One of the necessities, and difficulties, of a nation is keeping the population unified and being of one accord despite ideological differences, ethnic diversity and geographical location, and it goes without saying there will always be segments of the population who feel displeasure or disappointment when their leaders do not share their ideological bent. It is a sign of immaturity for individuals or groups to take their disappointment to extremes when circumstances fail to meet with their approval, especially when they are dissatisfied at the outcome of an election.
In the mid-nineteenth century, an entire region of America attempted to break away from the Union because they could not comport a nation without slavery, and the result was America’s deadliest war and division that remains steadfast in the minds of the Confederacy’s descendants today. The contentious issue over slavery was apparently disappointing enough to Southern States that they seceded to form their own nation, and since 2009, there have been several attempts to reassert state’s sovereignty that are precursors to secession, and after President Obama was re-elected last week, residents in over 30 states filed petitions requesting to withdraw from the United States to form their own independent nations.
The idea of leaving the United States is certainly a drastic measure just because a Republican (read white man) failed to win the presidency, and yet the rash of petitions being created to secede demonstrates just how racist and disgruntled a segment of the population is. None of the petitioners have the courage to put in print their real reason for wanting to leave the country because it would expose their rank bigotry and racism, so they proffer the notion their rights and liberties have been assaulted under President Obama’s Administration. Nearly all of the petitions to secede use the same language and cite the government’s disregard for the Founding Fathers’ beliefs typical of disaffected teabagger types, and the Texas petition represents the rhetoric Americans have heard leveled at President Obama since 2009.
The Texas petition claims; “The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights and it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union to protect its citizens and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.” There are myriad issues with the Texas resident’s petition, but none more obvious than it is unconstitutional for a state to secede from the United States according to a Supreme Court ruling in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) that says unilateral secession is unconstitutional.
The Texas petition specifically cites the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as egregious impositions on their liberty, but they did not seek secession when their former governor, George W. Bush, enacted those programs in 2001 and 2008 respectively. In early 2009 shortly after President Obama took office there were approximately 37 requests to secede from the Union and like this week, they were instigated because an African American man was elected as President. Texans had seven years to petition the Bush administration to peacefully secede, but he was the right race to impose “egregious impositions” on their personal freedom and liberty.
The other issue with leaving the United States is the crushing debt individual states like Texas owes the federal government before they exit. There are few benefits Texas, or any other recalcitrant state’s, resident’s enjoy that did not originate with the federal government and funded by all the American people and if they are intent on leaving, then there is an accounting that may dissuade them from yearning to be their own nation.
For one thing, those nice Interstates Texans use to traverse the state and move through other secessionists states are the property of the U.S. Government and they will either refund the cost of building and maintaining those highways or pay a toll for every mile because Texas, “you didn’t build that;” the federal government did. The rest of America wishes your relatives flying in to your sovereign nation good luck because the FAA that keeps air travel safe will be absent because they work for America’s government, not Texas. Texas boasts a lower than average unemployment rate, but after Texas refunds the stimulus money Rick Perry took from President Obama, the jobs and money flowing into state coffers will cease to exist because Texas “didn’t create those jobs,” President Obama’s stimulus did. Texans will also see an increase in retail and food prices because as a foreign nation, residents will pay American import and export taxes for every package that crosses your international border, and when drug cartels begin cross-boarder incursions into Texas, they had better summon other sovereign nations’ like Arkansas and Alabama for assistance because your contempt for America’s Border Patrol disqualifies you from protection afforded members of the United States you hold in such low regard.
There are myriad benefits every state in the Union enjoys as members of the United States regardless if the president is a Democrat or Republican, black or white, and yet twice in four years racists, religious extremists, and disaffected malcontents are actively seeking to separate from America. However, it is the secessionists’ claim that their liberty and rights are under attack that begs explanation because as recipients of America’s constitutional protections, even Texans are treated equally and one wonders exactly which liberties and rights have been abridged by the federal government or President Obama. There are only two explanations that make any sense why Americans in over 30 states seek to secede from the Union, and neither one is reasonable. Either religious extremists are upset their interpretation of religious liberty is infringed upon by prohibiting them from imposing their religious bent on the rest of the population, or they are racists. It is likely both.
Of all the states’ residents begging to leave America, Texans have the least reason to secede. It was their former governor who embroiled the nation in two unfunded and unnecessary wars, tanked the economy, and allowed unregulated banks to destroy millions of Americans’ jobs for eight years and they praised Bush throughout his terms in office. But when an African American is elected President and cleans up Bush’s mess and rebuilds the economy, they want to secede and have the temerity to claim their liberties and rights are under assault. However, it is not just Texas residents appealing to secede, and the recurring theme is President Obama restricts petitioners’ rights and liberty and is responsible for the economic downturn when he was all that stood between a Bush clone finishing W’s handiwork and recovery, but the problem is he is not white and that is why over 30 states filed petitions to leave America.
It is high time disaffected whiners sit down and thank whatever deity they worship that President Obama has a vision for America that includes continuing economic recovery that helps all Americans succeed and not just the wealthy. The Texas petition said America suffers from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic spending, but spending, like taxes, are at the lowest levels in decades, and the deficit ballooned under the weight of Bush’s wars, tax cuts, and economic malfeasance Republicans are wont to continue if they were victorious last week.
This is the second time in four years there are over 30 impetuous petitions to secede from America and they are over the results of an election. The petitioners all cite the Founding Fathers original beliefs as justification for leaving America, but in devising a representative democracy, the Founders assumed Americans would be adults and accept the will of the people and their selection of the President whether they supported them or not. That simple fact is lost on the secessionists whose real reason for wanting to leave America has nothing to do with the Founders, the Constitution, or the economy and everything to do with the fact that for four more years, an African American man will occupy the White House and finish cleaning up Republican and the white guys mess; but it’s not about race, right?
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.