Arkansas Democrat Gazette boosts The ShieldWall Network

VIDEO: ‘Path to Radicalization’ documentary features family of Arkansan arrested in attack at white nationalist rally

An NBC News documentary released this week features the Arkansas family of a self-proclaimed white nationalist arrested in the beating of a black man at a rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Jacob Goodwin, 23, was arrested in October at a residence outside Austin in rural Lonoke County after being identified as one of several men seen on video beating Deandre Harris, 20, in a parking garage during the August rally.

Goodwin has been extradited to Virginia and is awaiting trial on a felony charge of malicious wounding in Charlottesville. He has a jury trial set for April 30 through May 1, according to online court records.

In the documentary, Goodwin speaks by jail phone in a jumpsuit and calls himself an advocate for “white civil rights” through his affiliation with the Arkansas ShieldWall Network.

“I went to Charlottesville to protest politicians trying to buy into that fad that we’re progressive and we want to remove this racist history,” Goodwin said, adding his wishes to “kindle the flame of our ancestors and rise above.”

Goodwin’s parents spoke to him from behind glass as an NBC News crew filmed their interaction. From the kitchen table of their home, both defended their son and asserted that they don’t necessarily agree with all of his viewpoints.

Goodwin’s mother, Tamera, told an NBC filmmaker that her son is “just a political prisoner, and I couldn’t be more proud.” She argued that the assault stemmed from the beating of a white man at the Charlottesville rally.

“I’m just a mother and I love my son. … He didn’t do anything wrong. All he did was see somebody get attacked and he tried to help,” said Tamera Goodwin, who was seen alongside her husband, Scott, participating in ShieldWall Network events.

New Newsweek coverage of ShieldWall Network anti-Muslim rally

A half Arab writer cites The ShieldWall Network’s March Against Sharia Law rally last year in an article to attack a Jewish social media giant for not being pro Muslim enough. 

“Billy Roper, an Arkansas-based neo-Nazi, organized a Batesville rally for ACT for America’s “March Against Sharia” in 2017. ACT for America made efforts to disavow Roper, but only after news about his inclusion in the controversial protest event spread.”


Arkansas Times helps boost ShieldWall Network

The Arkansas Times newspaper coverage of the NBC documentary on The ShieldWall Network, along with being a typically pejorative antiWhite example of semiliterate hack journalism fueled by morbidly obese editor Max Brantley being triggered that KARK and Fox 16 News Director Austin Kellerman was goaded into producing local Arkansas interest stories about us for both channels, lacked the journalistic acumen to get it even factually correct.

It wasn’t Ed Ou who was referred to as a funny, flagrantly gay tv reporter, but rather Mitch McCoy. The sixty-six year old withered up feminist reporter threw so many of her former employers and co-workers in the small world of Little Rock journalism under the bus with her expose interview discussing them, though, that being Max’s dessicated mouthpiece is all she has left. Still, the story will add even more to the number of Arkansans e-mailing me for more information about how to get involved with The ShieldWall Network, so I appreciate the story. She even spelled my name right. Several new SWN applicants credit the Times story, but not as many as heard about us through Fox 16, based on their introductions.

Max knows that every time the controlled media reports on us, it strengthens us, especially when the stories are so ridiculously one-sided. That’s why he REALLY hates to put my name in print. Sometimes, though, his kneejerk liberalism outweighs, no pun intended, his attempted leftist pragmatism. That’s why we call it being triggered, Leslie. Thanks.


More Statewide Media Coverage of The ShieldWall Network

Last night the Arkansas NBC TV affiliate and Fox TV affiliate carried this story about Jacob Goodwin and The ShieldWall Network. Despite the funny flagrantly gay reporter, I think their coverage is even better than the generic national coverage:

Watch the FULL new NBC documentary on Jacob Goodwin and The ShieldWall Network

Here is the full 30 minute NBC documentary on Jacob Goodwin and The ShieldWall Network, containing insider interviews, pictures, and video never seen before anywhere else, some of it we haven’t even seen previously. It will make you laugh and cry and get angry. Take a look and let us know what you think:

Five Ways To Gain Influence In Your Community.

  1. If you have children in school, attend PTA and school board meetings, as well as student-teacher conferences. Get your kids involved in the County 4H.
  2. Attend city council and county quorum court meetings. Get to know your local elected officials.
  3. Make a point to meet and befriend your neighbors. Form a neighborhood watch group working with your city or county police department. Get to know your local law enforcement.
  4. Join local civic organizations.
  5. Volunteer. Help organize a food or clothing drive or other charitable event.

