TELL US: Secession Movements: Serious Issue or Just Plain Silly?

Texas is only one of the states with thousands of signatures on petitions to pull out of this United States. How should the rest of us respond?


A month after Obama's re-election, 150 years after the bloody American Civil War, the White House has been deluged with petitions for states to withdraw from the union.

Most of the petitions and signatures come from the same states which actually seceded in the 1800s and became the Confederacy. But there are would-be secessionists and their petitions from nearly all the states — even Massachusetts.

Texas is where the secession movement has gained most traction.

Even the secession opposition has a petition: to kick out secession-seekers. And the Texas state capital, Austin, has started a petition to secede from Texas if the state breaks away from the USA.

While this can all seem, well, nothing short of silly, the rest of the world is still in the midst of a flurry of separating: the Czech Republic from Slovakia, Russia from several of its former republics, and possibly even — depending on a forthcoming referendum — Scotland  from the UK are only a few examples

The whole question of self-determination is a tricky one.

If a state wants to leave the USA, what is your response — do you say there was a reason we fought the Civil War? That the secessionists are only sore losers and they'll get over it? Or do you say, good riddance — don't let the door hit you on the way out? Let us know in the comments section below.

against the grain December 07, 2012 at 09:33 PM
There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't reduce the federal government's authority. I recently read an article that compared different states seriously contending recession and it showed those states federal government intake being more as opposed to what they pay to the federal government per dollar. Basically they want us to believe that we are a majority of moochers and that if we wanted to secede to go ahead . Because they want us to think that what would be left would be a democratic union with profittable income versus spending. So clearly democrats think that they've got it figured out. But what they didn't consider, for my "commonwealth" of Va. that the federal government has declared war on one of our biggest industries which is coal which in turn affected another one of our leading moneymakers, the railroad. Naturally our unemployment is up and we are creating less revenue. So if Federal government would stay out of our affairs in the first place then we wouldn't be considered moochers. Which incidently I am blessed to be apart of the working class but I find that our commonwealth being considered to be made up entirely of moochers , its an ignorant suggestion and it misrepresents the idea that we can govern ourselves. Another thing to consider is when, not if, but when the dollar collapses, what then?
Michael Fleming December 07, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Sonny- OK....now THAT was funny....
Aron Levy December 07, 2012 at 10:03 PM
He wants to fix the economy, obviously. Just WHAT were you trying to prove with that obtuse question?
Aron Levy December 07, 2012 at 10:04 PM
That wasn't secession, my friend. That was open rebellion. Those are two VERY DIFFERENT approaches. Are you prepared to revolt against the federal government? A dozen doughnuts says you are not.
Aron Levy December 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM
The Congo Free State! They want free market capitalism, let 'em have it!
Aron Levy December 07, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Wait, so he's a socialist AND a fascist? Somebody has their political ideologies mixed up...
Aron Levy December 07, 2012 at 10:09 PM
The dollar isn't going to collapse. Your demi-god Ron Paul predicted roughly fifty economic disasters. He was right ONCE. Great record there. And for someone who hates government so much, I find it amazing that you live in Lexington. Did you or your children attend public school? If so, you're a moocher. Do you get a mortgage tax deduction? You're a moocher. Do you use public roads? Use Cary Library? Call the police or fire department? You're a moocher. I swear, you Rongoloids just get easier and easier to rhetorically demolish. (Not that you would ever admit your fallibility.)
andreabeth7 December 07, 2012 at 10:33 PM
The taxpayers of the US will suffer financial ruin even without hyperinflation. With this election, I believe we have passed the tipping point, i.e. there are more 'takers' than 'makers'. If we have not yet passed the tipping point, we will once the 12 million illegal aliens in the US are granted amnesty. This is a group who are overwhelmingly unskilled and poorly educated with multiple offspring. Citizenship will open up the full buffet of services and benefits to them. If you think our entitlement programs are in bad financial shape now- just wait. The point is that the 'takers' will now be able to vote themselves increased benefits and those who work and contribute will have ever increasing amounts of their wages confiscated to pay for Obama phones and other programs. The point may be reached that one's take home pay is so meager that it is not worth getting out of bed in the morning and going to work. This is a phenomenon that is largely Democrat/liberal created. Therefore, the Democrat/liberals and their constituent groups should be the ones to live in the utopia they have created. I am not interested. Those who wish to peacefully secede and create free societies where work and achievement are celebrated, not punished and we are not forced to live our lives bound by rulings of people with who we share nothing in common.
