Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about states in the United States filing to secede following Pres. Obama's re-election?

Asked by JLeslie (54555points) November 12th, 2012

I have said before that the southern states seem to want to be the Confederates States more than the United States yet ironically so many people in those states wave their American flags high and accuse liberals of being unAmerican. Yet here those states are wanting to defect the nation. It seem so contradictary to me. It isn’t only the southern states who have submitted they want to secede, but it is mostly red states.

Should Obama even respond?

Should we let the states who petitioned for it go?

How does that even work? What actually has to happen for a state to secede? What is the procedure?

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59 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

There is no procedure for seceding. The last time the Southern states attempted that, the Civil War followed.

emilianate's avatar

This would be great for everyone. Liberals are always complaining about republicans being obstructionists of progress, and since the red states are mainly the one’s who want to secede, it would be a win, win. You wouldn’t have as much conflict between the two philosophies.

Aethelwine's avatar

This link has a list of the number of people in each state that filed a petition to secede. I don’t think a few hundred people from one state can speak for the entire state.

JLeslie's avatar

@emilianate Except there are a bunch of blue people in those red states. I would probably have to get out of dodge if me red state seceded. My husband would have to leave his job. I also sometimes think it would be nice to cut those states loose, or at minimum think we should have let them go back before the civil war, but the transition if we did it now would be a mess I would think.

ETpro's avatar

Have any states actually done this, or are we just talking heated, election-year rhetoric? If any actually try to secede, then the phrase “certifiable nut case” comes to mind. Do they seriously plan to use a few rag-tag doomsday militias to go up against the US Military? Their National Guard would be called up to Active Duty.

We are not the Red States of America or the Blue States. We are the United States of America. Elections come and elections go. The world doesn’t come to an end just because your guy doesn’t win. Believe me, I know, because there have been so many times my guy or gal didn’t win. But life went on. Tell the South, my birthplace, to cowboy up and get back in the business of building tomorrow instead of whining about yesterday.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Well, I can say that Jan Brewer, in the words of a friend on mine, tried to “pull a Carmen Sandiego and attempt to steal the Grand Canyon. Most likely by snagging Bright Angel with a winch hanging from a helicopter while screaming “I declare sovereignty over this land!” before flying off to hide in several well known geographic locations.”

Also known as Prop 120.

So, yeah. Some people, in power even, i wouldn’t really blink at talking like this. But I also think it’s just silly rhetoric, along the lines of “I’m going to move to Canada!” just more unhinged. Right now they’re mostly just good for some laughs.

Also, I’m amused by the presence of some extremely blue states on that list. I’m pretty sure most citizens of those would object.

JLeslie's avatar

@BhacSsylan I agree it is similar to “I am going to move to Canada” but so southern to talk about secession.

emilianate's avatar


Well its like going to a racist site and then complain about its content to the police/politicians to take down the site instead of just not visiting the site. Likewise, you, as a liberal, complain about red state policies that you live in, instead of moving to a liberal state. The burden is on the blues to take a hike, same for the reds in blue states.

jaytkay's avatar

Can I sign all those petitions if I live in Illinois? What steps are necessary to secede? How can I help?

livelaughlove21's avatar

To quote an article, “The odds of the American government granting any state permission to go its own way are on par with winning the lottery while getting hit by a meteor while seeing Bigfoot while finding gluten-free pizza that tastes like the real thing.”

This isn’t that uncommon. The same thing happened after the elections in 2004 and 2008. I think it’s incredibly stupid and Obama shouldn’t dignify it with a response. Although, a country with less red states sounds pretty damn good. Unfortunately, though, I live in one of them.

JLeslie's avatar

@emilianate My current state was blue for Clinton both times. The electoral map is extermely deceptive.

