BETWEEN THE LINES: I truly intended to steer clear of politics for this column. However, when I read about the secession effort set in motion this week in states that, by and large, voted for Mitt Romney, and then quickly spread in a few days, it induced me to stick my two cents into the fray as our nation becomes more sharply divided.
Have you heard about this post-Obama re-election foolishness? It’s even more outrageous than the lame excuses offered by embittered losers Mitt Romney, who said Obama gave gifts to liberal constituencies, and Paul Ryan, who said the urban vote hurt them. It’s even crazier than when Karl Rove went ballistic on election night and stubbornly refused to accept the Ohio voting results on the Fox News Channel.
The secession movement started in Texas — the reddest state — and, as of November 15, approximately 100,000 Lone Star residents had reportedly signed petitions requesting the peaceful withdrawal of their state from the union. Small numbers of citizens from every other state, including New York, quickly joined the movement and signed similar petitions asking to secede. Residents of a few states without a petition cheerfully signed one from another state.
They may do everything big in Texas, but this secession movement is hardly one of ’em. One hundred thousand is a drop in the bucket compared to the 26 million people in the nation’s second most populous state.
There’s no chance these sour-grapers will succeed in seceding, but if by some fluke Texas did, does that mean the Battle of the Alamo gets annulled? Can Mexico request a mulligan and get back the territory it lost in the 1836 conflict?
At least the state’s right-leaning Governor Rick Perry, who vied for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, and who lightheartedly called for his state to break away from the U.S. three years ago, opposes the secession movement. His press secretary told a reporter the governor rejects the current internet campaign and “believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it.”
Not willing to leave well enough alone, the press secretary then criticized “Washington’s tax and spend, one-size-fits-all mind set” and praised Perry’s economic policies.
Referring to themselves as the Texas Nationalist Movement, their petition reads: “Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect its citizens’ standard of living 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.”
Petitions from other states refer to the Declaration of Independence to support their demand for independence: “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.”
While most of the petitions come from states that supported Mitt Romney in the recent election, a few swing states and even some blue states, like New York and New Jersey, are also represented.
Within 24 hours of the Texas action, the secession issue mushroomed into a nationwide trend. Disappointed over the results of the recent presidential election, citizens from all 50 states, who are pessimistic about a second Obama term, feel that their state would be better off separated from the federal government. According to dailycaller.com, by the morning of Wednesday, November 14, an estimated 675,000 had signed petitions. However, only seven states have amassed more than 25,000 signatures each.
In all probability, the losers, and those who voted for them in the nation’s 53 previous presidential elections, weren’t too content with the outcomes either. Yet, except for one, which led to a Civil War and more than 750,000 dead and wounded Americans, the country survived and we managed to move on.
To offset the secession nuts, there’s an equally silly drive calling for President Obama to sign an executive order to strip the citizenship of and deport anyone who signed a petition to secede from the U.S.
That proposal makes sense for those who don’t like the way the government treats them. Maybe they should just get the hell out.
You don’t want to be part of the union — then go, you inconsequential sore losers!
Hasta la vista, baby!
Isn’t the nation polarized enough without a few jerks — with apologies to other jerks for lumping them in with these bozos — escalating our differences?
Get over it! If cry-baby secessionists don’t like the way things are or where the nation may or may not be headed, they should just leave. And I hope the proverbial Golden Door hits them in the ass on the way out. Incidentally, I know a few thousand people who’ll help ’em pack, then be there for the grand departure as they sail, drive, fly or walk away.
Perhaps it’s time to revive the inhospitable phrase overused by those who disagreed with 1960s Vietnam War protesters — America, love it or leave it!
The election’s over. After 236 years, Democracy and majority rule still work. (Maybe not so much in Congress, where 20 percent more than a majority is necessary to end a filibuster.) When all the votes are counted, a democracy, such as ours, relies on the willingness of its people to unconditionally, though not necessarily wholeheartedly, accept decisions when they lose. There’s no option in the U.S. Constitution for secession when a democratic decision is objectionable.
What’s their problem? Stop whining and suck on your sour grapes. Act like adults, not six-year-olds having tantrums.
You’ll get another chance in four years. Meanwhile, shut up and deal with it.
I only hope that more rational minds prevail and rebuke these secession factions. Anyway, what would they call their new republic? USPOP — the United States of Pissed Off People. Or, simply, the Disunited States.
Maybe it’s time to revive the words Rodney King uttered following the “not guilty” verdict for the four LAPD officers acquitted of beating him that sparked several days of riots in 1992: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Don’t forget, a sore loser makes winning that much more enjoyable!
Neil S. Friedman is a veteran reporter and photographer, and spent 15 years as an editor for a Brooklyn weekly newspaper. He also did public relations work for Showtime, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. Friedman contributes a weekly column called “Between the Lines” on life, culture and politics in Sheepshead Bay.
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