America Torn: Group Pushing to Secede Vermont From Union

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," June 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: While Iranians are fighting for a scrap of freedom, many Americans are sitting idly by, watching our precious freedoms slip away.

I was on Twitter this weekend, and all of this stuff was unfolding. And I was watching it and people were responding, and I was commenting on it, and one of the things I said is, "What is it we are supposed to learn over here? What is it we can learn about ourselves over here?"

I've been saying it for a while and it applies both to Iran and the United States: If you push people too far, they will rise up.

Columnists in The New York Times will blame me for stirring the pot and they have blamed me for stirring the pot, but I'm just pointing out that the pot is boiling. Instead of reading The New York Times, why don't we talk to someone from an actual group that is actually saying, "boiling water here" and wants to secede from the United States?

In Burlington, Vermont, is Thomas Naylor. He is the founder of the Second Vermont Republic Movement.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

Sir, I believe, Thomas I spoke to you two years ago?

THOMAS NAYLOR, VERMONTREPUBLIC.ORG: Yes, greetings. Thanks for stirring the pot.

BECK: Yes. And you, you at that time, you were in the news because you had joined forces with another secessionist unit down south that was very right-wing and you were very liberal. And I was making the point at that time: Look what's happening. The two sides are coming together and they're coming together to say, "America's not working right now."

What's happened since?

NAYLOR: Well, since that time, the interest in secession has increased rather substantially. We now have about 12 percent of the registered voters in Vermont support secession. That's about 60,000 people. The movement continues to evolve. Last fall, we had our second statewide convention on secession in the House chambers of the statehouse.

The movement rolls on, in spite of the fact that Vermont is probably the most left-wing state in the country and voted very strongly for Barack Obama. This poses a challenge for us. But people are beginning to see that, really, there's not much difference between his policies and those of George W. Bush.

BECK: So, what is your — what is your goal? Why wouldn't you promote change within? What is your goal? You want an completely...

NAYLOR: We really have...

BECK: Go ahead.

NAYLOR: Yes. We really have two objectives, Glenn.

One is we would like to see Vermont revert back to its status as an independent republic as it was between 1767 and 1791. And our second objective, frankly, is a peaceful dissolution of the empire.

We think the system is broken. It's — our government has lost its moral authority. It's unsustainable. It's ungovernable and un-

BECK: Why do you — why do you say it's unfixable? Were you — were you ever at any time happy — at any point in history happy with the Constitution of the United States?

NAYLOR: Oh, I was, you know, kind of happy through, for a left-wing Democrat, from about 1962 until 1990s — I was reasonably complacent. But not anymore.

BECK: All right. So, why don't you think we could go back to the happy, you know, 1980s? I can't believe you would say that as a Democrat. But go ahead. Why don't you think we could get back there?

NAYLOR: Well, I'm not a Democrat anymore.

BECK: Well, I know you're not. I know.

NAYLOR: Because our views is that, really, the U.S. government is corrupt to the core, that's owned, operated and controlled by Wall Street, who's really quite content with things the way they are. So, there's really no incentive to change the system.

We hear about, you know, economic financial reform of election laws, but that's wishful thinking. That's fantasy. It's never going to happen.

BECK: Thomas, what do you think is — one of my producers said to me today that, "You think this is your time" or "This is the time in America that this is coming" — what makes you think that?

NAYLOR: Well, I think that, essentially, the system is coming unglued at the seams. What I suggested that — I mean, basically secession is an act of our rebellion driven by anger and fear. People were more angry at George W. Bush, but now, under Obama with the economic meltdown, there's genuine fear.

And so, I think the moment — secession has been getting more attention in the last few weeks at any time since 1865.

BECK: Well, Thomas, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

NAYLOR: Thank you.

BECK: This week, America, I just want to show you — and, you know, they're going to put arrows through me as the messenger. That's fine, I don't really care.

You need to know what's happening. It's happening all over the country. I think you do know it. You feel something in your gut, if you're anything like me. You're feeling something is not right, something is happening here.

Well, there are those who say they want to break away, some of them peaceful, some of them not so peaceful. This group up in Vermont is a peaceful group. They have been talking this way for quite some time. But now, they're starting to grow and they're starting to unite with other groups around the country.

And I think you should know about it. I think you should know. I think you should know so you know we're headed for some serious times if the people in Washington don't wake up.

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