Aethelwine's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I live in a blue state (Illinois) and this is what we get. It’s no Utopia here

TinyChi's avatar

I think they’re taking it a little too hard, y’know?
I think I like live in one of the states that petitioned and I wonder if we can counter-petition it because I kinda live here and stuff and I ain’t leaving.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@jonsblond I’m from Chicago originally! It’s bad there in very different ways.

You’d think the Southern states, especially South Carolina where I live, would’ve learned their lesson the first time though.

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve been hoping Texas would secede ever since Rick Perry brought it up a couple years ago. I really wish they would, it would shut them up quickly. And since Ron Paul lives there, they can go on Ron Paul monetary theory.

rojo's avatar

Where does Texas stand? Governor Goodhair said…..........Oh nevermind. Gee thanks @zenvelo

rojo's avatar

BTW although doubtful, the southern states might try again.

They still haven’t forgiven y’all for winning “The War of Northern Agression” back in the 1860’s!

Jeruba's avatar

NBC news says the White House has to respond to Texas.

jaytkay's avatar

NBC news says the White House has to respond to Texas

Does Texas need help packing? Filling out forms? Seriously, I feel silly standing by in their hour of need.

jerv's avatar

To my mind, those who hold the typical God-fearing Conservative view of opposing abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and separation of Church and State are more Iranian than American. So it seems to me that rather than try to impose their will on a nation whose founding principles (inclusion, tolerance, government not interfering where they don’t need to) are in direct opposition to their agenda, it would be better if they “self-deported” to someplace that already has the policies they are trying to push. They already have their own countries; they aren’t taking mine!

@emilianate But is this a Red nation or a Blue nation? It’s one thing to move to another state, but another to move to a different country. You did cite the reason I will NEVER even think about considering the possibility of maybe contemplating moving anywhere in (or even near) the South or Midwest though.

Jeruba's avatar

Hmm! I followed the link to the petition just now, seeing it for the first time, and I see on the page the words “You’ve already signed this petition.” I did no such thing, nor would I, besides the fact that I’m not in Texas. I simply viewed the page. If a page view counts as a signature, then who can say how many intended signatures it actually has?

jerv's avatar

@Jeruba Interesting…..

Brian1946's avatar

I see that the petition for TX secession has 57,749 siggies, but look at the locations of the 12 that I found in the first 40:

Todd T
Atmore, AL

Ian A
Ulysses, KS

Kenneth G
Lincoln, ME

Courtney P
Logan, WV

caleb j
Leicester, NY

Michael G
Warrensburg, MO

David P
Anaheim, CA

terry z
Albany, OR

Elizabeth C
Atlanta, GA

Trevor R
Enterprise, MS

Dianna H
Englewood, CO

Kerry M
Fayetteville, NC

Apparently the idea of TX seceding is quite popular among non-Texans. ;-)

Sunny2's avatar

Do we get to sign the petitions for other states to secede? If they succeed, will we have to build a wall so they don’t come over the border illegally? They already have a flag.
Realistically, I think they’re just blowing off steam. The practicalities will take care of the issue.

Jeruba's avatar

Before anybody starts seceding and people of differing ideologies hasten to migrate across the line to friendlier territory, I hope they will take the time to look at the history of the partitioning of India, which in 1947 created Pakistan with a Muslim identity separate from predominantly Hindu India. Millions who found themselves on the wrong side of the new borders either chose to move or were driven to move to the other side, amidst a great deal of violence, bloodshed, and social upheaval in which as many as a million died.

This is not a picture we would want to reproduce on American soil, where I hope and believe that the bonds that unite us remain stronger than the issues that divide us.

emilianate's avatar

See 1949–1990 East Germany (socialist economy) and West Germany (capitalism) for the future of secession in America.

Liberal economic policies turned East Germany into shit, while West Germany prospered.

So yeh, choose wisely.

jerv's avatar

@emilianate You just proved that you do not know what Socialism really is. If you think that what the Democrats want is anything like East Germany, you are too ignorant to be taken seriously.

