Like many of you I am getting a real kick out of reading the secession petitions that are currently flooding the White Houses’s “We the People” website. In fact, it’s actually downright cute. Think about it. Americans from every region of the country requesting that the federal government allow their state to secede. The fire-eaters from the Deep South are rolling in their graves.
It does give you a sense of how disconnected our understanding of secession has become from the events that took place in the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s election in November 1860. As a historical concept rooted in the Civil War era it is almost meaningless. My favorite petition is from the good folks of the state of Washington, who decided to quote the preamble of the Declaration of Independence as justification. You just can’t beat quoting a document rooted in revolution (as opposed to secession) that specifically points out that, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” What exactly happened last week?
Ultimately, the image of thousands of Americans logging onto the official website of their government and requesting the right to secede is a sign of this nation’s strength. I say, sign away. In fact, I may spend some time this morning signing a few of my favorites. I may start one for Massachusetts. Why should we miss out on all the fun.
Finally, a little advice for the most committed secessionists out there. I seem to remember a reference made by that Republic candidate for president. What was it?… ah yes, it was a reference to self-deportation. In other words, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.