Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Petition? Really?

Three days after Obama was elected to his second term in office as president, one Micah H. from Arlington started a petition on the White House website. In less than five days (at this writing), nearly 100,000 people had signed it.

Critics have rightly pointed out that the petition has no legal power, and that a proper secession would require a formal declaration issued by convention and approval of the citizens of Texas (which today appears even less outside the realm of possibilities than it did a week ago).

The White House petition's lack of legal teeth notwithstanding, it serves as a useful indicator of public sentiment — both within and outside of Texas — towards the federal government and the union it presumes to rule. Formed voluntarily some 225 years ago and — 81 years later — arbitrarily rendered "perpetual" and "indissoluble" except through "consent of the States" by an unaccountable, unelected body of prejudiced jurists, said union appears to have worn out its welcome for a growing number of Americans (Texas is only one of several states with such a petition).

Despite the negative, often ignorant (and sometimes downright hostile), reaction from certain self-styled 'patriotic' quarters, the many thousands of people signing the petitions are representative of a general consensus displeasure with what the federal behemoth has become. Their voices have resonated with a fair amount of feedback we've received from people outside of Texas, who — whether rightly or wrongly — see Texas as a test case: Should Texas withdraw from the union, they're either hopeful that their states will follow, or would soon make Texas their new home.

A 'critical mass' secession movement in Texas may not be right around the corner, and the White House petition, like its counterparts from other states, may well be effectively ignored by Washington. But the growing discontent isn't likely to go away, as long as Washington's politicians and bureaucrats continue with their current policy trends. And if they refuse to change course, it may well be just a matter of time before Texans invoke a declaration instead of a petition.