Friday, November 16, 2012

Secession? Pathetic!

In the wake of the re-election of Barack Obama to a second term in the Presidency, we've learned that hundreds of thousands of people in all 50 states have signed petitions to secede from the union.  Evidently, the lunatic right-wing supporters of "tea party" politics are willing to destroy the very fabric of our union for the simple reason that their side didn't win the Presidency.  Incredible!

Obviously, this echoes the circumstances that tore the nation apart at the end of 1860, with the election of Abraham Lincoln (ironically, a Republican) to the Presidency.  At issue then was the institution of slavery, which was deeply embedded in the South as an economic necessity for the way that wealthy landowners chose to operate.  Lincoln scared the South because he was perceived to be an abolitionist.  Although there were other differences between Northern and Southern states that exacerbated the antagonisms, the clear driving motivation was the issue of slavery.  Lincoln's election was the "last straw" for the slave states in the South.  In the end, more than 600, 000 Americans died on both sides in a bloody civil war that went on for more than four years - the South was defeated on the battlefields eventually and the union was preserved.  But not necessarily for all time, it seems.

In the same way that common Southerners (even those without slaves!) were induced to fight and die for the institution of slavery, it seems that common Americans today are being duped to support policies that favor the rich and are harmful to those very same common people who are some of the most ardent supporters of tea party politics.   The liberal Republican party of Abraham Lincoln that supported the rights of all Americans, including slaves, has become the party of racism, exclusion, and corporate greed.  In fact, they moved so far to the right, in response to pressure from the teabaggers, they lost the election!

Today, the right-wing politics driving this talk of secession are not focused on a single overriding issue, but there's a strong undercurrent of racism in the profound hatred the teabaggers feel for Barack Obama.  They've masqueraded that racism in a host of smokescreens, but it seems pretty clear to me that the morons signing petitions for secession are likely united only in their racist contempt for the current administration, if they could face that truth about themselves.

When GWB and Crime, Inc. came to power in 2000 and won a second term in 2004, many liberals felt a sense of utter despair and helplessness in the face of those defeats.  I know I did - GWB represented a viewpoint that was about as far as possible from my own.  A few said they would leave the country - perhaps a very small number did so, but it was mostly just empty threats in the face of what seemed like an endless repudiation of everything they stood for in terms of a secular union providing freedom and liberty for all.  I won't rehash all of that - instead, I want to point out that there was never a hint of any liberal movement for secession, regardless of the frustration level.  We survived 8 years of GWB and elected Barack Obama in 2008.

What we are seeing now is bunch of cry-babies whining over having their hopes of getting that black man out of office utterly smashed.  They're going to have to endure 8 years of Barack Obama, just as liberals had to survive 8 years of GWB!  All this teeth-gnashing and stupid talk of secession is nothing more (or less) than an indicator of the hypocrisy of the radical right wing politics.  One minute they're waving the US flag and claiming to be patriots.  The next minute, they're talking about destroying the fabric of the nation that flag represents.   These people aren't patriots;  they're simply morons and losers of the worst sort.  If they don't get their way, they want to take their tiny bag of marbles and run away, without any thought about the consequences for themselves, to say nothing of the effects on others.

Too many Americans have fought in too many conflicts, sending young men and women home in body bags, to preserve that union for us to have to put up with this childish whining and idiotic talk of secession.  The very same concerns that convinced Abraham Lincoln to defend the integrity of the union are present today.  A real secession movement might well trigger events that, once set in motion, will lead us to civil war.

Yes, we're deeply divided politically in this nation.  But let's consider actually thinking things over rationally before we start talking about breaking up the United States of America!  Even a few moments of rational thought should suffice to cause any talk of secession to be rejected as absurd and perhaps even potentially treasonous.  Is anyone willing to entertain the possibility of another blood-soaked civil war just because the election didn't turn out the way some people wanted?  Really??  If we're so deeply conflicted that civil war is becoming an option to consider, then perhaps we as a nation will deserve such a horror!

1 comment:

Liz Heywood said...

I read/heard a piece last summer (on NPR I think) that argued the Civil War's real cause was energy--which was slavery at that time-- and how the status quo was threatened by a change in the energy policy. It was fascinating. Makes me think we may very well be on the brink of a similar divide, though I hope not. Between energy and climate change (which might be affected positively by a change to green energy) we've got a lot of volitile issues. Great piece, Chuck.