Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Damn Yankees

So you're angry about the election and say you want to secede?  Let's talk about it first.

There has been a wave of petitions to the White House seeking to allow states to secede from the Union following the reelection of President Obama.

States from which citizens have filed secession petitions include:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming - that's 36 states.

And while these are fringe ideas, from fringe people (the Alabama one was created by the owner of a topless car wash, who is a Ron Paul supporter), which have already been disowned by prominent conservatives who have flirted with the notion of secession in the past, I feel like it's a topic worthy of exploration.

A Reminder of What Happens When States Secede.

1. We Answered This Question.  States cannot secede from the Union.  Next?

2. Have You Thought This Through?  Do you know what you're getting into?  Of the states that have petitioned (or really some minuscule amount of people from the state) for secession, many of them are "takers" in our country's tax and spending system.

Then there are little issues like:

  • water rights, 
  • military bases and installations, 
  • border patrolling, 
  • electrical generation, 
  • science and technology, 
  • health care systems, 
  • licensing of all kinds, 
  • mail, 
  • currency, 
  • customs and immigration, 
  • treaties,
  • trade policies,
  • government contracting,
  • regulation, 
  • courts,
  • laws,
  • federally-subsidized schools and school loans, 
  • roads, 
  • railroads, 
  • airports, 
  • etc.  

I've already done one post devoted entirely to the many good things our government does.  But it bears repeating: there are SO MANY ways you benefit, daily, from the federal government.  Yes, even you, Texas.

Are you ready for the massive tax hikes it would take to take on all of these burdens... alone?

3. What Are You Really Complaining About?  President Obama is one of our most moderate presidents - as if one can be "most moderate" - but if one could, President Obama would be what that looks like.  "Oh no," you say?  "How could he be moderate when he's a communist socialist?"  A) Go look up communism and socialism.  B) Check out this study.  Don't understand it?  Check out this explication.

Most Moderate President.  Since World War II.  More moderate than Ike.  So what exactly ARE you complaining about?

4. Quit It.  You are being stupid, ungrateful, and short-sighted - and you are pissing your fellow Americans off.  You like petitions?  Well one that calls for people who signed petitions to secede to be deported is gaining some steam.  We live in a representative democracy.  Sometimes you lose.  Consider yourself lucky that you live in a free country where you can spout off ignorant ideas without secret police coming to your door.

America is the best country on Earth.  Those of us who are privileged to be Americans should be grateful to the people who fought and died to make it so.

U-S-A.  U-S-A.  Love it or leave it.  Good luck becoming Canadian. My guess is my friends in Canada have better taste than that.


  1. Well, tell us how you really feel!

    Yesterday I got into a debate about secession, but the focus was less on whether it was a good idea and more about whether states should have the right to secede. The argument was basically that the original 13 colonies seceded, and not allowing states to secede should they want to is a violation of democracy and freedom.

    (For the record, my opinion was that secession was a really big deal for the reasons you list, and should only be done for extremely important reasons and as a last resort.)

  2. I do get riled up on this stuff. I mean, the original reason was because we had no representation. That's clearly NOT the case here. If the standard is lack of representation, the people of DC and PR have a better case than Republicans/conservatives. It's a history thing: I take this stuff seriously. I think everybody should vote, I think we ought to formally declare war if we're going into a war, I think secession isn't a term to be thrown around lightly. More Americans died in that war than any other, and it was over slavery - which is a big deal. I hate when people make a big, political deal of things that are not out of the ordinary - like losing an election by the popular vote. When W won I was upset. I was more upset about the electoral college than the rest of it. But I didn't go around saying we should secede, you know?

  3. Oh, I agree. The bloggers I were interacting with were of the opinion that the reason to secede was abortion, and while I agree that's a really big deal and comparable to slavery in some ways, it is also very different from slavery in other ways and would not be a good reason to secede. Plus our current methods of warfare make me fear a civil war. But really, I also think (but did not say, people were mad enough at me) that the real underlying cause of this secession talk is not abortion (because no one mentioned seceding before the election) but sour grapes for having lost. Kind of like all the liberals and democrats threatening to move to France or Canada in 2000 and 2004.

    Thought exercise: in our secession talks, I mentioned the notion that whether secession works depends on the geographical location of the states/entities involved. If our slave states had been located in South America, say, do you think they might have had more success seceding? Would it have been a good idea to let them secede, to save the bloodshed of the Civil War?

    Did I ever tell you about the comment I read a long time ago, where this guy said that if Bush moved one step closer to establishing a state religion, he was moving to England? That still has me laughing at the guy all these years later.

  4. That's awesome. Way to know your options, dude.

    I do think the geography matters - look at us with England. At some point it's really expensive. Then people stop wanting to fight. But conversely, I don't see our civil war ending until somebody pretty definitively lost for the same reasons - the south is just right there.