Many people reading this might be repulsed by the idea of secession or national divorce. I’m writing this essay for the secession-curious: no matter where you are on the political spectrum, secession isn’t going to lead to desirable outcomes. Back when I was a Libertarian, I gave it a bit of thought. Secession for Indiana would mean the Hoosier Nation-State would be surrounded on four sides by a foreign country that might not have cause to like us very much. Our only coastline would be Lake Michigan. Any imports we buy would have to pass through the US. I came to the conclusion that the best way to maintain friendly relations with the US was to remain part of the US.
But the idea seems to have more appeal in large states along the coast, depending on who the President is at the time. Here are just a few thoughts that they may not have considered:
1. You lose access to the US Constitution and the US Supreme Court. To be fair, US politicians haven’t always complied with the Bill of Rights, which might be the reason why we’re having this conversation. And many state constitutions have clauses that also enshrine the Bill of Rights. But if your newly independent government locks you up without a trial, you won’t be able to ask the Supreme Court for help. You’re on your own.
You were fighting for more freedom, right? Are you so naïve as to assume that everyone on your side has the same ideals?
2. Your state lines would become an international border. Ever visit Canada with a messy car? The Canadian border guards will search through everything in that car. Any firearms that were perfectly legal back home will get you arrested in Canada, even if you forgot that you had them in the car. You also need a passport to enter and exit Canada. Now imagine that same level of hassle to visit relatives in a different state.
3. Your taxes might actually go up. The newly independent Republic of Florida will not be able to print US dollars like the Federal Reserve does. It won’t have as good of a credit rating as the US government. But it will have to provide a lot of what you expect from the federal government: highway funding, a Coast Guard, Social Security, etc. You are going into uncharted water with secession, so who can say if you can keep your US citizenship if the state you live it breaks off. But you will still have to pay federal taxes if you keep your US citizenship. Your state taxes WILL go up.
4. Things like this never go as well as you think they will Ever break up with someone and think that you’ll still be friends afterwards? How did that turn out for you? Was it a velvet breakup like Czechia and Slovakia? Or are you more like Russia and Ukraine? There will be no trial separation here: once you realize that you made a horrible mistake , it will be too late to f