Don’t quit on democracy

What happens when your candidate doesn’t win an election? You secede from the Union, of course. In response to the recent presidential election, petitions seeking peaceful secession from the Union were initiated at the “We the People” website, a forum created by the White House affording Americans the ability to engage their government. At approximately 4:22 p.m., Nov. 13, the Great State of Texas led the charge with 84,841 signatures. The second greatest number of signatures was 42,327 for the legalization of marijuana. The State of Louisiana’s petition to secede from the Union trailed the marijuana petition by nearly 12,000 signatures. Apparently, more people would rather get high than secede. I must add that secession is sought at the state level and the legalization of marijuana is a national referendum. Obviously, marijuana supporters aren’t aware of the petition.

There is also a petition to deport all persons signing a secession petition, which appeared to be gaining momentum and had more signatures than fifteen secession states, at last count. According to recent immigration counts, the void resulting from deportation, in this case, could easily be replaced by immigrants seeking citizenship. Maybe Mexico will agree to take our secessionists.

So what might happen if Texas were to secede? Ironically, in 2009, Texas Governor Rick Perry hinted that anti-Washington sentiment could lead Texans to secede. He said, “…Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.” Last week, a spokesperson for Perry said, “Governor Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But we cannot allow Washington’s tax and spend one-size-fits-all mindset to… drive our nation down a dangerous path to greater dependence on government.”

Perry’s reference to Texans’ independence and his fear of greater dependence on government certainly does not take into account that Texas’ second largest economic sector is the Federal Government. It is a little outfit referred to as our U.S. Armed Forces. Of course we would have to pull all of our troops out of a foreign country and with them all of our government contracts with Lockheed Martin, Boeing and a dozen other major companies developing highly classified technology. Naturally, we couldn’t justify outsourcing jobs to these companies, so they will either return to the United States or forfeit their contracts resulting in the collapse of the third-largest economic sector in Texas. Do not fear, Texas will still have its oil. But oil giants like Conoco Phillips, Marathon, Exxon-Mobil, Tesoro and Valero will be forced to decide residency in the Republic of Texas or the United States of America, because foreign interests cannot own our natural resources. Whether these companies choose to remain in Texas or not, employment opportunities will increase in the United States and add to our economy. These developments would certainly interest the likes of Chevron and Shell. And given that minorities in Texas number 13.6 million and whites 11.5 million, Texas will have to pass laws suppressing the minority vote in order to maintain conservative rule or enact immigration laws that send people of color packing. And while Texas spends its oil money increasing the size of and dependency on government to protect its great border to the south and build a navy to protect oil exports from piracy, they will always have cattle, goats and cotton. Unless of course the basic principles of supply and demand infuse the United States and grow this industry. Make no mistake, the U.S. will be devastated by the departure of Texas and its declining $1.32 trillion gross state product following its secession. Border patrol agents will be forced to move further north and will find themselves having to deport white Texans in addition to brown, which can become very confusing. Then there are the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders left hanging in the balance. And what will become of American football without Texas stadiums built to signal incoming alien aircraft?

Okay, I may have gone a bit too far, but the idea of seceding from the Union goes against everything we have fought for as a nation: our independence from tyranny, our civil liberties and our rights. And while we are not perfect, we have a system of democracy that gives us the best chance to get it right, but this can’t happen if we quit on each other. Seceding is saying, “I give up” and Americans don’t give up. But there is something very valuable that we have lost. We have lost our universal pursuit of justice for all, not only for a segment of our society, but for everyone. We have had leaders, from both sides of the aisle, raise and lower taxes. We have gone to war and bled together and the blood-soaked ground did not distinguish between Democrat and Republican, white or black. Since the Civil War, we have differed, but we have never given up on our system of democracy. The laws that govern our democracy are not perfect and require scrutiny, but if we give up on each other we will never have the opportunity to make a more perfect union.

Since the birth of this nation our Founding Fathers differed and argued passionately about what was best. The Federalist Papers enumerated government’s authority and the Bill of Rights proclaimed the rights of people. These were opposing documents that would lay the foundation for a nation that values leadership and freedom. And as a nation of free people we stand strong, but fail when divided; a proposition I believe that is quite evident today. Not all will be pleased, ever, with every outcome, but it is our opportunity to show politicians and the world how to step across the aisle. Democracy is a living organism infused with passion, in a constant flux, evolving and striving for equality and justice. Don’t give up on it or each other! God help this country.

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