The first petition seeking to secede because of the 2012 election has reached the White House from Texas. Similar efforts from as many as 21 other states may follow but for now it is safe to say that the Texas petition is one too many.
Obviously it’s not representative of anything beyond frustration. The rules (yes, unsurprisingly there are rules, Americans being a rambunctious but lawful people) say that for an online petition to get an official response it must garner 25,000 signatures within 30 days and the Texas effort got 34,000 in a week. Which of course does not mean “Texas” wants to secede; the state has over 25 million people, nearly 8 million of whom voted last week including nearly 3.3 million who voted for Barack Obama and may therefore safely be assumed not to be seeking to depart the Union because he won. (Moreover Texas’ Republican governor, Rick Perry, has already dismissed the petition and the idea behind it.)
What it does mean is that some people lack self-discipline. Imagine what conservatives would be saying if Romney had won and some band of bitter diehard liberals were conjuring up secession petitions. “Sore loser” would probably be the kindest comment anyone could muster. And rightly.
Sure, some people are upset by the election result. Including me. And yes, some people consider that the trend of modern U.S. politics jeopardizes America’s tradition of limited government. Including me. It is unthinkable that any previous president, no matter how radical his foes considered him, would submit to Congress a bill requiring Americans to buy something, or that any previous Congress would pass it, or that either would survive the next election politically if they did.
Guess what? That it happened anyway means somebody didn’t make their case to the American people very well and it wasn’t the guy who won. Going around snarling feebly about taking your state and going straight home will not enhance your appeal to the voters you didn’t convince last time.
Grow up, people. And start organizing to defend liberty under law not to vent your spleen childishly online in ways that hurt your cause.