Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Secession is Better Than Working Together?

There are some interesting developments taking place. Petitions have been filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas and these petitions are to secede from the United States. If a petition receives at least 25,000 in a 30 day period, it must be met with an official response from the White House.

clip_image002A North Carolina Tea Party group is promoting the idea of secession as a solution to the “tyranny of national government.” This idea is being actively promoted on the website ‘teaparty.org.’ One can only guess they do not like the results of the election. There have been mixed reports, but many of these petitions seem to have at least some Tea Party support and there is information on how to send these petitions on Tea Party websites, but, as of yet, the Tea Party has not officially endorsed this idea.  There seems to be an idea that secession is better than working together.  I think people need to rethink this idea.

The original ‘tea’ action took place in 1773 in response to the British “Tea Act,” and took place when 30-40 Bostonians dressed as Mohawk Indians, and boarded an English vessel and destroyed the shipment of tea. It was referred to as the tea destruction until the "Boston Tea Party,” became its moniker in 1834. To us in 2012 these original Bostonians are called patriots; to the legal authorities in 1773 they were terrorists or thugs. There was, of course, an escalation of rebellion, the Battle of Concord in 1775 that began the war, the American Revolution. The war waged in until 1783.

The American Revolution was not the war many people perceive it to be. It was not a grand and glorious crusade. It was long and bitter. The British actually won most of the battles. There were some amazing Colonial victories and the war became untenable for England. It proved to be too long, too expensive, and too risky for them when France got involved. It was a war of attrition and the distance, expense, and stretching out of forces was untenable. This ended up being a secession that worked.

In 1861 there was a new revolt, a new American Revolution. We call it the Civil War, but, not unlike the original secession a group of people rebelled and this time the original nation prevailed. This war was incredibly savage and, like the original rebellion of 1775 it was a war of attrition. This time the dominant force, however, had a large number of people and did not have to depend on shipments from across the ocean. The northern part of the country had the industry and larger population base and the end was inevitable once the military leadership problems of the Union Army were resolved.

As I look at the current state of our nation, it is impossible for me to view the current Tea Party people as even remotely being ‘patriots.’ They like to call themselves patriots, but co-opting a name does not make something so. The original people of the Boston Tea Party put themselves in legal risk and were, legally, beginning the process of treason. They put themselves, knowingly, in serious risk of being captured and hanged. They became, through the lens of history, patriots. Putting a hat on your head and covering with tea bags does not make one a patriot.

The original people in the Boston Tea Party were not bemoaning the fact that they had lost an election. They did not have the ability to vote for their leaders. The King of England was not an elected position and the Colonies did not have representation in Parliament. The United States still has elections! Sometimes the people we support win those elections; sometimes they lose. The American Way, if there is such a thing, is to respect and abide by election results. It is not taking one’s toys home and leaving.

There is also an issue of pragmatism.

Do the states that leave now pay the American government for the Interstate highway systems running through their nations?

Airports are under Federal protection. States are under the protection of the Secret Service for their money; the FBI for numerous crimes; the United States Military for protection. All these are lost. Corporations that have been entirely national to this point now have to become international. People within the newly independent states now lose Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. People in nursing homes will be forced out of the nursing homes because of the collapse of Medicaid. Many people do not realize it but 50% of Medicaid is covering people staying in nursing homes.

There are times I get infuriated at our nation. I am sure everyone does. But we are all in this great experiment together. Secession because one does not like the direction the nation is taking, a direction voted on by the majority of people, does not give one a right to carve the nation into pieces. That is not patriotism.

Many of the people behind the American Revolution were the finest minds this nation has ever assembled in the same place at the same time. They became the architects of a democracy. They were not sore losers wearing tea bags on their heads, decreeing they were patriots. These people WERE patriots. These were people who had prices on their heads; these were people who were willing to die for their beliefs.

I’m tired of the whining. Our nation has issues. Instead of whining that a person you don’t like won the election learn to accept that we don’t always get our own way, and make the best of it. Better yet, do something constructive to assure the United States is a great nation.

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