By Mark McNaught
Despite the howitzer blasts from the unionist media, US President Barack Obama did not ‘intervene’ in the Scottish independence debate. He was merely uttering anodyne diplospeak to offer tepid support for David Cameron with which he was holding a joint press conference, likely at Cameron’s behest. He could not have done otherwise, and nothing more should be read into it than that.
He simply stated:
“The UK has been an extraordinary partner to us. From the outside at least it looks like things have worked pretty well and we obviously have a deep interest in making sure one of the closest allies that we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner. Ultimately these are decisions to be made by folks there.”
Does this sound like a full-throated exhortation to Scots to not leave the US’s best buddy Westminster? I think his caveat ‘from the outside at least’ is telling. He has to deal with the profound dysfunction of Washington and the US press everyday. He better than anyone knows how political systems work from the inside, and that Scots will ignore his comments anyway.
With the exception of the occasional article in the New York Times and a few other outlets, the US media is almost completely ignoring the Scottish independence debate. I follow the US media extensively, and I have yet to see an in-depth analysis of Scotland’s constitutional situation and the reasons for seeking independence. The myopic US national media rarely ventures beyond the Washington Beltway except when there is a natural disaster.
So even among informed Americans, there is little knowledge of the issues at stake for Scotland. However, once the issues and situation are explained, I know most Americans would support independence. To do otherwise would refute their own reasons for seeking independence in 1776, and belittle the heritage of their own founders.
Parliamentary supremacy, arbitrary constitutionalism and application of laws, lack of representation in the bodies that govern them, and a rejection of aristocratic privilege are perhaps the most fundamental reasons America sought and Scotland is seeking independence.
Read the Declaration of Independence of 1776. With the exception of military occupation, so many of the grievances against King George, which is Jefferson’s proxy for the Westminster system, could be made by Scotland.
While most Americans are ignorant of the Scottish referendum, I can assure you that if you explained the current Scottish constitutional situation to a Texan for example, you would find deep support. If you proposed that Texas be hogtied by Westminster, who took all their oil revenue, with aristocratic toffs and a ‘Queen’ as your head of state he didn’t vote for ruling over him, he would yell “Hell yeah, go for it.. I’d be outta there quicker than a horse out of a burnin’ barn”.
If you add that Texas founders Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston are of Scottish descent, and more that half of Texas counties are named after people of Scottish descent, you would likely get even more support.
In addition, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and many of the founders of the United States were of Scottish lineage.
Scots have added so much to the United States. As the late President Woodrow Wilson said “Every line of strength in American history is a line colored with Scottish blood.”
If Scots can found an independent United States, they can build an independent Scotland.
There are diplomatic imperatives that govern what can be said publicly by the US government. Obama simply cannot say “yes, Scotland should vote for independence just as we sought independence in 1776” at a press conference with David Cameron.
Below the surface, the Senate has formed the ‘Friends of Scotland Caucus’ which brings together 40 Senators with ideological views so opposed they usually can’t agree on whether it’s day or night. If love of Scotland can bring together socialist Bernard Sanders and ultra-conservative Jefferson Sessions, you can be assured that there will be an outpouring of goodwill once Scots vote ‘yes’.
Scotland should become independent for the same reasons Americans went to war for independence, but Scots do not have to spill a single drop of blood.