The following is a letter to the editor that appeared in the May 10, 2009 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Oh, those goofy ideas
In Kevin Horrigan's translation of Texas to non-Texans, "Secession: The Texas governor has a goofy idea. So what's new?" (May 3), the only discernible dialect was one of snobbery.
Mr. Horrigan mocks Texan customs and seems to believe that Texans are "goofy" for thinking that they have the right to secede from the Union. Does he consider New Englanders in 1814 "goofy" for calling a convention to discuss secession because of their opposition to the War of 1812?
What about the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, authored by the "goofs" Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, that declared that the states were not compelled to authorize unconstitutional laws and could leave the voluntary union as a last resort?
The 13 colonies seceded forcefully from the British empire. According to Mr. Horrigan's description of Texans curious about secession, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton were superstitious knuckle-draggers.
What kind of Union is it, whether it is a nation or anything else, that says you can join voluntarily but not leave voluntarily? Sounds more like the mafia than liberty. Besides, if states do not have any sort of authority or check of power over the federal government, then why even bother having states at all?
Mr. Horrigan used one great American tradition, the free press, to stomp on another great American tradition, the right of secession.