Within weeks of President Obama’s re-election in November, the White House was deluged with secession petitions, 69 in all, including at least one from every state. Seven states had collected the 25,000 signatures needed to trigger a White House review. Although the petitions were met with scorn, the fact that over 600,000 Americans are ready to leave should have sent a message.
I think, for the good of everyone, that it is time to seriously consider it. The American form of government is one of the most remarkable accomplishments in history. For most of our country’s history, it has worked as intended as our nation has navigated some rough waters and accomplished amazing things.
However, it seems to me that our country had reached a point where we just simply can’t go on in our current form. The tides of change appear to be leading our nation to a definitive tipping point, and it seems to be just a matter of time before our country bears little resemblance to the America I grew up in. So why wait?
There are two main reasons why I feel that it is time for a new American Experiment. First, we can no longer respectfully disagree in this country. We have become a people of absolutes. Now, someone who holds a different viewpoint is a bad person. They shouldn’t be allowed to speak; they are not entitled to the same rights as the rest of us, and in some cases, should die. A simple Google search of American hate speech will turn up all kinds of examples of this on both sides.
Second, our country is already fracturing, and although there are numerous divisions, we seem to be falling on two sides of the main argument. There are those who seek a return to classic American values. They want a vastly smaller government rooted in a strict, traditional interpretation of the Constitution. They are reaching back to the Founders for their inspiration. These people want a small Federal government and are willing to give up some of the perks of big government in exchange for greater personal freedom.
On the other hand, you have those who feel that the Constitution is a living document that needs to be updated or in some cases outright changed. They believe in a large, powerful Federal government whose main role is to provide for and protect its citizens. They are willing to give up some of the traditional American rights in order for the comfort and protection big government can provide.
With our current lack of tolerance for opposing viewpoints and our winner take all attitudes, one side will ultimately win and leave millions stuck in a system they don’t support or believe in. So why not try both and see which one survives and which one dies? It is the ultimate Darwinian experiment.
My proposal is for what amounts to a trial separation. Let the states with the strongest secession parties break free and form a new nation. The seven states that collected the most signatures on the secession petitions were Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. It stands to reason that if they actually broke off, other states would follow suit, certainly Mississippi, possibly Arkansas, South Carolina. They could form a geographically strong nation. Vermont, another state that has a traditionally strong secessionist movement, could form its own nation in the Northeast.
Other states, traditional blue states in the Northeast and Rust Belt, plus the Pacific Coast could remain in the Union. They could then fully embrace the big government model that they seem to crave without the more conservative states holding them back.
Each state is allowed to keep whatever military installations and government infrastructure that already exists there. Military personnel could choose to serve in their current state of residence or return to their home state and serve there. Trade agreements could be struck, companies could freely relocate to the nation of their choice. There would be no need for a war; it would be an amicable break.
Over time, one of three things will happen. If one nation were to thrive while the other languished, then there could be no more clear sign of the proper way to go. If both thrived, then millions of people could freely live in a place where their beliefs were supported and there was little opposition. And if they both failed, then we might finally realize that in order for this American Experiment to really work, we need balance and diversity.
It’s just a dream, but I fear for where our country is heading. I love America and all she is and all she stands for, but I would rather live in an independent Texas than live in an America that has completely lost touch with its roots and its core beliefs.
So what do you say folks? Is it time to throw up the white flag and take a new approach, or do we ride it out and see where the chips fall?