When the White House implemented its “We the People” page on its website to give Americans an easier way to engage the Federal government with grievances and complaints, officials likely didn’t expect the type or the volume of petitions that have been logged in the wake of the re-election of President Barack Obama. Now, tens of thousands of Americans in at least 20 States are petitioning for the right of peaceable secession from the United States.
While the petitioners have been called everything from “a handful of rabble-rousers” to “idealistic dreamers,” many of the petitions state the portion of the Declaration of Independence that lends credence to the idea (Civil War notwithstanding) of peaceable State secession being an option:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
As of the writing of this article, a petition asking the Federal government to “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government” has the most virtual signatures at nearly 21,500. The “We the People” page promises that the appropriate individuals will review and possibly respond to petitions that reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days of the petition’s creation.
The Texas petition laments:
The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s (sic) citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.
States where a citizen had petitioned on the website at the time of this writing include: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Within the bodies of the various petitions, the petitioners cite a number of reasons for wanting to leave the Union. The most popular include domestic spying, the National Defense Authorization Act, Federal fiscal ineptitude, the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, illegal and ongoing unwinnable wars, the Federal militarization of State and local law enforcement, and a general sense of liberty lost at behest of Federal meddling.
While it is uncertain, it remains highly unlikely that any of the aforementioned petitions or those filed on behalf of other States will lead to a Federal willingness to cede power to States. But there are battles on the horizon resulting from last week’s election that will further irritate Federal/State relationships in coming months, when vast swaths of the populace are already clearly tired of Federal meddling in State matters.
The coming implementation of Obamacare, with which many States voted last week not to cooperate, is going to create friction between the already shaky relationship between Federal and State government. And voters in Colorado and Washington who voted to legalize recreational marijuana use are in the Federal government’s sights, as the Department of Justice prepares to use its Federal might to sue the States into complying with Federal prohibition of the drug, regardless of State wishes.
As Americans on both sides of the issues continue to feel more and more that the Federal government does not represent them, the political battle may change from conservatives versus liberals to the citizens of the Nation versus the elitists and corporate special interests in Washington, D.C. This could be a moment in history quite indicative of the beginning of the end for strong American central government.
Petitions for secession now exist in at least 47 States and have as many as 375,000 signatures, according to reports.