Just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, it does. What started out as a handful of requests from disgruntled states is rapidly growing into a contagion of T-Virus proportions with over seven hundred thousand Americans signing secession petitions in just two days. Citizens from Honolulu to Baltimore seem to have caught the secession fever, as the disjointed movement picks up steam with more signatures and petitions arriving on the hour. However, there is a flicker of hope for the sane and sensible as several major cities (plus one state) have submitted petitions to secede from their state to remain in the Union and ironically enough several petitions were from states with the most signers for secession bids. Amidst all this states seceding from countries and cities seceding from states we have to ask ourselves, what’s the message here? Do these modern day “secessionists” really have a plan, or are they just muckraking with an old rattle because Uncle Sam won’t give them a bottle? Well, let’s see:
And Then There Were Forty Four
As of Nov. 14th there are 44, yes 44, states with open petitions requesting separation and the right to form their own nation. When I reported on the 31 states that had petitions open there were about 373,816 signers, but with the 13 state increase the total rose to 703,011, a 188 percent gain in 24 hours. Here’s an updated map showing the number of signers from each petitioning state separated by color: blue for Democratic states and red for Republican.
By signatures Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee and New York lead the pack. Georgia has the highest number of petitions for secession at four, while Washington State, Oklahoma, Ohio, Virginia, Illinois and Pennsylvania each have two. When we count red states versus blue states, Republican states hold a commanding lead with 474,445 signers compared to 228,566 in Democratic states.
So What Will You Do When You Get Out?
As if this story wasn’t silly enough, here are a few recent ideas a couple of states have come up with for what they’d like to see their state look like:
In 2011 Jeff Stone, the Republican supervisor of Riverside county, submitted a proposal to his state’s legislature that would split the Golden State in two:
What’s interesting about this proposed arrangement, is that the area in Red (which would become the new state of “South California”) leaves out nearly every major city in the state save San Diego. So while regular California would lose a few electoral votes, the bulk of its political weight for the Democratic party would remain intact. And let’s not forget that much of that land sits squarely in the Mojave Desert, you know, that place where its hard for most types of edible, commercially marketable foodstuffs to grow.
This nefarious plot surfaced in 2006 with an idea that Washington, Oregon, parts of Northern California, maybe Idaho and British Columbia would all come together and form “Cascadia.”
Not only were three states planning to secede, but they were going to annex a piece of California and an entire Canadian territory. So not only do you make an enemy of the U.S. Government, you just simply take a whole territory from Canada without even asking. Not sure Canada would take losing all that forestry business in its fourth most economically productive territory sitting down despite their reputation
You Said Something About A Light?
With all of this unproductive secession noise being cast as patriotism, it’s immensely reassuring to see petitions like the one from Atlanta, Georgia which reads, “Peacefully grant the City of Atlanta leave to withdraw from the State of Georgia and remain part of the United States”. Why do they want to stay? It seems that Atlanta feels that the rest of the state continues to deprive it of economic, civil, religious, and political freedoms and because of their love and dedication to the United States, they’d like to hang around if Georgia decides to make a break for it. Austin, Texas has similar trepidations about its state and makes clear that it wants to be American to, “protect its citizens standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties”. The state of North Carolina asks the president to affirm that America’s strength comes from its unwavering unity despite “petulant indifference” to the rule of law.
Here’s the real question: what does it say when Atlanta and Austin want to stay, but Texas and Georgia have the largest groups willing to leave? When a Republican from California wants to create a state amidst a desert or when Pacific Northwesterners would annex part of a country that’s not theirs. Is that what time it is America? Or is it only us “citified folk” that understand what a legitimate political statement looks like?
The Last Word
It’ll be interesting to see how far this secession fantasy goes, but as petitions near millions in signatures the trend becomes more disturbing. Keep in mind that it’s not patriotic to leave your country when you feel there’s something wrong. Patriotism is doing what you can to effect the change you hope to see using the tools at your disposal. Talk of secession is entirely unproductive, and given the decisions our politicians have in front of them with the fiscal cliff, tax reform, and health care we need to be more engaged than ever. The secessionists and their petitions are absurd because what they desire is illegal, unconstitutional, and not within the president’s power to grant. Asking permission for the wholly unacceptable isn’t the work of a patriot, it’s the pipe dream of a child.Powered by Sidelines