Timberlake: Will the United States divide by secession?

Ian Timberlake

As some of you may have heard, citizens from 11 of the United States have presented enough signatures to the White House for the president to make an official declaration on the petition for secession. The White House allows anyone to submit a petition, but will only make an official response if the petition accrues greater than 25,000 signees. So far, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas have crossed the given petition threshold. More are nearing it.

Is it not obvious that with the exception of Ohio and Florida (barely), these are all red states, the color of the nonwinner in the presidential election? After every presidential election there is always a backlash of resentment where secession petitions begin to appear — but this is the first time it has happened with such great magnitude as to require the White House to make an official statement on the matter.

As of Nov. 26, over 918,000 total signatures have been included from all 50 states. Realistically, this isn’t a lot when you compare it to the 300 million population, though, it is still more citizens than the residence of six individual states.

To be honest I find the signees of these petitions to be both lazy and, quite frankly, unappreciative. We live in a nation that has arguably the most beautifully written constitution and Bill of Rights — a near work of art. If secessionists want to leave so bad, they have every right to move away, although, they already know this is a bad idea.

Why? Because they already know there isn’t another nation in the world that would both fit their needs as (in this case) a conservative and simultaneously give them opportunity to voice their secession opinion in a nonincriminating manner.

Firstly, no where in the Constitution does it allow for a state to secede if they so choose. A new amendment would have to be made for a peaceful secession to take place. This requires a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate, followed by 38 of 50 states’ vote of approval.

Unlikely, I know.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia even wrote, “If there was any Constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.” We’re technically a union, not a confederacy.

However, I still believe the right should be granted to a state. If this amendment existed, I would think at least a three-quarter state vote for secession would be adequate in determining state decision.

No state has come remotely close to even a one in ten margin. Texas has the greatest signee turnout and still only accounts for 0.45 percent of its population. Alaska hasn’t reached the 25,000 vote mark but sustains the highest percentage of signees at 1.7 percent. This is hardly a majority, let alone three-quarter.

If I were to continue down this long road of unlikelihood and entertain the thought of a state leaving the Union, there would be an unbelievable number of obstacles to overcome in order to become an officially separate, yet functional nation.

Any federal jurisdiction, including military, would have to be absolved and/or relocated. A new constitution must be written (provided multiple states join). Police, fire, military, utilities, currency, tariffs and tax collectors, road crews, and legislatures would have to be created and conformed to the new law of the land. To put it loosely, it would be chaos.

Still, if the citizens of a state understand this and wish to secede, more power to them, I guess. If our nation went as far as to amend the Constitution to allow for secession, and a state (or states) acted upon that right, it might actually be mutually beneficial. They would be happy in getting what they wanted, and I would be happy to have let go a state that doesn’t wish to be a part of the United States. Trade will probably continue with the exception of added tariffs.

This is of course if the citizens within the state don’t go into civil war over the vote for secession.

Every four years when a new president is elected we see a turnout of secession petitions. By in large I find this petition to be an accurate representation to the number of uninformed sore losers that exist within our country. Even though it is nonsensical and would require a massive amount of legislation, I still believe states should be given the right to secede, given overwhelming majority vote.