Jacob’s legal defense fund closing April 20th.

Ending soon! If you’ve been meaning to help, now is the time.

Jacob Goodwin’s legal defense fundraising drive ends this Friday, April 20th.

This fundraising campaign for Jacob Goodwin’s legal defense will end this weekend, as his parents prepare to go to Charlottesville for the beginning of his trial. He has been refused a change of venue, or bail. He has not had his charges lowered nor been offered a deal to plea to a misdemeanor and come home with time served, even. His lawyer has not been paid thousands of pledged dollars by an organization which dissolved itself recently, leaving a balance due of several thousand dollars owed to Jacob’s attorney. However, we are still confident that he will come home free. If you received an early tax refund and have a few extra dollars to spare, please consider giving in the next few days before this fund drive expires on a great man’s birthday, April 20th. Thank you!

This podcast contains an update on Jacob’s situation.

They’re Coming To Us

Yesterday, April 14th, tens of thousands of 2nd amendment supporters held dozens of rallies at state capitols all across America. Most of them are emerging from Civic Nationalism into an understanding that the government is the enemy of the nation and its founding people. As such, they are radicalizing in our direction. We are actively recruiting them, true, but they are finding us just as rapidly, on their own.

The ShieldWall Network encourages you to find them at firearm shops, shooting ranges, gun shows, online, and in local NRA meetings. Cherry pick those most near to us in maturation of ideology. Bring them in. They will be standing with us when the time comes. They might as well go ahead and understand why, now.

Second Amendment rally in Hartford implores hundreds to ‘fight, fight …

22 hours ago – Bearing banners, placards and American flags, hundreds of gun-ownership and Second Amendment supporters gathered in front of the State Capitol in Hartford Saturday, protesting gun-control and anti-gun legislation here and elsewhere nationwide. The rally, organized by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a gun …

Second amendment rally held in Concord –

16 hours ago – Gun owners and Second Amendment supporters called on lawmakers to enforce current gun laws and refrain from creating newer, stricter ones.

Hundreds rally at Utah Capitol to support 2nd Amendment | Deseret …

16 hours ago – Hundreds of gun-wearing, Second Amendment supporters rallied Saturday at the Utah Capitol. The pro-gun rally lasted several hours, featuring speakers who argued the right to bear arms is under attack in the aftermath of mass shootings.

Gun rights supporters hold rallies at state capitols across US | Fox News

9 hours ago – Protesters have gathered in more than a dozen states to defend the Second Amendment. … The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans sponsored the 45 planned rallies across the U.S. in support of the right to bear arms, according to the paper. | Hundreds rally for Second Amendment in Boise

16 hours ago – BOISE – A rally in support of the Second Amendment brought a few hundred people to the steps of the Idaho State Capitol Saturday. Rallies in support of gun rights were planned for every state capital — held simultaneously across time zones. … “(A gun) is an inanimate object.

Second Amendment Rally Held In Nashville – NewsChannel 5 Nashville

12 hours ago – Saturday on the streets of Nashville, a group held a response to the gun control marchesseen across the country in March, including right here at home. This time, those taking a stand were people…

People rally for the second amendment at Americans for America – KFYR

16 hours ago – People rally for the second amendment at Americans for America. BISMARCK, N.D. … The Americans for America rally is being held at state capitals all across the country, where supporters voiced their opinions on the constitution and their rights.

Kentuckians rally for gun rights, Second Amendment in Frankfort

20 hours ago – People gathered outside the Kentucky Capitol, some with guns slung across their backs, as part of a national effort to rally for gun rights.

Hundreds gather in Harrisburg for gun-rights rally |

18 hours ago – Several hundred people gathered Saturday afternoon at a pro-Second Amendment rallyon the steps of the state capitol in Harrisburg.

The Vanguard Community

By Tharru

From The Purity Spiral

The Foundations of Society

The last time I made remarks about our current project and the state of affairs of modernity my subjects of concern were the essential and universal basic requirements for any society to stand against the natural course of entropy which plagues all societies across the globe. It has since occurred to me that a likely criticism of this universal claim would be a presentation of the Jewish ethnic project, which on its surface seems to adopt a parasitic condition through which it seeks to resist this natural order. However, after reflection on this response to my claims, it became apparent this reply would highlight a discussion of the different types of strategies adopted by different societies within the framework of a universal system of community, soil, and ethnic bonds. Jewish society is not a refutation of my earlier claims, but a spotlight on a specific and unique strategy.

