Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 Letter to Obama asking him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument and the Secession Petitions

                                                                                                May 15, 2013

                                                                                                Edward H. Sebesta

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Hon. President Obama:

As widely reported in the press, nearly a million people had signed secession petitions at the website by December 10, 2012.  By their very definition these petitions are a complete rejection of American ideals and they seek to damage the country.  Why are these petitions not viewed as offensive or odious?

Further secessionism has made inroads to mainstream politics. In Minnesota at the 2010 2nd Congressional District Republican convention a resolution that a state had a right to secede came within two votes of passage, “but only after Sutton, who was functioning as the convention’s chair, reminded his fellow Republicans that opposition to secession by states was a founding Republican principle in the late 1850s.”[1] However, about two weeks later the Minnesota 5th Congressional District Republican convention did pass a resolution both supporting nullification and endorsing “secession as options to enforce state sovereignty.”[2]

Perhaps because they had listened too many times to the Charlie Daniels Band song, “The South is Gonna Do It Again,” in 2009 the Georgia State Senate passed resolution SR632, conditionally calling for both nullification and secession by a margin of 43-1.[3] Tennessee Congressional Rep. Zach Wamp brought up secession as a response to health care legislation in 2010.[4] Former Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin spoke to the Alaska Independence party which wishes that Alaska secede from the Union.[5]

Then there is the now widely known statement of Texas Governor Rick Perry speaking before a Tea party group in Texas in 2009 saying, “When we came into the Union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” and “We’ve got a great Union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that?”[6]

Ron Paul went to a secession convention in Charleston, South Carolina held by the Ludwig von Mises Institute ( in 1995 where he was a speaker.[7] He has been heavily involved with the pro-secession Ludwig von Mises Institute over the years.

Why is secession not odious?

I think the answer is obvious to even the most casual observer. At the federal, state, and local level Confederate secessionists who sought to destroy the United States of America are honored and glorified with monuments and symbols. This normalizes and makes the idea of secession to break up the United States morally acceptable.

We believe that a president of the United States of America should not send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument as it glorifies both a violent rejection of the United States and normalizes secession.

Earlier we have written you about other practices by the federal government that normalize secession: Allowing the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) to get involved with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps; Allowing the United Daughters of the Confederacy to give awards to cadets at the U.S. Military academies named after treasonous secessionists; and allowing the SCV to be part of the Federal Combined Campaign.

I ask you to stop normalizing secession by ending the Presidential practice of sending a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument on Memorial Day or any day and to end any federal activities that allow the SCV and UDC to spread their secessionist message to our military.


                                                                                    Edward H. Sebesta

[1] Lori Sturdevant, “Party of Lincoln flirts with a house-divided resolution,” Star Tribune, March 30, 2010, online.
[2] Lori Sturdevant, “Secession gaining fans in MN GOP,” Star Tribune, April 12, 2010. Online.
[3] Jay Bookman, “Georgia Senate threatens dismantling of USA,” Atlanta Constitution Journal, April 16, 2009,
[4] Emi Kolawole, “Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp talks of secession,” Washington Post, July 24, 2010. Online
[5] Jon Swaine, The Telegraph (UK), Sept. 2, 2008, online; Max Blumenthal and David Neiwert, “Meet Sarah Palin’s right-wing pals,” Online.
[6] James McKinley, jr., “Texas Governor’s Secession Talk Stirs Furor,” New York Times, April 18, 2009, online.
[7] Ludwig von Mises flyer, “Secession!,” Ludwig von Mises Institute, post marked Feb. 27, 1995. 
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