According to the New York Daily News, the government-initiated website “We The People” has been bombarded by petitions since the election.
More than 100,000 disgruntled citizens (representing more than 20 states) have petitioned President Obama to grant their states permission to secede from the Union.
The petitioners are trying to cast themselves in the mold of the Founding Fathers, but rebellion should be built of sterner stuff. Where the original patriots pledged “our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor,” our contemporary rebels are pledging “the 30 seconds I have to take away from Angry Birds to write this petition and impress that hot Tea Party chick.”
Some petitioners embrace imagery of the Civil War, while others try to distance themselves — which is hard, when someone is doubtless slaving away on the novel “50 Shades of Blue and Gray” and there’s a mint julep tanker sitting in the harbor.
The petitioners should be proud of their fiercely independent streak, but they should avoid becoming cocky. I can just see the petitioners high-fiving themselves after venting their spleens on President Obama. (“I guess we told him! C’mon ,.. let’s go command the tide not to come in.”)
Believe me, I understand the frustration with centralized red tape and values pushing from Washington, D.C. I admire the state leader who commented, “We’ll be better off if we only have to answer to Governor What’s-His-Name, and that state legislator who always gives the good barbecue dinners. Smaller units of government are more efficient and responsive, and we’ll live in peace…unless those pesky towns and counties start getting uppity…”
If states are really given permission to secede, I fear that some of them will try to re-brand themselves on the dating scene. I could just imagine a state hitting the singles bars. (“What? No, you didn’t see me with Wisconsin. Must’ve been somebody else. I’m a former Soviet republic.”)
I cringe at the thought of a dissolved Union messing with America’s songs. Are you ready for “This land is your land, this land is my land…but check your passport just in case” or “Oh, beautiful for spacious skies – but violate South Carolina’s airspace and get a Stinger missile on your tail”?
Honestly, I don’t think taking your ball and going home is the answer. The sum is greater than the whole of its parts; citizens/states should hang in there and redouble their efforts to fine-tune the greatest nation on earth.
As it is, the whole shortsighted situation reminds me of nothing so much as the protestations of newly homeless Navin R. Johnson in Steve Martin’s 1979 movie “The Jerk.” (“And that’s the only thing I need is this – my freedom and my World’s Largest Ball of Dental Floss tourist site. I don’t need this or this. Just my interstate highway… and information from the National Weather Service. The highway and the Weather Service and that’s all I need. And some currency. The highway, the Weather Service and the currency and that’s all I need. And my national park. The highway, the Weather Service, the currency and the national park and that’s all I need. I don’t need one other thing, not one. Hey, is that an invading army….????”)
To paraphrase poet Emily Dickinson, “Secession is counted sweetest, by those who ne’er secede.”
Danny Tyree welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”