We see a strong sense of ethnic heritage, temporal regard, and tight community within Jewish society despite the concomitant truth that the Jews have not historically existed as a people bound to one primary location. They are a society of wanderers – but a society still, and a relatively successful one. From this we must conclude that they have adopted the recognition of the truth of the basic requirements for societies seeking to resist universal entropy.

There is much here which may be said about the peculiar Jewish strategy of survival (primarily its long-term failure due to the antagonistic nature it creates in non-Jewish host nations) but that is not the purpose of this specific essay. It is only mentioned in relation to my claims about the necessity of blood, soil, and a grand sense of time. These are preconditions for a healthy and stable society which, as long as it maintains these basic recipes, will prove itself enormously more adept in resisting the entropic effects of universal chaos when compared to a society lacking these requirements.

The Concept of the Vanguard

It is with this in mind that we turn our attention to the concept of the vanguard community. Let us first use a simple mathematical metaphor to illustrate what the term “vanguard community” represents within the context of social organization and political infrastructure: When we desire to find the median of a set of numbers, we must first start at the extremes. The concept of a median is simple enough, but its simplicity belies a fundamental truth: Concepts such as moderation, temperance, and civility are irrelevant without the existence of extremes. If one desires civility one must also accept the existence of incivility- each concept cannot exist without the other. This puts the “median” in a somewhat precarious position, as moderation and civility become slaves to extremity on all sides. Further, when faced with an opponent willing to grab the median by its metaphysical and epistemological shackles by driving his peculiar brand of social extremes in a specific direction, the only possible offensive action is to respond in kind. It is a type of mutually assured social destruction which, in more civilized societies, is a tactic not engaged in because all parties understand the nature of the war which would be waged along these lines. As a result, very few are willing to risk the absolute fraying of social order in pursuit of their own ideological or political schemes if they hold some sort of favorable association with the society and its order.

This leads us to surmise that the current enemies of our White race are hell-bent on the total and complete destruction of our social fabric, institutional history, and existential future. When faced with an enemy whose overtly stated desire is the destruction of the White race and Western society, it must be stated that no course of counterattack may be considered off limits. The enemy has long ago arrived at this conclusion, and we must respond in like manner.

As a vanguard community we exist at the extremes – the fringes – of our people. It is a community of peculiar hardship, alienation, and constant upward struggle. But it is also a community of nobility, honor, and privilege. Whether by divine ordination or cosmic luck, we have been granted the gift of sight, and this sight entails a duty to exercise our agency in a manner fitting those blessed with the ability to see reality for what it is.

We see the decaying social institutions, the hollow and shallow once-venerable religious monuments, the formerly proud histories now besmirched with mud and derision by the lowest of society. We see this and recognize it as the only conceivable outcome of a society that has forgotten the radical truths which made such a society possible in the first place. We see its greatest tribulations not as failures, but successes of a hostile ideology and people who hold everything which makes us who we are in absolute contempt. We see what other people cannot see because they lack the mental constitution, the strength of will, and the courage to look truth in its face.

But this is not the only thing which sets us apart from others as a vanguard community. We also inherit a duty to provide our fellow ethnic kin with alternatives to the crumbling society around them, for it is also a truth that reality and nature can only be ignored for so long.

Our duty as men and women of the future must be a duty lived! We must embody every aspect of the society we wish to see as reality. We must be a living future for all those stuck in the present with little knowledge or understanding of how they arrived here. We must all develop the gifts granted us at birth in order to shore each other up in times of weakness, and we must encourage each other rectify our weaknesses. A tough compassion must be employed. We must inspire each other to pick up the responsibilities our forefathers took seriously. We must all be statesman in our own lives so that we may be guardians of our communities. We must show mercy to our own and absolute hostility to those who seek our annihilation. We must look to nature to provide us with those things we are deficient in. We do not seek to overcome nature but to exist within nature harmoniously for it is the hand that, though it feeds us, may also withdraw itself.

The Political Vanguard

Much ado has been made about the possibility, and even the desirability, of engaging in a kind of covert political warfare with the forces arrayed against us. I do not oppose those who adopt these tactics, but I have a single criticism: Your covert warfare will be just that- covert. It will not be seen by our people for what it is. It will not be understood as a break from the systems which are increasingly leading to greater degrees of stress on their everyday lives of our people.

