Letter: Let states secede when irreconcilable differences arise
Randy Schultz' column, "Does America need a Gettysburg Address for figurative civil war," (Opinion, Nov. 20) stands on two erroneous assumptions: (1) the Civil War was, on balance, good; and (2) it proved no state may secede.
Historians' estimates vary, but about 650,000 military personnel died and more were maimed. Untold thousands of civilians died. Property damage eliminated billions in value. OK, but the slaves were freed. That was not Lincoln's intent at the outset, but a tactic invented later in the war. War was unnecessary for this purpose. The rest of the civilized world already had, or was in the process of ending slavery politically, without war. (See Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War.)
Peaceful secession is proper and should be honored. Remember, the American states seceded, justifiably, from England. Like marriage, when irreconcilable differences arise, the best option is peaceful separation.
The U.S. government is huge, exorbitantly expensive, and oppressively intrusive here and abroad. It is a danger to every American. If the people of any state were to divorce themselves from it, we should wish them well in their new independence. (See Daniel Waite Howe, Political History of Secession to the Beginning of the Civil War.)
DAVID BERGLAND, Kennewick