Every July 4th, we celebrate a document that states Texas, or any state, can secede from the United States: "whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and institute new government . . ."
What if an overwhelming majority of Texans voted to leave the United States? Would the U.S. let us go? After all, we could easily survive on our own. We have over 22 million people, which is a lot more than dozens of countries. We have a productive port, the Port of Houston, and an economy that could thrive without the rest of the U.S. dragging us down.
What if the overwhelming majority of Texans said: "you know, we've had enough of high taxes, military spending and an over aggressive foreign policy, limits on our personal liberty, crummy roads and crummy public education, etc. etc." Would the U.S. let us go? NO! The rest of the U.S. would not let us go, and would use military force to keep us in. But how could they, since they celebrate a document every year that says we can?
Because Mr. Lincoln's War took secession away. Even though every delegate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 believed secession was a fundamental right and important for liberty, it was taken away by the Civil War. That event was a watershed moment in American History. Now, unchecked by the threat of secession, the federal government could grow dramatically (and boy, did it ever!).
In a civilized society, should anyone or any government ever force anyone to do anything against his or her will as long as that person does not infringe upon the life, liberty, or property of another?