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Secession not a reality, despite petition efforts

Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 07:11

Elections are supposed to be that component of democracy built in to give citizens a chance to have their voices heard in governance.

But clearly some don’t quite understand that, as they expressed their dissatisfaction with the election in a unique way.

Twenty-one states, including some that have duplicates, have filed petitions with the White House to “peacefully ... withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”

Some states, like Texas, whose petition had 51,069 signatures at the time of print, cited the federal government’s “neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending” and “blatant abuse” of citizens’ rights as reasons to secede. Texas, petitioners stated, does after all have the 15th-largest economy in the world.

Florida, which eventually went Democrat in the election, had more than 15,000 signatures on its petition and stated the “Federal Government has not led our citizens justly and with honor.” Even solidly blue states such as New York and New Jersey have their own petitions.

The White House website states petitions that reach 25,000 signatures will be addressed, but it has also addressed past petitions with fewer signatures, such as one requesting the president’s honey ale recipe.

The real issue is not whether or not these states actually succeed with their desires to secede, for as Yahoo columnist Mike Krumboltz said, the likelihood of the government granting states permission to secede is “on par with winning the lottery while getting hit by a meteor while seeing Bigfoot while finding gluten-free pizza that tastes like the real thing.”

What these noble citizens who took to the Internet and very spiritedly utilized their First Amendment rights to petition haven’t quite realized is that they already had their chance to make a difference with their opinions — Nov. 6, at the polls. The people of the U.S. spoke, and the majority elected Barack Obama as president. If it’s Obama they don’t like, dissenters will have their chance in four years to voice their preference again. This is the way the system of democracy has worked in this country since its inception.

The petitions filed are basically petitions against democracy and mark the heightened levels of partisanship and non-cooperation that deeply divides the nation.

What has yet to be specified is what form of government the “country” of Texas or Florida would have to look forward to upon secession. Clearly, it can’t be democracy, because the next time a candidate with a
less-than-100-percent approval rating comes to office, a new country would have to be formed — and that would be a bit exhausting.

But if not for democracy, would the people have a right to petition this way?

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