If the Civil War settled the matter of secession and establishes once and for all that the several states have no right to secede, then the United States is not the federal union of consenting states that established the nation in the first place. Rather, the United States is an empire composed of states that become more redundant as the imperial government grows larger and assumes more authority for itself. And if this is so, then what is the point of calling ourselves "United States"? In this regard, the United States of America is no different from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—an empire of conquered entities. Thus I argue that every state has the right to secede, the same right to withdraw from the Union that it had to enter the Union in the first place.

In fact, we already have the example of states rejecting the imperial Union and seceding. And look at how the Union responded: Rather than letting the rebellion states leave and stand on their own, the Union attacked and invaded those states to preserve the Union by force. The Civil War killed 600,000 Americans and left several states in economic ruin. It undermined the racial progress of the United States. And it established the precedent for imperialism that the United States has demonstrated ever since.

This does not mean that I personally wish that states secede from the Union. The fact that states would feel compelled to leave the Union means that the Union has failed to live up to the ideals on which it was founded. I also expect, given the precedent established by the Civil War, that any other state that secedes would meet a similar fate. I certainly do not wish that upon anyone. However, if the Union acts in violation of its Constitution and its laws, I will proclaim and defend the right of any state to withdraw from it.