I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone who believes empire and imperialism aren't problematic. It is the conclusion that secession/rebellion, for all its violence and bloodletting, is somehow a sufficient and even desirable way to deal with centralized government that is bothersome.
See, this is why I prefer thoughtful dissent to "mega-ditto" type comments. It's good to be challenged -- it forces you to re-think and re-state your reasons for blogging and for advocating a particular point of view.
So here goes. Only the dead-ender Neocons and their blood-brother communists still believe in the promises of big, consolidated government. And the above-cited commenter apparently agrees with us what the problem is, and that is the trajectory of all over-centralized governments. They all become dictatorial -- just as the Stephens quote stated.
So what's the answer? While folks see (and laugh at!) DC as it flubs every test, unable to solve any problems, they still subconsciously look to it as the ultimate authority and as the object of loyalty. Thanks to the rigorous indoctrination of the government schools, folks think Lincoln's counter-revolution, which substituted the sovereignty of the central government for the sovereignty of the people, is somehow sacred. So they are unable to conceive of human-scaled government -- all the important decisions must be made by the Wise Ones in DC, no matter how often they screw up. We're stuck playing musical chairs, switching names and positions in DC, in the illogical belief the system is good and noble, and only needs different people to make the system work.
Meanwhile, things mysteriously get only worse.
The point is, the only solution is to downsize DC. Either it is forced to return the power it usurped from us in full defiance of the Constitution, or it should be fired. Put another way, sovereignty must be returned to the local level. And that means secession. While total withdrawal from the Union may not be necessary, the recovery of the rights of the States depends on properly understanding the real meaning of the Declaration of Independence, and that means the right of secession; that is, the reserved right to withdraw from the Union.
Which brings us to the commenter's next objection:
It becomes an 'insult' or, rather, irritating when that conclusion, which almost inevitably takes on undertones of 'cultural preservation,' leads to romanticized and misguided ideas about what southern culture is and who is a southerner.
No political unit can be born or survive without the affection and loyalty of its people. No voluntary political unit can be established without a cultural foundation uniting the people. As professor Ghia Nodia of the University of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, has observed:
"Democracy has always emerged in distinct communities; there is no record anywhere of free, unconnected, and calculating individuals coming together spontaneously to form a democratic social contract ex nihilo. Whether we like it or not, nationalism is the historical force that has provided the political units for democratic government. 'Nation' is another name for 'we the people'."
For local sovereignty to return as a counterweight to the present centralized system, local loyalty must be nourished. And the creatures who feed off the cancerous growth of Big Government know that, which is why both leftists and Neocons smear Southern heritage.
So that's the bottom line: without "cultural preservation," which includes the values of our political heritage, there can be no resistance to the abuses of Big Government.