They will not see it as a viable alternative, one which inspires greatness and courage, to the current hostile paradigm. They will not see it because it will be, by your very words, covert. You acknowledge the inevitable and predictable hostility from the modern press which is the strongest arm of our enemies. How will you inform these people you are seeking to save them from their destruction and that you are secretly working for them? Are we so afraid of the truth that we can acknowledge it only privately? And what of the people we are seeking to save? How can they become valued members of your desired future if you cannot even trust them to see the truth itself?

But, you argue, our words will fall on hollow ears. We vanguard members do not contest this. What we see is the value in truth exemplified through action: Action borne out of blood, sweat, commitment, and vision. We see the utility in averting our current trajectory not by employing clever rhetorical tricks, viral images, and covert political intrigue, but by presenting a living alternative to the current paradigm- an alternative embodied in stone, wood, crops, and community. We see the value in showing our fellow ethnic brothers and sisters that the strength and will to succeed lies in hard work and a courage to fail where there is a hope of victory. We do not see value in adopting the weak snake-like tactic of subversion which will ultimately have the effect of turning our people into that which we despise most. We see no value in becoming our enemies and adopting their extremes, for such an action would be to cede to them the success they think they are so close to achieving.

The value of a people is known through observing their ability to meet the truth head on and stand for what they believe so that all who look upon them may judge them as either worthy or despicable. Just as the Norse gods rushed headlong into battle knowing they would die, we too must know that no one escapes death. We must seek to live well and die well. That is what sets the vanguard community apart from the layman of political intrigue. We see the subverted institutions for what they are and are willing to combat them openly. You see the subverted institutions for what they are and seek to subvert them yourself. Which condition and outlook is more absurd? Only time shall tell.

Join the discussion

To Suggest An ‘Amicable Divorce’ For America Is To Talk Civil War

This article in response to Jesse Kelly’s recent The Federalist piece arguing for the need for peaceful separation makes some very good points in defense of the position that a civil war in the (formerly) United States will be necessary, and that it won’t be pretty. 


The Federalist

We are in a very divided moment, and when divisions run that deep, centralized decision-making can make it worse. But that’s no argument for secession.

Federalist contributor Jesse Kelly recently wrote an article suggesting that political divisions in the United States may now be so extreme that the country should be peacefully divided into two separate countries. He is wrong, and his advocacy that we should divide effects by negotiation flies in the face of the political values that have dominated American political thought for centuries, especially among Republicans and conservatives.

Before I get to explaining where Kelly makes a serious error, I should note some places where he makes some good points. Kelly notes that, while we may tend to see national borders as immutable from our current perspective, especially in the post-WWII dispensation when most nations have agreed to forsake wars of expansion, in fact history shows that boundaries change. Current country boundaries are historically contingent things that can change, and we need not necessarily view current boundaries as permanently morally privileged. In other words, redrawing map lines in North America yielding a breakup of the U.S. would not be the end of our civilization or some end-of-history apocalyptic event.

I’ve argued as much on this website myself, or at least a related point, when I pointed out that particularly for Christians political apocalypticism is a foolish mistake. All too often, we have a tendency to elevate today’s political squabbles far beyond their merits.

Beyond this, Kelly raises an interesting historical question. He says, “We are more divided now than we have ever been in our history. And before you start screaming at me about the Civil War, keep in mind that bloody conflict was fought over one major issue. In those days, take ten families from New York and ten families from Alabama, put them all in a room, and you’d find they mostly had the same values (and bad accents).” This claim is certainly plausible; the typical enfranchisable individual (adult males) in 1860 might possibly have had had more shared values across regions than today.

However, while that is possible, I am skeptical of it in practice. One of my direct ancestors incited a bloody anti-Catholic pogrom because the Catholic religion, as all God-fearing Americans knew, was incompatible with true Americanism. At the same time as slavery was an increasingly pressing issue, our nation faced a massive rise in divisive debates about immigration, leading to the rise of a single-issue anti-immigrant party.

Meanwhile, there were massive and divisive movements afoot on issues such as temperance, womens suffrage, and labor unionism. Industrialization was creating a new wave of urban problems and disrupting the Jeffersonian vision of an agrarian nation. We were a country in extraordinarily rapid flux. And indeed, it should be noted that one of the more common pro-southern narratives of the civil war suggests it was actually a war against trade policy! While this argument is not true, it is true that the northern and southern states were deeply divided on the issue.

While I suppose it is possible that there is more variation in political philosophy today than in 1860, it doesn’t seem even close to obvious. And the claim that Americans were basically divided on one issue is obviously false and unsupportable. What has actually happened is that the American memory of the 1850s tends to be defined by one issue; the 1850s themselves saw a huge range of social movements and conflicts.

