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Post-Election Secession Petition: Simple Nonsense

In the aftermath of the 2012 Presidential election, much has been made of the petitions that have been circulating on the White House website.

A quick perusal of that link shows a smattering of support for several petitions saying "Peacefully grant that the state of [insert state name here] withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government".

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the media has taken to this story as if the United States of America is on the brink of the second Civil War. Much of the crowing is coming from those who support President Obama:



Nevermind that I've never really cared for Ed Schultz -- the idea that this is a news story is simply ridiculous. Regardless of the political bend of the network reporting it as "news".

[Not to mention that the idea that Texas is fast-becoming a so-called "blue state" is pretty absurd from where I'm sitting.]

Let's look at the fundamental assertion here; people want to secede from the Union. On it's face, it sounds shocking. The last time there was an organized movement to do this, families were ripped apart, forced to choose a side, and in many cases had to fight one another on the battlefield. In the end, approximately 600 thousand Americans died (though new research disputes that number and claims closer to 750,000).

So, if this movement were to be taken seriously, there is good reason for a sizable helping of fear and trepidation.

But, it should not be taken seriously.

For starters, one of the big media talking-points is that "signatures from all 50 states" are part of these petitions to secede from the Union. Does nobody else see the silliness in this? How can all 50 states secede from a union of 50 states? That would not be secession -- it would be dissolution.

Secondly, as of post-time, here is a sampling of several states' petitions and the corresponding number of signatories:

California: 1,062
Maryland: 3,833
Ohio: 4,324
Vermont: 2,216

...and on and on and on...

Conversely, there are 8,629 signatories on a petition to require President Obama to "allow public examination of" his birth certificate and educational records. Ask Donald Trump how that asinine request worked out for him. Sheesh.

My point with that last gem is that, while there are people who are actually signing on to this crap, crazies birthers like Trump and Orly Taitz seem to have better support. At least on a state-level.

But I digress...

I do think that it is worthy of pointing out that every one of these secession petitions that I'm seeing has the exact same language; "Peacefully grant the [insert "state of" or "commonwealth of" here] to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." They even go all-caps in 'NEW' on every one of these petitions. *sniff, sniff* I smell a coordinated effort by some person or group. There's simply no way that every state would word their petition is the exact same way.

As I was digging through the drivel on the petitions.whitehouse.gov site, I found that there is now a petition that says "Strip the citizenship of all those who signed petitions to secede from the United States of America.". And even more extreme; "Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America.". The latter has 24,236 signatures -- only 764 shy of the 25,000 required.

Required for what? I'm not really sure.

My hunch is that these folks are so blindly opposed to President Obama (and perhaps Washington, D.C. in general), that they are suggesting that we should go all Mad Max and live life as 'every man/woman/state for theirselves'. Good luck with that folks. The oh-so-sweet irony is that, if this were 10 years ago and there were petitions to secede from the Union under George W. Bush's Presidency, these very same folks would likely be the ones crying, "If you don't like it here, then leave!" or "REAL Americans would never suggest secession."

Ah. Hypocrisy.

All of that said, this talk of secession is just plain silly.

Look, it is your right and my right to say whatever we'd like to say. That's only one of the things that is great about our Constitution. If you think that secession is a good idea, great. Go ahead and spout off about it. But, I would argue that before you do start toying with the idea you should ask yourself, 'what would happen if [insert state or commonwealth here] actually does secede from the United States?' I wonder if the thousands who have signed on to this nonsense have given that any thought at all?

Probably not.