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Americans petition to secede from the USA. What?
20 November 2012, 8:13 AM | Source: Matt Hall, SBS
Because after your guy loses what else can you do, right?
The White House has only itself to blame for this, although conspiracy theorists might not like the reason why – open government. “We The People” is a White House-hosted website that encourages the citizenry to engage in government and asks the public to create petitions on what they consider important issues.
It is, apparently, “Giving all Americans a way to engage their government on the issues that matter to them”. In reality, this means that if petitions posted on the White House website collect more than 25,000 signatures within 30 days then the government will respond. Whatever that means.
Cue the secessionists.
It’s great reading.
Among other petitions that call to “Shut down the White House petitions, since they never get a sincere response, few read them, & they are ultimately worthless” (362 signatures at the time of this writing) and “Stop the War on Gaza” (584 signatures), there is “Grant peaceful secession to the State of California in order to form a new and independent sovereign state” (2,133 signatures) and “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”
This Texas petition, claiming that "The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending” (breathe out) had over 115, 000 signatures last time I checked.
It’s democracy in action – even if it is futile. There are multiple hurdles for secessionists. While 25,000 signatures on a petition may compel the White House to form some sort of response that doesn’t make the request legal. The last time something like this was put into action rather than words was in 1861. That was called the Civil Warand didn’t work out too well at the time for the secessionists (although, contrary to the 2012 sentiment, it turned out OK in the end).
While it may seem that the US is politically polarised, it’s highly unlikely those in the South, or even Texas, are going to take up arms to quit being part of America. The Federal government would simply crush it. Oh. Wait. Federal intervention is exactly what a lot of the modern day secessionists are complaining about.
These days, thanks again to the White House and its petition website, we can solve the problem without taking up arms. Want to keep the Union strong? Sign the petition that reads “Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America.”
Be careful what you wish for. It can work both ways.