But it does seem like we are a pretty divided nation today. I’d wager we may be in one of the top 25 percent most divided election cycles in American history by almost any metric. But that’s a lot different than saying we are in truly uncharted waters. This matters, because your assessment of the extent of polarization impacts how intractable you think our problems are, which in turn helps define what measures you think count as acceptable solutions.

That brings us to Kelly’s proposed solution: peaceful division. I don’t want to argue about whether such a division would be legal or constitutional. That question isn’t very relevant when we are talking about such a seismic change to fundamental political structures. And besides, if a person believes our problems are so severe as to countenance splitting up this one nation under God, then I doubt procedural arguments will change their mind. Certainly if I thought this was our most divided moment ever, a procedural argument wouldn’t dissuade me from considering secession as an option.

But although I don’t think Kelly has offered a shred of compelling evidence that we are actually at such an epochal level of dividedness, I’m willing to play along. Let’s say we are, and we have reached a point where procedural arguments are moot. All faith has truly been lost in constitutional government. Soldiers who swore oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution no longer feel beholden to those oaths, taxpayers resist payment en masse, militias are formed to manage local security needs. Say we’ve reached that point. We haven’t! But imagine we have. What then?

Well, we have to return to those map lines. How do map lines actually change, historically? Peaceful changes turn out to be uncommon. The boundary changes Kelly invites us to consider usually involve a very large number of people dying violently.

And sometimes, lots of people dying is worth it! There are justified wars. I’m not making some argument that we should have peace-at-any-cost. Justified wars should be fought, and we, individually and collectively, must be prepared to pay the last full measure of devotion in the event of such a conflict. But while there are justified wars, there are also unjustified wars. Philosophers and political theorists have debated what makes for a justified war for as long as there have been wars, and there have been wars ever since a certain dispute between two ill-fated biblical brothers.

I’m not going to delve into the nuance of just war theory. But all theories of the justifiableness of wars include some consideration of how a war is to be waged, and what costs may be involved. That is, there is no theory of war which holds equivalent two wars, one of which is fought by a few thousand professional troops in some distant theater in a relatively controlled warzone, and the other of which involves 50 million people dying in a radioactive blaze. No matter your theory of what justifies a war, on some level, you have to ask yourself how the war is going to be fought, what it would look like, and what the cost is likely to be.

So maybe a war of secession would be justified, but maybe not: and one factor we would want to consider is what such a war might look like.

We must then ask what might happen if we went down this road. Say that Kelly’s Federalist States seek to go their own way. Well, in 1860/61 when the southern states seceded, they thought what would happen would be the north would negotiate, or else chicken out and sign a treaty recognizing their independence. And indeed, if it came to war, the enormous southern domination of the military officer corps seemed sure to give the south an unbeatable advantage. The war would be quick, handing southerners a victory in their “second war of independence.”

But it turned out they were wrong. Lincoln was a steely-eyed missile man. More than that, he was ready to burn it all down rather than let the union be torn apart. He did not have popular support in this: he won with just 40 percent of the vote, and he repeatedly deployed military forces to crush anti-war riots, sometimes with substantial loss of life. Southerners had assumed that the namby-pamby north had no will for war, but they underestimated the phenomenal energies a robust state can exert in its own self-preservation. Southerners had assumed that their gallant officers and chivalrous cavaliers would give them an insurmountable advantage, but they were crushed by a failed farmer and a Classicist, Grant and Sherman.

The cost of the war was enormous. By my calculations, between 7 and 12 percent of the recruitable population of the Union states died in the war. For the Confederacy, it was between 20 and 30 percent. Their presumption that the less-culturally-militaristic north would be easy to beat was utterly and completely wrong. The North had what was necessary for victory: a larger economy, infinite manpower superiority, and iron-willed leadership.

Lincoln talked about this in his 2nd inaugural address, which happens to be etched in stone on the Lincoln Memorial, for the express purpose of preserving his reasoning for our edification. He said:

“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war — seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.” (emphasis mine)

This is the key point: the battle cry of bloody secession has always been peaceful negotiation. The exact analogy Kelly appeals to, of splitting possessions in a divorce, is the analogy Lincoln uses for his foes: insurgent agents seeking to divide effects by negotiation. This has always been the secessionist gameplan, from Hartford to Montgomery.

This peaceful division, however, is likely impossible. The reasons are several, and I will begin with the basic logistical problem.

