In April, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) drew headlines when he warned that his state might secede from the United States “if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people.” Perry’s invocation of secession has since been endorsed by Fox News’ Glenn Beck and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX).
More recently, radical “tenthers” in Texas, who were heartened by Perry’s comments, held a rally in the state capitol advocating for Texas to secede. On Rush Limbaugh’s radio show today, his fill-in host, Walter E. Williams, pushed the idea to Limbaugh’s millions of listeners:
WILLIAMS: Look, Mark, I don’t know what we’re going to do. That is, one of the questions, one of the issues is that we may be like other great nations of the past. Other great nations like Rome and Great Britain and go down the tube. Now, there’s a group of people. There’s kind of a wild hope or a remote possibility. There’s a group of young people. They call themselves freestateproject.org. And these young people are trying to get 20,000 Americans to move to the state of New Hampshire and peacefully take over the political system, you know, through voting and things like that and elect their own congressmen and senators. And then having done so, they wish, they want to negotiate with the United States Congress to obey the United States Constitution. Now, some members of the group, not all of them, some members of the group say that if they can’t get Congress to obey the United States Constitution, they’re going to issue a unilateral declaration of independence, become a separate nation. Now, I don’t know whether that’s going to work. The last time it didn’t work, but the first time in 1776, it did work. And so, I think we’re batting 500 and I’d like to see whether we could break the tie. Whether we could have a sovereign nation.
This isn’t the first time that Williams has advocated secession. In a 2002 column, while endorsing the Free State Project, Williams wrote that they want to “move to one state, possibly New Hampshire, peaceably take over the legislature, negotiate with Congress to obey their oath of office to uphold the Constitution and, if necessary, secede from the Union.” In 2007, after the conservative “Mallard Fillmore” comic strip promoted him as a potential presidential candidate, Williams declined, saying that he favored Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). In April 2009, Paul said that “secession is a very much American principle.”