One week after the United States re-elected President Barack Obama, thousands of residents from more than a dozen states have petitioned with the White House’s “We the People” program seeking to secede from the Union.
The White House may only have to respond to a petition if it reaches the 25,000 threshold, but it may choose to opt out of providing a response under its own rules, citing “to avoid the appearance of improper influence.”
Despite this, the state of Texas has generated more than 64,000 signatures (at the time of this writing). States such as New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, California, Ohio and others have only garnered between a few hundred and several thousand. Texas is the only state to reach the White House requirement so far.
Citizens from these states have established and signed the petition thus far:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
In total, the petitions have received 339,571 signatures (at the time of this writing).
“The U.S. continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc.,” wrote Mica H., the creator of the petition.
“Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect [its] citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”
In order to sign the petition, users are ordered to register with the White House website with a valid email address and their zip code, but it does not say anything about officials actually verifying their zip codes and/or state residency.
Another petition was submitted calling for the federal government to “strip the citizenship from everyone who signed a petition to secede and exile them.” It has received 907 signatures at the time of this writing.
Catherine Frazier, press secretary for Texas Governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry, issued a statement to the Dallas Morning News, in which it notes that Perry does not believe in changing the Union because of its “greatness.”
“But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper,” said Frazier.
“We cannot allow Washington’s tax and spend, one-size-fits-all mindset to jeopardize our children’s future, undermine our personal liberties and drive our nation down a dangerous path to greater dependence of government.”
In 2009, Perry made headlines after he made comments that Texas has the right to secede, but he has since distanced himself from those remarks. Meanwhile, Tennessee Republican Congressman Zach Wamp noted in 2010 that some states may have to separate if the leadership in Washington didn’t change in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
“I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government,” said Wamp, who has since left the congress in order to run for governor.
Retiring Texas Republican Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul defended the Texas governor and former rival in an interview with CNN and questioned why people were outraged by secession.
“We used secession, we seceded from England. So it’s a very good principle. It’s a principle of a free society,” stated Dr. Paul. “It’s a shame we don’t have it anymore. I argue that if you had the principle of secession, our federal government wouldn’t be as intrusive into state affairs and to me that would be very good.”
The founding fathers made it very clear in the 1776 Declaration of Independence that states have the right to secede:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
“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.”