My Facebook feed and Inbox have become inundated with the news that there are online petitions for at least 30 states to secede from the Union. Here is why the entire hubbub is nonsense.
First, most of these petitioners do not appreciate what it would mean to secede. Several of the petitions state they want their state to leave the Union “peacefully.” There is no peaceful secession. People like Texas Governor Sam Houston understood this in 1861 and we should understand it now. If a state genuinely tries to secede, the state will be in rebellion. It will result in war.
Second, we already settled the issue of secession 147 years ago and the secessionists lost. People like to say, “Elections have consequences.” Well, wars have consequences too. It does not matter why they seceded back in 1860-61; what matters is they lost their bid for secession on the battlefield.
Third, these petitioners are in the minority and they are only gaining attention due to the extremity of their request. The media rarely covers moderates and their sensible opinions. Some of us voted for Romney because we thought he was more qualified to handle the economy, but the last thing we would want is secession over his loss. That sort of talk does not make a good headline though.
Fourth, and most importantly, every modern state lacks the political complexion to support secession. In 1860, Lincoln received ZERO votes in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, all of which seceded. Lincoln was not even on their ballots. So when Lincoln won the election, folks in these states struggled with the fact that no one they knew actually voted for the president-elect. Even then, the people of these states did not unanimously support secession. We do not have the same situation in America today. President Obama won at least one district in every state except Oklahoma and even there, he still won 33% of the popular vote. Anyone in any state can find someone who voted for the president in his or her state.
Secession is not happening. Those that support it do not appreciate or understand the full implications of it. They are in the minority.
And stop giving it attention.
Update 11/14/2012: Brian Schoeneman has more reasons why secession talk is nonsense.