This country was founded by those that felt the need to secede from a government that didn't serve the needs of the people. Secessionist values created this great nation.
Why is it now that secessionists are cast aside as nutbags, anti-American, extremists, and dangerous?
While most secessionist groups are still fringe elements, not likely to get large local support, let alone national support or the means to forcibly secede (which, in this day and age, is how it'd likely have to be done), they are made up of people who, largely, for whatever reason, desire their own rules and rights - most often those guaranteed in the Constitution, but have lately been removed or destroyed by the Federal Government. The most recent group to announce their desire to secede being the folks on the California/Oregon border, desiring to create their own state, named Jefferson. While this movement isn't a secession from the Country as a whole, it is a secession from two states that the supporters don't feel represent them.
Dear readers, what are your thoughts on secession, be it to form a new state or a new country? It is a right set forth in the Declaration of Independence, as stated here, in the second paragraph of this great document:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness
(Emphasis above is my own.)
Wikipedia has a fine article on Secessionist movements in the United States here. The largest of such secessionist movements was the cause of the Civil War, in which thirteen states attempted to secede over various issues, the most well known of which was slavery. While the slavery issue was a clear violation of human rights, no Constitutional laws prohibited it at the time, and it was a widely accepted practice in the Southern States - one important enough to Southerners to attempt a secession over. To put it in perspective, is the issue of preserving slavery any less extreme a reason than most of the modern secessionist movements? If anything, it's probably more extreme and controversial than most.
It should be noted that many have interpreted the terms of surrender set forth and subsequently accepted by General Lee on behalf of the Southern States at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia stripped the Southern States of their right to once again raise arms against the Federal Government in times of secession. This is still a hotly debated argument among historians, even to this day.
Many have predicted a coming civil war. While the evidence is building that one might eventually happen, the motivation and support of the general population has not yet built to even a fraction of what would be needed for a revolution and subsequent civil war to actually occur.
Final question is this: Secession: a right, or a crime punishable by the Federal Government? Is it time, or is there still the possibility of settling it through the broken system of government that we currently have?