You also proved ignorance of history as it applies to comparing many economic to who is in charge. Hell, you don’t even need to look at history really; in the US, the states with the worst budget problems and highest poverty are mostly Republican-run while those that actually have lower poverty and more sound economies are Democrat-run.

You seem like a nice and otherwise intelligent person though, so rather than totally lambaste you, I will merely ask that you set aside dogma and try a little objectivity for once. I know it’s hard, but you are a lot more credible when you fight something with facts and logic than you are when you use hyperbole and utter fabrications.

emilianate's avatar

I know exactly what socialism is: means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. That was east Germany.

Also, your data on the states are wrong because the cost of living in the southern states is far less than the rest. So the median incomes are higher in democratic states but their cost of living is much higher, which means Texas, which has one of the lowest cost of living and a median of 50k+, is actually doing a lot better.

ragingloli's avatar

I find it quite insolent.
Take Texas for example:
“The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc.”

- They did not complain when the spending exploded under the last Texan president.
– Almost all Texan representatives voted FOR the NDAA. (the only Texan to vote no was Ron Paul)
– The TSA was signed into law by the same Texan President.

They caused the problems that they are now putting forward as reasons for secession.
Completely nuts.

ragingloli's avatar

Not true. East Germany was a dictatorship. The means of production and distribution were owned and controlled by a small political elite, not the community.

emilianate's avatar

Yeh, I heard that excuse in U.S.S.R, in North Korea, in Cuba. It’s getting old.

ragingloli's avatar

It is not an excuse. If you are unable or unwilling to recognise the difference between a dictatorship and a grassroots democratically structured economy, that is your problem.

emilianate's avatar

I understand it quite well but I also understand that when the utopia fails, you need an excuse to protect the dogmatic ideology.

ragingloli's avatar

So far that “utopia” has not failed because it has as of yet never been implemented on a national level.

emilianate's avatar

It sure has, but the propaganda machine is always in full force. That is part of the community.

ragingloli's avatar

You apparently already fully succumbed to the right wing propaganda machine.

emilianate's avatar

I don’t read history books from partisan authors, you apparently do. I also voted for Gary Johnson. Good try, though.

ragingloli's avatar

Nope, I do not. I also voted for Spock.

JLeslie's avatar

Just for fun I thought I would link this old question of mine. See if anyone cares to comment on it. Should we just go ahead and split the country?

PhiNotPi's avatar

So far, none of the states are actually petitioning to secede. Some of the people in the states want to secede, but none of the state governments actually want to secede.

SpatzieLover's avatar

What do I think of this? I think it’s outrageous, immature behavior.

They should accept that their policies, the policies they hold dear, are not what the majority of this Nation wants. They should spend turn their anger into energy towards regenerating their Party, and making policies that would be viable to win an election on.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@PhiNotPi “So far, none of the states are actually petitioning to secede.”

Pretty much. To Govenor Perry’s credit, he dismissed this out of hand. Not without a dig at Obama, naturally, but still.

tedd's avatar

You’re talking about a few hundred thousand people tops across the entirety of the country, with well over 300 million residents. It’s election year whining, akin to saying you’re going to move out of the country when your guy loses. Worst case scenario you see more of these stupid militias pop up like did in the 90’s while Clinton was in office.

@emilianate You are not intelligent on the subject of socialism. Your definition “means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” is that of Communism not Socialism. Socialism means that the federal government (or governing body in general) is in charge of anything that isn’t simply a law. The public roads you drive on, the schools you were educated in, the subsidized gasoline you put in your car, the subsidized energy that powers your house, the electric system that carries your electricity, the fire department and police who protect you, the military that protects you, the very internet you are reading this on, etc, etc, etc…. all provided to you by your government. Surprise you’ve been living in a socialist nation your entire life.