Aron Levy December 07, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Andreabeth7 I am going to completely ignore the rest of your absurd and conceited screed to simply focus on one thing that I'm REALLY tired of hearing about: there is NO SUCH THING AS OBAMAPHONES. The program was founded a decade ago. UNDER PRESIDENT BUSH. And tax dollars do not pay for it. The most you pay for it is a roughly 92 cent surcharge on your phone bill. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/ Cripes but you conservatives sure are stuck up...
Aron Levy December 07, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Oh, and Andreabeth7, very few people above the age of eighteen actually give Ayn Rand any credence. Objectivism is just so much horse manure.
Anita Roberts December 07, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Isn't there talk of a penny a mile for each mile we drive, whether on Massachusetts roads or otherwise? How does that make us moochers? I'd say more like fools for falling in line like good Massachusetts citizens. I see why those who can take the food stamps, the fuel assistance, the EBT cards, the illegal cable boxes. It merely neutralizes all the inequities and injustices we all face every day!
Anita Roberts December 08, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Does anyone really believe Obama is going to fix the economy? That's quite an optimistic yet maive statement. Look @ our national debt. Doesn't it bother those of you who voted for Obama that your children are not likely to achieve your level of affluence? As for the illegal immigrants, our borders should be closed. I was invited to apply for a job in Laredo, Texas. Definitely NOT!
Anne December 08, 2012 at 12:41 AM
andreabeth7... Right on. Aaron.. Do you honestly think Obama will fix things in the next four years? What have the Republicans blocked? With Obama, it's his way or the highway. Raising taxes and not ending the spending is insane, but like all Democrats you can't see the forest for the trees. Four years from now, you'll be living in a country much like Russia.
Sonny Beaches December 08, 2012 at 12:45 AM
You are two for two BB. Well done!
Aron Levy December 08, 2012 at 12:53 AM
What have the Republicans blocked? Well first there's this (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57517160/senate-gop-blocks-veterans-jobs-bill/). Then there was the Disabled Rights Treaty that the GOP blocked just this week, literally stabbing Bob Dole in the back as he sat in the chambers in his wheelchair. Then there was Mitch McConnell's OWN bill that he ended up filibustering yesterday. Don't forget Senate Minority Leader Yurtle the Turtle's claim that his number one goal was 'to make Barack Obama a one term president.' Or has that conveniently slipped your mind? And yes, I do believe that President Obama can put us on the road to recovery. It will probably take another ten or fifteen years to finally clean up Bush's mess, but I'm sure the president can lay a strong foundation for his successors to build upon. That is unless the GOP feels they need to keep holding the country hostage in order to make the president look bad.
Anita Roberts December 08, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I'm going to wager that Aron is under 30 and smoking some of that medical marijuana that many of us voted for yet no town seems to want in its perimeter.
Aron Levy December 08, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Anita, you're right on half of that. I'm twenty-six, but I don't smoke reefer. I smoke cigars and pipes. But my age is completely irrelevant. I've studied long enough to know what works and what doesn't in the real world. If you feel that your greater age imparts greater wisdom, that's your prerogative. But it also smacks of ageist chauvinism. Do you really want to go there, Anita?
Anita Roberts December 08, 2012 at 02:16 AM
You have the idealism of youth and more than likely grew up in the privileged yet sheltered communities of either Brookline or Newton. I have twelve years on you and I'm sorry, buts your posts tell me that you are young. You say the people have spoken but Obama would not be president were it not for the youth and minority vote. And I don't have a problem with anyone who smokes marijuana, either legally or illegally. It could be decriminalized, legalized and taxed, generating income for the Commonwealth.
