Is secession bid more than a cry of rage? – CNN.com

We see similar trends in Europe, but what do we make of calls in the U.S. to secede?

The domestic program of the Scottish nationalist movement is broadly liberal; it will seek to join the European Union and its leaders often insist that the Scottish people will remain culturally British.

In Europe’s case, the motor for secession is ethnicity. In America, however, it’s a politics turned toxic. The 2012 election encouraged the idea that the U.S. is split into two camps that are politically and culturally alien and with opposing economic needs. Mitt Romney’s infamous formula of the 47% (reiterated in his equally ugly post-election remarks about “gifts”) played upon an old idea that one half of the country feeds off the taxes paid by the other half.

Secessionists are likely to be those who see themselves as disadvantaged by the redistributive federal state: as taxpayers bled dry by freeloaders, and businesspeople penalized by liberal regulation. WKRG-TV found an eccentric example of that when it interviewed the founder of the Alabama petition and discovered that he was furious at the government for shutting down his topless car wash: “He said he was arrested and charged with obscenity by city officials in 2001. ‘The government ripped my business away, and now they’re choking America to death with rules and regulations,’ he said.”

via Is secession bid more than a cry of rage? – CNN.com.

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8 thoughts on “Is secession bid more than a cry of rage? – CNN.com

  1. michaelseancovey says:

    I would never support secession because I believe that our country, as one united whole, has a unique mission to fulfill in the world, and that a movement of secession would completely undermine it. We’re meant to stick together, all 50 states, whether we’re red or blue, conservative or liberal. However, although the majority of Americans are still moderate or center-right, I do believe that these new calls for secession show a growing and potentially problematic disparity in our country, between our two major parties (http://www.gallup.com/poll/152021/conservatives-remain-largest-ideological-group.aspx). Instead of healthy compromise and collaboration, we’re seeing more gridlock and bitterness, which hurts us all. If Republicans and Dems don’t work together the next few months we’re all going to fall off the fiscal cliff in 2013. Both sides will have to give a little.

    Now, although I’m not particularly fond of the way in which Romney talked about the 47%, I think he was on to something. I do think it’s a big problem that more and more Americans are not paying taxes, and that more and more people are on welfare and food stamps. Of course, not all of the non-tax-paying 47% are “irresponsible moochers and takers.” There are the elderly, military personnel, and sincere people trying to escape poverty. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/09/18/who-doesnt-pay-taxes-in-charts/ . However, I think that as a country we are increasingly becoming more of a “dependency” state, and that this trend will hurt us in the long run if we don’t do something about it. That is what I think Romney meant. The media has just made it sound worse.

    Yes, I think our country is headed in the wrong direction, but duh, secession is not the answer. Secession is just giving up. We need to keep trying. Democrats and Republicans can come together, find common ground, compromise, let go of partisanship, and pass real solutions. I hope Obama can help lead this.

  2. These calls for secession may not have anywhere near the clout they would need to really raise the threat of actual division. But I think it’s a mistake to laugh them off. These petitions are another evidence of deeply divided national politics. And while we might label secession as illegal and treasonous, others argue that it is a fundamental principle of democratic government (http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2012/11/20/ron-paul-is-wrong-secession-is-not-a-deeply-american-principle). Secession–at least in present circumstances–is a terrible idea. But the idea itself is not a “bad” thing. It’s true that a democratic government relies on people voluntarily entering into a social contract. Once that contract stops being voluntary, there is no longer democracy. Secession isn’t the threat we should be worrying about, though. We ought to be more concerned by the partisan divisions that cripple Congress and give us tunnel vision. More and more often, we are interpreting all ideas and policies through the lens of our parties. I would argue that party loyalty is beginning to rival national loyalty, even if only in subtle ways. The GOP loathes Gov. Christie for shaking hands with and offering mild praise of the president. Christie was the latest “traitor” to be vilified by the ultra-conservative Drudge Report (with the headline, “Christie clowns on SNL as residents suffer”). This was the guy who gave the keynote address at the Republican convention. If only the threats of partisan politics got as much attention as these dead-end petitions…

  3. svanmaanen says:

    I agree that the calls for secession are another sign of deeply divided national politics, but I’m not very inclined to take them seriously. As mentioned in this article, many of the red states that are threatening to secede receive more from the federal government than they pay in taxes. My home state of South Carolina for instance receives $1.35 in federal government benefits for every dollar it pays in taxes. This article discuss this discrepancy in South Carolina– http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/14/nation/la-na-south-carolina-federal-spending-20120114 . I remember people calling for secession in 2008. Nothing came of it then, and I’m doubtful it will be different this time.