Hell we’ve been a quasi-socialist nation since our very founding. Over half of the Founding Fathers were known as the Federalists and they advocated for absolute Federal government control for christs sake. They created the National Bank, the Post office, etc, etc

This pure capitalist utopia you are dreaming of has never been in the United States, and quite frankly a pure capitalist system would be doomed to failure. There are certain industries/systems that should not be run with a profit motivation (healthcare, roads, education, military, etc), and unregulated capitalism is incredibly cannibalistic. Practically Feudalism.

You want a pure capitalist nation, move to Somalia.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Jeruba's avatar

There’s no need to be rude.

rojo's avatar

Here is an entertaining article on Texas and secession. It is from 2009 when Governor Goodhair threated to do so but is still fun.

jerv's avatar

@emilianate We both know that the government isn’t a panacea, so the fact that it is even nicest to involve them should tell you how flawed your position is. When government is the least bad option, you fucked up; it is, QED.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Sorry, but I feel that I need to share this. It is sort of a counter-petition to these petitions.

jerv's avatar

@PhiNotPi Interesting….

Still, I think those signing the counter-petition are ignoring the fact that many (most?) of those want those states to secede are not from those states themselves. I know when I heard the one for Texas, I was wondering where to sign! (I’m a WA resident, but I fully support getting rid of Texas.)

livelaughlove21's avatar

So much hate for Texas! :) Just out of curiosity, why is that? I live in SC and don’t know much about Texas.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@livelaughlove21 George W didn’t help Texas’s reputation

Jeruba's avatar

The news that some folks in Austin are now petitioning to secede from Texas in order to remain with the Union puts this in another light.

I wonder where the idea comes from that people within a given set of political boundaries must be in ideological agreement (and so, if they’re not, we must redraw the boundaries). Who hasn’t been in a company, a social club, or even a tiny little group of a few dozen people in which the members disagreed among themselves over some issue? In fact, in a family unit of only two people with a solid investment in their shared bond, how likely is it that you’ll find no differences of opinion? Imagine trying to sustain accord among all the people in a given neighborhood, never mind a city, state, or country.

If we tried to draw lines to separate people who don’t see eye to eye, we’d end up with everybody inside his or her own little circle.

jerv's avatar

@Jeruba Austin has always been rather…. non-Texan (for want of a better word), so that comes as no surprise.

Thing is, some ideological divides are too large to sustain even a semblance of unity. Are we a nation of Christ-worshipping racist homophobes, or a secular nation of acceptance? Are we in favor of or against concentrating wealth at the top? This isn’t like a couple trying to settle on a movie that they can both enjoy; these are extremely deep rifts of the type that wars have been fought over.

I have watched this grow throughout my life. Almost thirty years ago, i foresaw our nation becoming polarized to the point of something dramatic; possibly civil war, possibly dissolution, but something major.

rojo's avatar

There is also a movement coming out of Austin, I believe about 5000 strong at this point, to secede from Texas and remain a part of the United States.

Go figure.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, one Texan told me Austin is the liberal pimple on Texas.

I think we should let Alabama, or one of the states semi-secede as an experiment. Let them out of paying federal tax, but they get no help from the federal government. They can still freely cross into the other states and we into theirs, but if they are residence of Alabama that is enough to not pay federal income tax. Alabama can collect their own taxes to fund roads, and to be able to pay the US military for services if they ever need it. They can deal with their own natural disasters, their own policies for the poor and for healthcare. Let’s see what happens, try it for 5 years with an automatic expiration date unless they decide to keep it that way.

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie Of course, people in Austin view Texas as a huge boil on their ass…..

Jeruba's avatar

Psst, @rojo, two posts above yours.

Here’s an interesting commentary on what to do with the degree of diversity we have attained in our time. @jerv, I found it heartening.

@JLeslie, I like your idea: a trial separation. Not that I think it could really work in practical terms, but I like it anyway, as a thought experiment.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba Thanks. Who knows maybe during the trial years Alabama will come up with some great ideas that we want to copy in other states.

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