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Ron Paul stands with secessionists. But how many are there, really?

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Charles Dharapak/AP

(Read caption) Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks in Tampa, Fla. in August 2012.

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Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas may be retiring from Congress but he still knows how to stir a pot, metaphorically speaking. In the latest example of his ability to get people talking he’s issued a statement that’s supportive of state petitions to secede from the US.

You’ve heard about those petitions, right? They’re on a section of the White House website intended to allow citizens the ability to express their opinions about the direction of the US government. Disgruntled voters have now initiated petitions for each of the 50 states to withdraw from the union. The one for Texas has the most signatures – 115,751 the last time we looked.

Anyway, all this got Congressman Paul thinking. “Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States?” he writes.

While many people might think this question was answered by the Civil War, the “principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding,” Paul argues. He adds that if secession is off the table, there’s nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on individual liberties.

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