Recently, three GOP assemblymen have concocted HB147, which proposes--among other things--a constitutional amendment that would give voters a chance to repeal Article I, Section 4 of the North Carolina Constitution. Article I, Section 4 prohibits NC from seceding from the USA. The assemblymen are Michael Speciale of New Bern, George Cleveland of Jacksonville, and Larry Pittman of Concord.
This is an open letter to these assemblymen, raising questions about HB147.
Dear Assemblymen Speciale, Cleveland, and Pittman:
A few questions beg for your thoughtful consideration regarding HB147. Do you not remember America’s Civil War and how it got started with an act of secession? Do you not remember also the long, contentious, and war-ridden history of Europe’s nation-states, up to and including WWI and WWII? Is that kind of history you want to risk leading our state and our nation toward?
In our country states do have a way of imitating each other’s legislation, especially with the rise of the American Legislative Exchange Council. What will happen if several states decide that secession is not fraught with serious problems? Don’t you think our country is divided far too much already? As that great Republican Abraham Lincoln put it, “A nation divided cannot stand.” Do you really think America, divided into many states, would be more secure against its enemies, external and internal?
Apparently, the rationale for HB147 is the possibility of tyranny under the federal government. It’s worth recognizing, however, that any state—a nation-state or states like North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and others—can be (and too often seem) tyrannical toward their people and localities. (There are more than a few reasons why many North Carolinians have felt this way since 2010.)
Being proposed at this particular time, is HB147 meant to suggest openly that the federal government is now moving swiftly toward tyranny under full control by President Trump, a Republican-dominated Congress and probably a Republican-dominated Supreme Court?
HB147 is not a timely bill, if ever. Nor is it well conceived in terms of intended or unintended consequences, which must always be carefully considered for any proposed law and especially any Constitutional change.