Brooks Cain is a senior from Norman, Oklahoma double majoring in Economics and Human and Organizational Development (with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness). He is a part of Vandy Fanatics on campus, where he can put his Vanderbilt fandom to work for the student body. In the future, he hopes to dedicate his life to finding innovative solutions for problems on a national and global scale. When not following politics, you can usually find Brooks at the nearest golf course.
As a 10 year-old, optimistic, starry-eyed Oklahoma fan, I attended the LSU-Oklahoma BCS Championship in New Orleans on my birthday. After being spit on by opposing fans, I quickly learned that sports could bring out the worst in people. Sadly, this recent election has also brought out the worst in people. Obama’s critics are spitting on our current leaders by advocating secession. If you think I just used strong rhetoric, just read what Peter Morrison, the treasurer of the Hardin County (Texas) Republican Party, wrote in his post-election address to supporters , “We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity… Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace…”
Mr. Morrison is not alone. At press time, 907,236 Americans in all 50 states have signed petitions on Wethepeople.com to demand that President Obama let their state secede from the United States of America . Nearly 2 percent of North Dakota residents have signed that state’s petition to secede . That may not strike readers as a large number, but imagine a sovereign North Dakota with its own economy, military, and healthcare and border checkpoints on every highway entering the Peace Garden State. 12,000 North Dakotans think that is a better way to govern themselves. Now doesn’t that number seem shocking?
Secession movements have even received support from elected representatives. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) claimed secession was a “deeply American principle” and that, “There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents .” While Representative Paul makes some interesting and rational points about the rights of secession inherent in our government, he seems to think the threat of secession is a tool that should be utilized more often. This is where he is wrong.
Our political climate has fostered the feelings of partisanship for generations. However, our current political climate creates antagonism and obstructionism between the two parties. The poor example of cooperation set by our elected leaders does not breed a united populace. A difference in opinion has always existed between the people in different parties, but secession has not been seen as an answer since the Civil War. The difference in opinion has grown into a division, and people who see that division want to be literally divided from the “baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists .”
Competition is healthy…until it’s not. Just like the opposing fans spit on me as a ten year old, opposing factions in our government will spit on each other. As calls for secession inch closer to the political mainstream, the hopes for bipartisanship move further away. Even though no state will actually secede, the push for secession is frightening. Although Ron Paul correctly points out that the philosophy of secession is what created this country , the philosophy of secession has the potential to tear this country apart. Secession will not solve anybody’s problems. The division caused by these petitions only has the potential to harm our United States of America.
Image Credit: [http://faculty.isi.org/catalog/resource/view/id/1025]