So You Think You Want to Secede, Do You?
Lately the hot topic in the news is that residents from a good majority of our states have now started on-line petitions requesting secession. Specifically these petitioners are asking to “Peacefully grant the State of [state name] to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.” When I first caught wind of this story, I laughed loud and I laughed long. Naturally my first thought was a bunch of far right tea-bag conservatives – and racists – are throwing some pretty big tantrums and being a bunch of poor losers. And most of the people who are signing these petitions probably fall into that category. However, I just read an article posted on CBS News that explains some petitions have a bit of a different angle to this whole secession deal.
UPDATE Wed. November 14, 2012: I do want to add and make clear that there are no state governmental bodies or state officials creating these petitions to secede. Your state governors, senators, mayors, or anyone else involved with an official position that speaks for the state have NOT created these petitions. Anyone may easily go and create a petition.
Many of the petitions invoke the Declaration of Independence’s dramatic assertion that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.”
Now THAT has some substance to it, but unfortunately, those referencing this quote are misinterpreting it. The portion that states, “…the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government” was not intended to mean for a state to leave and start a new government but rather the right to fight for what we believe in, remove the corrupt, and renew our own government. Although, if you do want to leave the US and start your own country and government, just keep reading.
Have any of these people who are signing these petitions and leading the way of this circus ever really thought about what leaving the US government entails? I’m going to keep this short as even the most addle-brained, right-wing, bible-thumping conservative should be able to catch on to this pretty quickly. If you are in a state that secedes, all usage of any entity of the US government stops. Now, that probably sounds exactly like what these people are wanting until they start to realize what all they will lose.
Social Security. You know, all those years we have all paid into SSI? You cannot take it with you to your new-found land. So thank you because you’ve just made SSI a bit more comfortable for those of us who still reside in a US state.
Same goes for Medicaid and Medicare. What’s that? Oh, that’s right, a lot of conservatives want those to go away, too. But many do not. Is anyone in your family, as in your parents, using one and/or the other? Then better start shopping for private insurance, or just give up health care because ObamaCare won’t be going with you either.
Next… government-paid employees. Firemen, police officers, postal workers, just to name a few. They will all be left jobless. Well, technically they’ll still have their jobs – just no US Federal Government to pay them for working their job. You think they’re going to stay around for that? Hell NO! They’re going to stay right where their jobs are. And do not even pretend to think that your newly independent state will pay for all these jobs. Most states are upside-down as it is. They cannot afford to bring on the federal government employees, too. Make these all private-sector jobs? Now, that’s a possibility if you can find a buyer, or couple of buyers, who wants to bring a couple million people on to their payroll.
FEMA. As much as we all complain about FEMA, and they, by far, are not perfect, any seceding state would lose FEMA. For those of you in New Jersey and New York, the worst hit by Sandy, that would all be your mess to clean up. Does your state have that kind of money? No. If they did, they wouldn’t need FEMA.
UPDATE Wed. November 14, 2012: Someone commented that I don’t know the difference between state and federal government and jobs. Actually, yes, I do. And I did double-check each of the jobs I have listed above to make sure there are federal level jobs, and there are. Now, to be fair to this commenter, there are many city and state jobs as well. Police is what most people think of, and they’re right. But, there are federal level police positions as well. Additionally, it is very important to know and understand that states do receive Federal money which is used to pay for these jobs. Each state would lose their federal allowance. I think it’s best, though, to post the federal jobs website. That way, in this pretend-world of seceding, you can see what a state will lose when they leave. Click here to see a list of federal jobs.
Does your state border Canada or Mexico? You’ll have to take care of border patrol, too. But I”m sure your gun-totin’ beer-belly rednecks will do that for nuttin’. Just give them some ammo and case of beer per shift and they’ll take care of those border the redneck way. Actually, you’ll probably have more people trying to get out of your new state-country rather than into it. But hey, you can write your own Constitution. So if you want to make that illegal and punishable, go for it. That may be the only way you’ll keep people around.
Payroll. Ah, yes. The subject of money. Actual monetary bills, you know… currency. US money is US tender. Now, I’m still twisting this concept around in my head trying to figure out what could be used where, by whom, and so on. But even the most simplest of facts, the state that secedes will need to create their own form of money – their own monetary system. Remember Confederate money? Meh, same concept.
Then that path leads into their own economy. You left the Old US, so that means you have to start your own economy. Kinda like a mini-version of Wall Street because the new monetary system will need to have an economy up and running to provide a value to their basic unit, as in a Texas dollar. Or a Georgia dollar. Need to set that exchange rate if you want to do some shopping in the old US, or anywhere for that matter. Until the dollar actually has value, it’s nothing more than funny paper.
Catching on now? So rather than wasting valuable time chasing unicorns and rainbows, put your effort into what is really broken – our congress. The election last week reminded many people – one being me as I really believed that primarily the corrupt would win – at just how powerful the voting system can be. So if congress does not want to play nicely, then we need to kick them out just like we did Akins. And Mourdock. And West. And so on and so on. Next needs to be Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Brewer (well, she’s governor, but still needs to go), and many more.
These petitions are being listed on a White House website called “We the People.” Go check it out. There are some very valid ones like “Make Election Day a Federal Holiday in an effort to increase voter accessibility and promote democratic culture.” (link)
But my favorite ones, which are getting more signatures than the seceding ones, are:
“Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them” (link) and “Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America.” (link)
If this is all the better they can spell, then they’ll never make it out there in the big bad world.