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Red Staters (and More) Already Talking Secession After Obama Victory

Petitions for secession popping up on White House site, while Texas Tea Partier talks withdrawal from union.
 
 
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It was only a matter of time before the bursting of the bubble for hard-core conservatives led to cries of secession. To be fair, blue-staters were saying similar things back in 2004 after Bush's re-election, but the geographical ironies were perhaps less rich then, since this year the electoral map looks suspiciously like slave states and free states lining up in opposition.

On the WhiteHouse.gov petition-writing tool, a large number of people have put forward petitions "peacefully demanding" that their states, including Texas and Louisiana, be removed from the Union. These two have garnered tens of thousands of signatures already, while others--which aren't all predictable, and include states like New York and Michigan-- have only a few thousand signees each.

Check out a screenshot below:

Meanwhile, the Texas Observer's Forrest Wilder reports on a Tea Party newsletter that uses language even more historically problematic than these petitions: “They” re-elected Obama last night.  He is their President.  And we must admit to ourselves at some point, it is now their country."

This leads to the writer's "inevitable" conclusion:

In this respect, Texas can lead the way.  Texas was once its own country, and many Texans already think in nationalist terms about their state.  We need to do everything possible to encourage a long-term shift in thinking on this issue.  Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?  Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years.

Again, to be fair, conservatives are far from the only ones who have talked secession when politics don't go their way. Ultra-progressive Vermont has a left-libertarian secessionist party, in fact. But the combination of all this secessionist talk with the demographic defeat for white voters and electoral defeat for former slave states, the anger over the re-election of a black president supported by "them", and the generalized nativist rhetoric coming out of the right wing all campaign season long, and you have a more frightening example of secessionist talk than usual.

Sarah Seltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published at the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jezebel and the Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahmseltzer and find her work at sarahmseltzer.com.

 
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