Jack Zaleski, Published November 17 2012
Zaleski: Election losers just keep on giving
The latest good-for-laughs stunt comes from wackos pushing an online petition in several states, including North Dakota, to seek secession from the United States because they don’t like the president and his policies. It’s a cookie-cutter effort that seems to fit the peculiar propensities of a subset of Americans who believe they are more American than other Americans. It’s a tad peculiar that such “good” Americans would want to secede. But, hey, if you are looking for logic and common sense among these folks, forget it.
The secession idea is silly enough, but the hypocrisy of the would-be secessionists is even sillier (or sad, if you will). Petition signers hail mostly (not exclusively) from red states. Guess what? Red states are the biggest beneficiaries of Uncle Sam’s largesse. By any honest measure, North Dakota and similar red states take more from the federal treasury than they pay in. It’s been that way for decades. In other words, blue states that voted for the president in effect subsidize the anti-Obama red states. North Dakota often is at the top of that subsidy list, what with farm supports, Social Security, Medicare, defense spending, disaster relief, highway money and research grants. So if North Dakota and the rest of the red subsidy states secede, what then for them? Foreign aid from blue states? Ya gotta giggle just a little.
Damn dumb, isn’t it? Sure, the new secessionists are trying to make a point. The election pushed some of them into the wing nut category. Some were there already, having signed the petition because they want to legalize marijuana, oppose regulation of cigars, expose Area 51 (aliens), or demand the release of political prisoners in Macedonia. If they do secede, I trust the foreign minister of their new nation can convince the Macedonians to do the right thing.
Tellingly, the creator of the North Dakota petition has opted for anonymity. Signers don’t have to sign their full names. Talk about courage and commitment.
And for irony, this is great: The mechanism for the petition springs from an Obama administration initiative that invites citizens to petition the government with only a few petition signatures. Have they thanked the president? Bet not.
The secessionists join a cohort of better-than-thou Americans who said they’d skip off to Canada if Obama won. What a strange option. After all, they’ve been whining and wailing that the president and his allies are turning the U.S. into a socialist miasma. And they want to go to Canada? With its socialized health care and all that awful stuff? How’s that for goofy? If they are right about the president, they might as well stay in the good ol’ tumbling-toward-socialism USA.
Contact Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at (701) 241-5521.