How divisive was the 2012 presidential election? Well, it was divisive enough to prompt over 100,000 Texans to sign a petition requesting that the White House allow the Lone Star state to “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own government.”
In fact, at least 25,000 people from all 50 states signed a similar petition to leave the Union, that is the United States of America.
The White House had established a page that allowed citizens to petition the White House for just about anything. The website indicated that when at least 25,000 signatures were attached to any petition, the White House would respond.
How many Texans signed the petition? It seems at last count over 115,000.
“Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those ‘traitors’ became our country’s greatest patriots,” former presidential candidate Texas Rep. Ron Paul wrote in a post on his House website. “There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.”
Now don’t get all in a tizzy. Texas’ Republican Gov. Rick Perry does not want his state breaking away from the Union. His spokesperson Catherine Frazier addressed the media: “Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. 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.”
Texas, like many citizens of the United States who did not vote for the re-election of the president, were letting off a bit of steam.
No one believes that any of the existing states will choose to break away from the union because the president won re-election. (In fact, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico voted to become the 51st state in the union.) The petitions do mirror a sizable minority that is frustrated over the path the nation has been on for more than three years, and many of them assume the next four more years will be just as bad.
A Dispatch Guest Opinion has taken the position that was around in the late 60s and early 70s among those who found protesting the establishment offensive — “America, love it or leave it!” That was extreme then, as it is extreme today. Dissent is as American as apple pie.
It is far less violent when a group of citizens has an outlet to vent their pent up frustrations by signing a White House-produced petition, than marching in the streets, bombing federal buildings and forcing law enforcement to fire upon innocent people.
Most of the quiet protest is coming from citizens of red states who realize that blue states have more people and a liberal agenda. It’s the consequence of a hotly contested election cycle and majority rule.