In the weeks following President Barack Obama’s re-election, conservative citizens across the country upset with Obama’s victory have been looking for alternatives rather than en
dure another term under a Democratic administration.
But a radical petition originating from Texas to secede from the United States has led to the spread of secession fever across all 50 states, with considerably more than a million signatures received already.
Anyone with a political science or history degree will tell you a state or nation’s reasons for secession are pretty standard throughout history: resentment from the people on the level of power being exercised by their government.
But if you were to ask them if secession could be considered a legitimate option in our scenario, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a satisfactory answer justifying it.
None of this secessionist folly will amount to anything. These petitions are nothing more than blatant acts of infantile behavior by conservative-minded voters drowning their sorrows in the wake of an unfavorable political status quo. And I’ll bet most of the petitioners aren’t dead serious about wanting to secede, either.
Before I go any further, let me remind anyone now intrigued by the prospect of seceding that the laws of our land do not afford the right of secession to any U.S. state, no matter how broadly you care to interpret the Constitution. This statute was established by the Supreme Court following the Civil War in 1868 in the landmark case of Texas v. White.
Furthermore, hardly any of these petitions have addressed solutions for the messier details if their states’ efforts were to succeed. Issues like the termination of United States defense contracts, the establishment of new interstate (or in this case, international) trade regulations and industrial markets or establishing their own declarations outlining the basic rights of citizens within the territory.
It’s an intriguing prospect, though. But let’s be real here: Are things so terrible in this country that secession is the only answer? No. Even despite the gross polarization of our democracy and current economic turmoil, change is still within our power. So if all hope is not lost, why consider seceding? The answer is simple: There is no logical reason.
And while I believe the threats to be mere bluffs, there remains a sinister aspect to these secessionist sentiments. Most secession movements, as previously noted, are rooted in widespread public discontent and an ideological disconnect from those around them.
This growing psychological discontent is perhaps best explained in conservative political commentator Patrick Buchanan’s book “Suicide of a Superstate.”
Buchanan wrote: “In America today, the secession that is taking place is a secession from one another, a secession of the heart.” Buchanan then goes on to describe the cultural detachment that is responsible for Americans being alienated from one another.
Here exists the danger in these separatist sentiments: They are finally exposing the seething underbelly of the American populace.
They reflect the deterioration of the United States into increasingly disillusioned communities.
But most of all, they reflect the lengths that Americans are willing to consider just because they didn’t get their way.
And it shows clearly that the United States is still full of citizens who are ignorant of our history, purpose and our promise.