The Nation, a storied left-wing magazine, pondered the possibility of secession in an interview published Tuesday morning.
The idea has been circulating on the left over the past few weeks, as Democrats ponder the possibility of President Donald Trump being re-elected. Though many mainstream media polls show former Vice President Joe Biden with a lead, the polls have been wrong before — and Trump is running a confident, energetic campaign, while Biden is barely leaving his house.
The interview, “Should the United States Stay United?“, conducted by Jessica Suriano with Richard Kreitner, author of Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union, focuses on the idea that secession need not be tarnished by slavery. Abolitionists, Kreitner argues, also considered seceding from the Union — and progressives should consider it today:
JESSICA SURIANO: Why did you think it was important in this book to address all of these other separatist movements that have happened in the past and across the political spectrum?
RICKY KREITNER: Of course everybody’s heard about the Confederacy and slavery, and it started my historical research, but that’s not really where the book came from. It came from this late-Obama-era moment where the thought occurred to me just based on things I’d been reading: What if the United States broke apart? Would that be such a bad thing? Is it possible that the progressive policies and programs that I wanted to see put into place might be easier to enact in a smaller entity than the United States, with its 330 million people and the need to always convince people with very different attitudes and interests? So with that question, I was curious if anybody else in American history had favored secession for noble or progressive reasons—not to perpetuate slavery but even to oppose it.
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