that national self-determination can be exercised for progressive reasons, and that a looming break up may in fact be the best way to avert another Civil War.

Frank Buckley compares the divided states of America to a married couple with irreconcilable differences. Is it best for us to part amicably, or muddle through?

Don’t miss it.