The Rant 

The League of the South met recently in Chattanooga. Like its liberal cousin to the north, The Vermont Republic, the League of the South wants to secede from the Union. While it is not necessarily a bad idea, I vaguely remember a Ken Burns PBS documentary that makes me think that this has been tried before.

The League of the South says that it is not racially motivated. (And what better way to demonstrate this than to have the Confederate Flag as your symbol on your Web site?)

The liberal secessionists in Vermont want out of the federal government for other reasons. They want gays to be able to marry and accessorize freely — and they do not want to fight wars.

The South, and in particular my home state of Tennessee, the Volunteer State, enjoys fighting and will do so at the drop of a hat. In fact, most Southern men will sign up and be on the battlefield well before they ask what the war is about — and that includes bar fights. Our warring predisposition will certainly serve the South well when we inevitably invade Vermont someday.

If you think about it, breaking up the United States into a different alignment makes sense. Corporations make markets and companies more efficient by buying them and breaking them up into more cost-effective pieces. The rock-and-roll group Grand Funk Railroad, for example, could be bought and broken up into several more valuable bands, perhaps ones that employ less cow bell in their music.

The possibilities are endless. We need to ask ourselves, for example, do we really need both a North and a South Dakota?

And Southerners can quickly get past being split off from the North as long as it does not affect the SEC football playoffs. Another plus for us is that a secession might finally eliminate the Bowl Championship Series.

The real reason there is a movement in the liberal North and the conservative South to secede is a simple one: We disagree on everything.

We in the South do not think that Congress always has our best interest at heart, like when they are in session making laws. We believe that the fundamental failure of the federal government and Congress (with its 11 percent approval rating) is its unstoppable propensity to spend our money.

Hillary Clinton, for example, recently made a campaign proposition to give $5,000 to every child born in the U.S., including illegals. (Not to be outdone, and in an effort to jumpstart his failing campaign, John Edwards said he would match the $5,000 per year and throw in a lifetime supply of Robitussin.) Offering just any "tussin" would be viewed as unacceptable by the Democrats since, if the rich get Robitussin, no generic form of "tussin" should be forced upon the poor.

When you get down to it, the South and North differ fundamentally on two issues: abortion and guns. Southerners think abortion should not be legal after the first trimester. Northern liberals think abortion should be legal up to age 12.

On guns, we Southerners want our assault weapons in the glove compartment of our trucks, ready to blow away anyone who poses a threat to us, real or imagined.

Northerners believe that only the police, gangs, and the Mafia should have guns.

If we do split, the South could finally realize its dream of no separation of church and state and govern by religious denominations instead of political parties. The Baptists would be like the Shiites and the Methodists like the Sunnis. That has worked well in Iraq.

As we in the South know, as long as our leaders go to church and sing hymns on Sundays (and especially if they tell us about it enough), they prove both their moral superiority and leadership credentials. We will need no laws, just the Ten Commandments. And we certainly do not need zoning laws, as proven by driving through Panama City, Florida, or any Atlanta suburb.

The North will be aligned and beholden to every half-assed organized special-interest group that can afford a microphone. The overriding theme will be that if enough special interests — be they teachers' unions, cab drivers or plaintiffs' lawyers — get together in any seemingly victimized fashion, they can get something free from the government. Liberal Democrats love this country, much like O. J. Simpson loved his ex-wife and his sports memorabilia.

The North can keep the United Nations, and we in the South can learn about the rest of the world the way we always have — by visiting Epcot Center in Orlando.

Ron Hart is a libertarian columnist who lives in Atlanta.

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