In April of 2009, Ron Paul gave an interview about the legality of state secession. Yesterday, Ron Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills told fan site RonPaul.com that he “feels the same now.”
Says Paul, "It’s an American tradition. It’s very American to talk about secession. That’s how we came into being. Thirteen colonies seceded from the British and established a new country, so secession is very much an American principle."
Although Paul has not been in the headlines since he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination for the presidency, he has been active heading up Campaign for Liberty, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Libertarian values. Paul's term as a Texas Congressional Representative will come to an end this year. Today at about 1:30PM EST, Paul is scheduled to deliver his "farewell speech," which will restate many of the same Libertarian principals he has lived by throughout his political career.
On the Civil War, Paul has spoken out before. In 2007 Paul opined that the civil war should never have been fought. He believes the Union could have followed the example of the British and others, compensating slave owners and setting slaves free, thereby avoiding the war, horrible loss of life and property. This idea offended many Americans who associate being against the civil war as being "for" slavery. Similarly today many critics of the idea of secession associate it strictly with Southern state slavery, which, as Paul points out in his 2009 interview, makes a discussion about secession difficult.
Here is a partial transcript of the interview, supplied by RonPaul.com. Paul notes that Rick Perry
didn’t call for secession, but he was restating a principle that was long held and at least in the original time of our country, and that is that there was a right to secession.
Actually, after the Civil War, nobody believes there is a so-called right to secession, but it is a very legitimate issue to debate because all of the states that came into the Union before the Civil War believed they have a right to secede and New England in the early part of the 19th century actually considered it, and nobody questioned them about whether they had the right to do it or not. Since the Civil War, it’s been sort of a dead issue, but he brought it up. ...“This is un-American”, I heard one individual say, “This is treasonous to even talk about it.”
Well, they don’t know their history very well because if they think about it, it’s an American tradition.... Secession is a good principle. Just think of the benefits that would have come over these last 230-some years if the principle of secession had existed. That means the federal government would always have been restrained, not to overburden the states with too much federalism, too many federal rules and regulations....
But since that was all wiped out with the Civil War, the federal government has grown by leaps and bounds and we have suffered the consequences, and we need to reconsider this. It’s not un-American to think about the possibility of secession. This is something that’s voluntary. We came together voluntarily. A free society means you can dissolve it voluntarily. That was the whole issue was about.