  4. This was an interesting article that provided thoughtful analysis of the post-election secession movement. When I initially heard about a series of petitions circulated within the United States that would request secession from the United States, I dismissed it out of hand and considered those that circulated and supported these petitions as being a little bit crazy. However, the author of the article makes an interesting point by comparing any possible state secession (which he says is impossible) to Independence movements in Scotland, Belgium and Spain, movements that have reasonably large polar support and legitimacy.

    Perhaps the most acute observation made in the above article is that conservatives, seeing the Democrats win in all growing demographics (Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks), have concluded that the only hope for the Republican Party is to create their own country. Unfortunately for conservatives, there is not possibility of this happening. May I suggest a more realistic alternative? Maybe if the Republican Party were to adopt or soften their positions in a manner to attract support from the women, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics that they didn’t win in the last election they might stand a chance in future elections.

    Here is a bit about Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Governor that has advocated for a bigger tent Republican Party:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83892.html

  5. joshuacordon says:

    In the article the author calls Romney’s comments regarding the 47% ugly. Though it may be politically ugly it is no doubt an accurate number. It is actually a statistic from the IRS. I have always been a staunch supporter of the idea that if you don’t pay taxes or if you receive welfare than you should sacrifice you ability to vote. I would not be surprised to find that the supporters of succession feel the same way. The vast majority of them live in states where they are surrounded by people living on welfare. Their view of the election is probably of one where 47% of the votes were bought. Which is actually a legitimate claim. I feel that rather than dismiss the successionist like they did the occupy movement they should really hear what they have to say.
    http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/national/secession-raises-some-sticky-questions-wcpo

  6. SS Mughal says:

    I feel like the calls for secession are just the result of frustration over the outcome of the election. It seems to just be an extreme reaction to fears over the future. As far as how feasible it would be for a state to secede, I’d say it’s pretty unlikely. States are so intertwined: economically, culturally, socially, and geographically. The federal government also oversees so many programs that are implemented by states, which makes the prospect of secession even less likely. The ironic part about this whole issue is that states are taking petitions to secede to the federal government. This alone implies that states are still deferring to the national government. If a state truly wanted to secede, they probably wouldn’t acknowledge the federal government as having any binding power over them at all.

    Here’s an interesting opinion article about seceding from the US: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/cost-of-seceding-from-united-states_n_2165696.html

  7. ludimilasdp says:

    With the second strongest economy in the US and the tenth largest oil producing nation on the planet it wouldn’t be a good thing for the United States if Texas left. Taking into account gdp per capita along with cost of living, Texas is the most successful state in the nation with a 1.6 point lower unemployment rate than the national average and a rapidly growing population. Texas would do very well as a territory itself, and the US would definitely be hurt if this came to happen.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/texas-secession

  8. Jordan White says:

    What sort of example is secession? Don’t get your way you can throw a fit? I understand many feel that their voice isn’t being heard, but if they voted then their voice was heard. It is just their voices were not enough. So, they do this secession bid to gain attention. To me, this is ridicules. Let me point out it is not just conservatives that have done this, some liberals have tried this in 2004. It just seems really childish. Also, how is 25,000 votes enough to hear a verdict from the President? 25,000 is an extremely small number. Also, it is interesting to see Texas on list; do they think their state would agree to secession? The President received a large portion of the vote in Texas, which is a state on its way to becoming a swing state. If any of these states were able to proceed, you could be sure that many people would petition for secession from those states.

    http://www.elpasoinc.com/news/border_business/article_74f65a74-372d-11e2-ba06-001a4bcf6878.html

    About the political mood in Texas changing
    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/e-day/#Beeson

    Also, in response to joshuacordon, the 47% is more complicated than your post made it out to be. I have to ask if you make over 20,000 a year? I don’t, hence all my income tax comes back to me, and unless you make over $20,000 a year you also would be a part of the 47%. I feel the idea that I shouldn’t have a right to vote unless I make so much money is a little extreme. I hope for some clarification since most of the people in Romney’s 47% comment contribute to society or in the case of the elderly, have contributed a lot to society. Here is a breakdown of the people in the 47%
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/09/18/161337343/the-47-percent-in-one-graphic

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