Monday, November 26, 2012
There’s an old saying “Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.”
The more than 700,000 people throughout all 50 states who have signed online petitions on the president’s “We The People” website asking for peaceful secession from the United States should give that some thought.
What would have happened in World War II if the United States had been 50 separate nations? The strength of this country is its diversity, its willingness to tolerate different ideas and beliefs and the ability to put those differences aside and work side by side when adversity strikes.
Yet at least six states — Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina — have reached the magic number of 25,000 signatures, which means they will receive a formal response from the president.
He should send a one-word answer: No.
One of the curses of modern technology is it tends to amplify the voices of the malcontents to the level where some people believe they speak for the majority. Simply by clicking a “like” button one person’s whisper can join others to appear to be an overwhelming shout.
But let’s get real. Even though 700,000 is a big number, it is barely two-one-hundredths of the 314 million population in the United States. That’s not exactly a groundswell.
And the idea that any of the states — take a good look at their budgets and you won’t exactly see prosperity — could survive on their own shows a lack of understanding of economics and the intricacies of foreign policy. And without the protection of a military, these states would fall like dominoes. The armed forces a state could muster couldn’t withstand an invasion even from most Third World countries. You really think a state could fend off a world power such as China?
Go back and study our bloody Civil War. Lincoln hit the nail on the head when he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He was talking about slavery. Today, he would be talking about the bitter partisan bickering that stagnates attempts to solve problems.
It’s time people got over this obsession that everything has to be the way they want it. No one person or one group of people has all the right answers. But progress can be made when reasonable people seek to find the common ground and build from there. We got into this mess together and we can get out of it together.
Let’s start here: We are all Americans. We all want the best for our country and our families. We have different ideas of how to achieve that, but working together we can do anything.