The Thinking 

Secession Petitions at White House

November 13, 2012


SINCE the election, citizens from 20 states have filed for secession on the White House website. The petitions from two states, Louisiana and Texas, are close to the number (25,000) needed for a formal response from the White House under a petition program started by Obama last year. These online petitions obviously do not mean much formally, but they are encouraging nevertheless. More and more people appear to be thinking and talking about partitioning America.

—- Comments —-

Buck writes:

Begins another silly season. Almost half of the states filing petitions voted for Obama. What in the world do they want to secede from? There have been about a dozen secessionist movements at different stages of activity for decades, but they have all been state secession movements: New Maine from Maine, North Virginia from Virginia, etc. Like that’s ever going to happen. The idea that any state is actually going to have a snowballs chance in hell of leaving the United States is silly. It is an indication of just how feckless and utterly confused U.S. citizens are. They have no clue what to do, so they agitate for the ridiculous. There are petitions at the White House to have them all deported. Just as silly. These are not serious people. They are floundering around in a modern liberal morass. First of all, America is not simply an economic entity as it seems now to be endless and only characterized as. But, if you read the petitions, that is all that anyone would think it was. So, if people want to get back to America, and they want to do so by leaving the United States, which is an economic system, then why don’t they say that? But that’s not what they say. They simply want a better or separate economic system. There is not one movement to restore America. The whole mess is pathetic and destructive. We’re a floating ship of fools.

Laura writes:

Just to clarify, it’s not the states filing. It’s individuals in the states; those who are in Obama states are apparently just doing it as a gesture of defiance.

I completely disagree with you that this is pathetic and destructive. It’s a way of beginning the process in people’s minds of partitioning America.

Buck writes:

By “state filing” I meant the people in those states. The only serious state secession attempt was defeated by the War Between the States.

What I think is pathetic and destructive is the obtuse reasons for these movements. They have little to do with the full range of issues that have destroyed America. They are purely economic. My point is that America was not simply and totally an economic system. Liberty means more than what the narrow and original spirit of our nascent neo-Tea Party stood for, but failed to sustain or succeed at.

I’m not against them, but it would be helpful if they made more sense.

Laura writes:

Yes, but these are just emotional acts at this point. How can something emerge that makes sense unless enough people feel this emotional impetus first?

Buck writes:

For the sake of increased precision; America is already dead. A less strident position could be that something of America still survives in what was long ago de facto partitioned; the rural red from the urban blue. But, that is very loose construction. What needs to happen, assuming that that is the case, is that the red formally secede from the blue. That has been discussed many times and would require sovereignty and treaties. Again, these are issues of commerce and contracts. Granted, many social and cultural issues are most firmly embedded in the blue and would certainly remain there and would probably migrate out of the red. But, that’s a radical over simplification of our situation. My street is red and blue. Will some have to move, be forced to move? Or forced to formally submit? Or is it all voluntary? Where will the legal and illegal immigrants collect? Will the red areas return to agrarian societies? The emotional impetus behind these kinds of ideas and schemes are overwhelmed by the complexities that confront them. We have come too far down the wrong road. There are too few of us and too many of them. The popular vote, though only a few points apart, does not, as we often discuss, accurately represent the number of traditionalist conservatives, who number much less. There will never be any thing remotely like an agreement between us and them, or between us and the range of “conservatives” who share the red. The power and authority of government resides in the blue. There is no way that a civil revolution will occur while modern liberals hold the throne and install the Commander-in-Chief.

Laura writes:

You are putting the cart before the horse. Someone in a burning forest who stops and says, “We should not seek an exit from this forest until we know the best path for sure,” will probably never get out. Plans do not begin fully-formed. They begin with intentions and the will to execute general ideas. Also, society is never led by the mass of people. It is led by a relative few.

In keeping with the idea of secession, I recommend Jeffersonian’s proposal at VFR for dividing the country in two, which I offer as food for thought, not a fully-formed or realizable plan at this point. He addresses many of your concerns.

First, change comes on the internal level. Then it occurs externally.

Jane R. writes:

I am a huge supporter of States’ Rights. Very interesting stuff but this secession movement seems to me to be a false front. I’m sure that the many that signed on are sincere. Someone on your blog mentioned the economy as an obtuse reason to succeed. Not true. The economy, or more exactly, the monetary policy is what enables the liberal agenda to grow.

I think this movement has been generated by agents provocateur. Get the people fighting amongst themselves. We have had so many over-blown polarizing issues lately: black/white, 1%/99%, the have/the have not, men/women, right/left, blue/red, gay/straight, union/non-union. Not too long ago I watched an interview and the subject of civil war was brought up. The interviewer asked, “who would it be between” and the response was, “the young against the old”. I don’t think that will be the case but the thought of it made me go cold for a second.

Laura writes:

I have every reason to believe this is a genuine outpouring of defiance.

Paul writes:

Secession seems defeatist and dangerous. The danger is the complete unknown consequences of such an effort. The defeatism therefore seems to be the most pressing problem. (I dislike the modern abstract euphemism, issue.) The South gave up trying to fight the North peacefully and began violent warring; we all know about that horror. This makes me suspicious of any attempt at secession.

The South decided against an internal change because it thought it could not change. The Southern aristocrats did not want to change from stupid slavery, a system where many (most?) whites were as poor as slaves, to sharecropping. Heck the former slave owners could have mercilessly “taxed” the sharecroppers as long as the sharecroppers had basic property rights. The Supreme Court might have been as compliant as the current aristocratic Court under Justice Roberts is with Obamacare.

Just this small change would have avoided war. The Northerners did not want the South to treat black people as equals; after all, the Northerners did not think of them as equals.

The aristocrats ruled against change as they rule conservatism today. Carl Rove and Mitt Romney are modern aristocrats who do not want to change the status quo. They want to keep making plenty of money as do so many of the televangelists. They are blinded by money. And very possibly most conservatives (quasi-aristocrats) have become similarly blinded. They are not bad people; they are blinded.

Conservatives need to change. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (to some degree this includes money) are not givens as conservatives seem to think. These are extremely hard things to attain as Solzhenitsyn and Valley Forge have pointed out. Yet conservatives spend far too much money and time on luxuries and little time on religion. If they directed that excess money and time to change and started acting religious, they might have a chance at winning the entire country back. Only 30% of Catholics regularly attend Mass; I see that as a recipe for disaster, with secessionism being something that only a devoted people could attain.

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