It's hard to take seriously the thousands of people who have signed a petition urging Texas to amicably divorce the rest of the union. Even in the fiercely independent Lone Star State, this idea is roadkill.|
While the signatories are exercising their right to free speech, this idea is just plumb screwy and an odd rejection of basic American principles. Besides, as in any divorce, shouldn't we worry about the children?
The Texas petition says the United States is suffering from economic troubles stemming from the federal government's failure to reform spending. You won't get much argument on that, although the same complaint can be made about some cities, counties and states as well.
But the Texas secession petition also complains of alleged rights abuses committed by agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration. An annoying screening system at the airport is reason to collect your toys and quit? Really? When the going gets tough, the "tough" sign petitions to leave?
None of this reflects the pioneering spirit that made Texas and this nation great.
What about all of us who don't want to secede? Does that mean we'll have to leave our chosen or native homeland and flee north to Oklahoma or Colorado? Heaven forbid. We just redid the Governor's Mansion, and we'd hate to have to get a passport to go to Austin, if it were to get swept into the movement.
There's something mystifyingly un-American about giving up on America. The nation has survived two world wars, a civil war, a hugely unpopular war in Southeast Asia, political scandals and countless moral battles over the rights of women and African-Americans. In each instance, the nation put aside its fears and emerged as the United States of America, not the Untied States of America. In other words, we don't bail out when disagreements erupt in the family.
The White House has promised to review the petitions that exceed a certain number of signatures and issue a response. But who could blame White House officials if they said: "All operators are busy right now. Stay on the line, and we'll get back to you in four years."
This separatist angst will likely -- and rightly -- fade away, as it has numerous times in our nation's collective history. While annoying, the right to be clueless about American history is protected speech.
The United States' power and influence exists because the states are 50 parts that pull as one, a uniqueness found in the words "We the People" in the preamble to the Constitution. Americans are more alike than we are different, and our system of governance -- the great experiment in democracy -- is the envy of other nations. That's not because we are 50 countries, but because we are one.
Moline, IL Details
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