Secession Conference

Entire article: www.goodmagazine.com/section/Features/most_likely_to_secede)

On October 3, 2007, delegates to the second North American Secessionist Convention met for two days in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to discuss how to crack the United States into manageable parts. They came representing 11 rebel groups in 36 states, under banners such as the Republic of Cascadia (wedding Oregon and Washington), Independent California (forging the world's fifth-largest economy), the United Republic of Texas (returning the Lone Star State to its lonesomeness), the League of the South (uniting the states of old Dixie), and, spearhead of the effort, the Second Vermont Republic (separating Vermont from the United States). The dominant thought among the delegates was that what they call "the U.S. experiment" had failed. "What we have today in the combination of big business and big government is nothing less than fascism," Thomas Moore, the delegate from the Southern National Congress Committee, told the assembled. Dexter Clark, the white-bearded vice chair of the Alaskan Independence Party, was less cerebral: "No one ever fought a war for dependence," Clark said. "The people of Alaska are fed up-if ever there was a time ripe for change, this is it." The United States, the message in sum went, must end. It would have to be reborn smaller if the American dream was to have a hope in hell.

If this sounded extreme, the secessionists had an answer in the calm of American opinion. In an October, 2006, poll broadcast on CNN, 71 percent of Americans agree that "our system of government is broken and cannot be fixed." A Daily Kos poll in April, 2007, asked, "Should states be allowed to secede from the union peaceably?" Sixty-nine percent of respondents answered in the affirmative. All in all, this was, in the words of the chief impresario of the Chattanooga convention, an impish 70-year-old author and activist named Kirkpatrick Sale, "extremely fertile ground into which secessionists can plant their seeds."