Modern political coalitions are not actually regional. They are local. The electoral college map makes them look regional, but if you look at a county or precinct map, you’ll see very clearly that local factors drive our politics. We are not divided by north and south, or east and west, or even coasts and heartland. We are not divided by state. Our true divisions are about whether you live in a relatively dense city or not.

Go look at a county map of presidential elections! Every state has Blue America holding some of its territory, and virtually every state has Red America holding some of its territory! How exactly is this territory supposed to be peacefully divided up? Any division would leave huge stranded enclaves of dissidents, dissidents who would suddenly find themselves vastly politically outnumbered, unable to effectively preserve their way of life at all. Many would flee to whichever country best represented their views, creating a refugee crisis that might agitate for revanche. But many would remain in place, forming an enraged and restive local populations. Blue Team’s countrysides would become the hills of Vietnam to them; Red Team’s cities would threaten the carnage of Mosul on every block.

Elections would be contested, legal frameworks uncertain, military allegiances shifting: it would be a calamitous disaster of monumental proportions. No authority would exist with the ability to peacefully manage the transition and be respected by both sides. Local political factions would take measures to guarantee persistence and self-defense, such as training militias. In such an environment, it would be easy for a spark to set the whole thing ablaze. The ensuing war would be mind-blowingly violent. The entire war would be continental-scale streetfighting.

You might think you’d stay above the fray. You’d be wrong. Maybe you aren’t passionate about holding the union together! But the war won’t be on the Texas border. It will be on the border between suburbia and the urban core, as disaffected Blue Teamers refuse to recognize Red Team laws they abhor, and they eject officials and set up rebel governments. The battlefield won’t be the Mississippi River, it will the I-66 corridor heading out to West Virginia, which becomes impassible as Red Team militias close off the interstate and begin purging dissidents from the region, creating a safe zone around West Virginia.

Modern civil wars are not mysterious events. We have plenty of examples to look at, like Syria. And we Americans have so many guns (proud gun owner here!) that you’d have practically universal potential for combatancy, that is, everybody could be a soldier. The geography of political disagreement suggests that practically the entire national population would be within 100 miles of an active warzone at any given time; every household would face immediate existential risk if the other side made a breakthrough. Any sane and loving parent would join the militia and bring the fight to the other side.

Anyone imagining that this inevitable conflict might occur along some rational territorial border defined by large regions is hopelessly naïve. We would be spilling each other’s blood in every school district, parish, neighborhood meeting, and sports stadium in the country inside of 12 months. Not because we’re awful people, but because once the cat is out of the bag on disorganized tribal violence, it’s awfully hard to put it back.

This is a nightmare scenario. So whenever you find yourself imagining that our country is as divided as the civil war, envision 10 people you love who fit the demographic profile for a soldier (nowadays this probably just means age, not sex). Now choose 1 to 3 of them you are willing to bury for your cause. Is it really worth it? Regardless of who provoked whom, or who has the most justifiable claims … are you willing to pay that price? If not, maybe don’t advocate secession. Maybe work to heal the wounds.

There are actually a few things that are worth that much to me. Again, this isn’t a “peace at any price” post. I’ll kill for some things. But I want to be realistic: the cause has really got to be worth it to get me in a killing mood. Some things are worth that cost. Some are not. And to pay that cost, I need to know that I have exhausted my other options.

And the truth is, we haven’t even seriously tried our other options!

It is true we are in a very divided moment, and that when there are divisions that run deep, unitary, centralized decision-making can make those divisions even worse. But that’s not an argument for secession!

That’s an argument for, wait for it …


Large-scale devolution of Federal powers and responsibilities to states, counties, and municipalities to allow distributed and divergent state and local decision-making is a reasonable solution to periods of heightened division. We can’t devolve everything of course, and we need some shared standards on some issues, but we should not try secession before we try enhanced federalism.

And if federalism fails, then the war will come. And may I say, when the chips are down, secessionists may find that the spark of union has not died. It doesn’t take many of us unionists to reach a critical mass to torpedo peaceful division, and let me tell you, we will torpedo it. There aren’t many things I’m willing to bury myself and two of my best friends over. Union is one of them. Union forever; hurrah boys, hurrah; down with the traitors and up with the star!

And if in the end union ends in blood, well then, we must simply sing that, “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lighting of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.”

Lyman Stone is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist. He writes about migration issues on his blog “In a State of Migration.” He is also an agricultural economist at USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, and an Advisor at Demographic Intelligence. He has an MA in international trade policy from the George Washington University. Opinions expressed are solely his own, though his wife Ruth occasionally agrees with him.