Yes, you have the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances under the auspices of the First Amendment. That basic right is part of one of the most important amendments that we have here in the United States. We even have this neat little website the government set up for us to log petitions on and have our friends and neighbors sign them without having to go door to door (hint: it is the source link at the bottom of the page). All you have to do is share a link. It is activism from your office, couch, local coffee bar, etc. You get the picture. Easy, yet serious and refined at the same time if the large machiatto, thick framed glasses, and $80 hipster haircut have anything to say about it.
So here I was trolling this site (I have neither the glasses or the haircut in this scenario) to see the various petitions out there and interestingly enough we may have a bit of a crisis on our hands. Unless of course what we have is a stunt, a form of protest, but make no mistake if the citizens get serious enough, this will be a problem. What am I talking about? I am talking about a number of petitions out there asking to peacefully grant state X to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own government.
The first such petition was filed on behalf of the state of Louisiana on November 7th, the day after the election. Since that time, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, California, Ohio, New York, Delaware, Nevada, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Colorado, North Dakota, Oregon, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, and Texas have all had similar if not duplicate petitions filed on their behalf. That is 32 states in all. Again, this could just be a political stunt, they often are, but sometimes they are not. Now of course, there are several states where a petition like this borders on ridiculous: Oregon, California, New York, and New Jersey come to mind. Most of the South is represented in the petitions as well as a fair scattering throughout the midwest. Interesting demographics to be sure at least, but back to the petitions themselves.
According to the website, a petition needs 150 signatures in 30 days to be searchable and 25,000 signatures in 30 days to cross a reporting threshold and illicit a response from the government. Well, that will never happen you say. Yeah….um, the Texas petition has over 61,000 since it was created on the 9th of November, Louisiana has over 26,000 signatures. Several other states are quickly approaching the threshold and will probably cross it before the 30 days is up. Of course, petitions to remove Marijuana from the list of controlled substances and recount the election have both broken the threshold as well.
Now, these petitions when they break their reporting threshold will be dropped on some low-level bureaucrat’s desk to be laughed at and then form lettered to the extent of, Thank you for your petitions and participation in the government of the United States, at this time the item which you are petitioning for is unfeasible, blah, blah, blah.
Yup, sounds about right. But what happens when the reopen the petition? What happens if this starts a ground swell of people actively seeking secession? We could have a real problem on our hands.