1 in 4 Americans ‘Open to Secession’

Though Scotland just voted to stay in Britain it seems secession as an idea still has some appeal. According to Reuters, 1 in 4 Americans are open to idea of their states seceding from the union.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted between August and September found that about 24% of those surveyed “strongly supported or tended to support” their state seceding form the union. The reason for the widespread antagonism towards the federal government was linked to disgust with gridlock and dysfunction in DC.

Even though a student of American history might reasonably think the south would be the only place such views would find a home, the poll revealed that interest in secession crossed party lines and regions. Though Republicans and western states polled higher, it appears more and more Americans are fed up with the federal government

Some 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away, while 53.3 percent of the 8,952 respondents strongly opposed or tended to oppose the notion.

The urge to sever ties with Washington cuts across party lines and regions, though Republicans and residents of rural Western states are generally warmer to the idea than Democrats and Northeasterners, according to the poll.

While the idea of secession seems absurd on some level, the revulsion is real. Polls have continually show that the American people – in all regions – hate the way Washington operates and do not trust nor approve of the federal government, including institutions like Congress which, in theory, is supposed to be one of the most inclusive and representative of the population as a whole.

Given the consequences the last time states tried to secede from the union it seems unlikely any states – even Texas – will go further than vociferously noting their displeasure with DC and calling for more federalism. But there surely will be a price to pay for so many Americans – from so many different backgrounds – hating the federal government and losing confidence it can function effectively.

Photo by Jeff Kubina under Creative Commons license.

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