Bill Murchison

The outcome of the war made for a governmentally imposed uniformity the founders could not have foreseen. Local or regional intuitions ceased over time to matter except as obstacles to be pushed aside. Yes -- for example -- we (set ital) are (end ital) all going to have Obamacare! What works for New York damn well works for Texas, according to current theory. Shut up and get with it!

The get-with-it-ness that liberals see as so fetching when they're the ones issuing the orders is the factor that repels conservatives who see their liberties eroding in response to a great plan of Betterment and Uplift. New York couldn't care less what Texas thinks. We'll do things the New York way, thanks.

Top-down styles of government breed resentment and fury of the sort seen in the secession petitions. These petitions aren't going anywhere: we all know that. Nobody's leaving this Union any time soon.

A corollary proposition, given the lay of the land, breeds unease. The words are Jefferson's from an 1811 letter: "[T]he true barriers of our liberty in this country are our State governments; and the wisest conservative power ever contrived by man, is that which our Revolution and present government found us possessed. Seventeen distinct States, amalgamated into one as to their foreign concerns, but single and independent as to their internal administration ... can never be so fascinated by the arts of one man, as to submit voluntarily to his usurpation. Nor can they be constrained to it by any force he can possess."

Nice while it lasted, huh?

William Murchison, author and commentator, writes from Dallas. To find out more about William Murchison, and to see features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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