Aron Levy December 08, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I agree with you on the marijuana front. But once again, you are wrong on two counts. I grew up in Lexington to a fairly privileged family (a mere technicality, so I will call it a draw), and I am about as cynical as a person can possibly be. But just because I'm a cynic and a realist does not mean I cannot see the world for what it really is. And the GOP is doing terrible things to this country. I long for the days of the Rockefeller Republicans who were actually willing to compromise and see their opponents point of view. Now we have a party that says 'we lost the election because we alienated more than half tend country? Let's move even further right!' They are doubling down on a nineteen when the dealer shows ace. I know the President will likely fail. But considering how much that man has already compromised and caved to Republican demands, I don't think he's the one we should be blaming.
John Wright December 08, 2012 at 04:01 AM
What's the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts? A. Beer nuts are a $1.50 and deer nuts are under a buck.
andreabeth7 December 08, 2012 at 04:18 AM
@ Aron: As far as I am concerned, I should not have to pay $0.92 so this woman can have an Obama phone (her words, not mine). What you fail to realize is that there are some things in life that you cannot put a price tag on. Quality of life, for one. Whatever we have to pay or do, it will be worth it if we can just get away from you...
Aron Levy December 08, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Andreabeth7 you want to get away from me? Odd, I hadn't thought we had ever met. But the door is right over there. Feel free to show yourself out. And Sonny, you're right. I got some really stupid info about NZ. Their economy is pretty ok.
Sonny Beaches December 08, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Rongoloids...great term
Citizen December 09, 2012 at 02:12 AM
If secession is the answer will they build Casinos to support public works and services? I think Republicans were the Carpet Baggers after the Civil War? Every state has a right to file for secession. I wonder what happened in 1832 that drove Lexington to secede and what happened in 1835 to make Lexington come back into the union? It's worth reading. Politics, politics, politics....
David Chase December 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM
@Aron and incompetent AND diabolically clever.
David Chase December 09, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I'm twice Aron's age, and agree with his politics, though perhaps he could be somewhat more polite. You don't win friends by telling people they're stupid. (In my opinion) Obama's biggest problem for me is that he is pursuing policies that are far too conservative, and he is too friendly to the big banks. Our economy is still in the dumps; we need more stimulus, not less. Deficit spending is still okay for the next year or so, until unemployment comes down. Look at what austerity economics is doing in Europe; they've got horrible unemployment, and today I read that England faces the possibility of a triple-dip recession. It would be nice if we had single-payer health insurance like Canada instead of mandatory insurance. Raising taxes on the very rich will not destroy our economy; remember Clinton? And they're not really job-creators; the highest income brackets have accumulated a much larger share of the national wealth in recent decades, and we have not seen anything like corresponding job growth. Long-term, there are things that worry me but neither party seems to be talking much about them. We might run short of critical resources. Increasing automation might make many people unemployable (do we tax the robots to feed the people they displace?) Global warming might be more unpleasant for us than generally predicted.
Mike Hullinger December 09, 2012 at 01:28 PM
In the words of James Madison, “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” Read the rest of Federalist 46 for Madison's expanded comment on the role of state governments when "ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments" occurs because "the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both.”
M C Stringfellow December 09, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Actually, more study is needed. By the time your forty, your entire attitude will have changed and changed again by Sixty. Nothing stays the same. The longer you live, the more you see and question. the more you question, the more you change. It's called life. Which by the way is a preexisting condition as is death.
M C Stringfellow December 09, 2012 at 07:27 PM
What compromises and cave in to demands. We still do not have a Budget, Even his own party vetoed his budget in the senate. The man has no concept of economics. The head of the Treasury didn't even pay his taxes until he was appointed. If that had hot happened, I doubt he would have paid them. And I am suppose to listen to him tell us that the Republicans need to compromise and tax rates need to be increased. Be assured, taxes are going up, but not just for the rich, we will all be affected in one way or another.
Robert Wyckoff February 01, 2013 at 03:29 PM
I'm curious to know more about this Lexington secession in 1832. Was this related to South Carolina's Nullification act or the federal response to it? I haven't been able (so far) to find any reference to it.


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