When one answers the phone here at the Courier-Post there is no telling what awaits you. It could be someone wanting information on placing a yard sale ad. It could be someone angry because their morning paper wasn’t in its designated spot, or didn’t show up at all. It could be someone wanting to share that a petition has been launched that proposes withdrawing Missouri from the Union.
Example No. 3 happened last week. Answering the newsroom phone early one morning I was greeted by a man who said he was in Oklahoma. He was wanting to know why his acquaintances in Northeast Missouri had not yet read about the Missouri secession petition, which he noted was one of several such public request documents that are currently posted in cyberspace.
I had to confess it was the first I’d heard about the petition. But it didn’t take a lot of investigation to learn that citizens in a number of states have launched secession petitions.
Apparently the tsunami of petitions requesting that states be allowed to peacefully secede from the United States began to swell after President Obama won re-election earlier this month. According to ABC OTUS News, as of last Friday, a secession petition naming every state is now circulating. Each has attracted at least 1,522 digital signatures of support.
Most of these petitions, if not all of them, can be found at the White House’s “We the People” Web site, where people can “create petitions to reflect their interests and - if they have enough popularity - provoke a response from the Obama administration,” according to ABC OTUS News. Reportedly, the White House says it will review and respond to petitions that obtain more than 25,000 signatures.
Visiting the White House Web site, I discovered not one, but two Missouri secession petitions. As of Saturday morning, one petition had received 19,419 signatures while the other had been signed 13,450 times. The deadline for both to reach 25,000 is Dec. 10.
Those were not the only Missouri-related secession petitions I found. The other one proposed throwing a pizza party, furnished by Pizza Hut or Papa Johns, for the remaining states in the Union should either of Missouri’s secession petitions gain enough signatures. At last check, 1,525 people had signed the party petition. I suspect a majority of the petition names have Kansas addresses.
While Missouri is still working on reaching the 25,000 signature plateau, some states are well past that mark. The most popular secession petition was launched in Texas. It has been signed 113,586 times. Other states topping 25,000 are: Louisiana (36,182), Florida (33,755), Georgia (31,245), Tennessee (30,243), North Carolina (29,558) and Alabama (29,555).
Some secession-related petitions seek to deal with those wanting to withdraw from the Union. One would deport everyone signing a petition to withdraw their state from the U.S. (23,633). Another popular petition would strip the citizenship of everyone who signed a petition to secede and exile them (14,567). One petition would require all states to pay their portion of the national debt before they can secede (6,305).
Page 2 of 2 - Not all secession petitions deal with leaving the Union. One seeks to allow certain counties in Oregon and California to withdraw and form the state of Jefferson (699). There is support to allow the cities of Austin (7,869) and El Paso (1,145) to secede from Texas. In Georgia, a petition has been launched to allow Atlanta to withdraw from that state (1,453).
I’m confident all this secession talk is just that – talk. But is this talk simply a backlash from those unhappy with the election’s outcome, or does the volume of people signing these petitions represent a growing undercurrent of displeasure in America?