Secession talk as un-American today as it was back in 1861
Steven KurlanderThe presidential election is over, and the bellyaching has begun. Most expected a tight race, but it wasn't that close. Some say it was a monumental defeat for the GOP. Now, a few of those who voted for Gov. Mitt Romney have become enchanted with the ludicrous idea of having their respective states secede from the U.S.
Published: November 22, 2012
Published: November 22, 2012
Did anyone think the losers would just go away quietly? That doesn't happen in presidential politics. True blue Democrats still grouse about the 2000 election, "hanging chads" and how the U.S. Supreme Court stole Florida for George W. Bush.
Likewise, the Republicans' post-election nay-saying, which started on election night (with GOP strategist Karl Rove's refusal to permit Fox News to call the contest for President Barack Obama) and could continue for a long time.
So maybe there's no surprise that while Romney blames his loss on the "gifts" and "promises" of benefits the president bestowed on his core supporters, including minority voters, women and the poor, a new grass-roots movement takes bitterness to a whole new level. They want their states to abandon the U.S.A.
They are organizing to sign various "secession" petitions being posted to the White House's "We the People" Web site, which the Obama Administration established to improve the president's outreach. More than 65 petitions with more than 700,000 signatures have materialized. Whenever one of them attracts 25,000 signatures, then under the precepts of the Web page, the White House must respond to it.
Remember when Texas Gov. Rick Perry, frustrated with what he called Federal overreach in 2009, said he was sympathetic to the idea of the state's secession? He was half kidding at the time, but this new secession movement (which Perry has disavowed) seems more than just another right-wing gimmick stirring disaffected Americans' passions.
In my book, to call for "secession" is fighting words, a relic of the Deep South's somewhat vicious penchant to disregard Federalism in the name of state's rights. To preach secession is to glorify a way of life that was the antithesis of human rights and dignity.
Realistically, most Americans are probably signing secession petitions just to protest Obama's policies and dissatisfaction with both the election results and the idea that an alleged "liberal" will occupy the Oval Office for four more years.
But the acrimony that marks our country's politics is serious enough to allow right-wing opportunists, even traitors, to move toward a true secession movement in some states. It's like how the Quebec secession movement threatened Canada's unity during the late 20th century. And that's no joke.
The name of our country says it all: We are the United States, and favoring secession from this union is nothing less than treason, as it was in 1861.
So before those on the right who consider themselves patriots sign any of these petitions, they should think more about what they are signing.
I call it just plain anti-American.
Steven Kurlander is an attorney and communications strategist and writer and columnist for Florida Voices, the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida and the Huffington Post.