The new shiny object that conservatives are distracted by in the wake of their post-election butthurt is the possibility of various states seceding from the Union. After all, nothing says “I love this country” or “We are the true Patriots of this nation” like trying to take your ball and leave the second your political views fall into the minority. Shall we forge ahead, working together to find compromise in a free and open exchange of ideas? Shall we respect the democratic process and embrace the greatness of this land, appreciating that we are privileged to be able to choose our leaders? NO! Let’s just leave! Remind me again about how liberals are the ones who refuse to reach across party lines and work in a bipartisan manner. Besides that, Where would you go? Pretty much every other first world country has strict gun control and socialized medicine, and I’m pretty sure you aren’t big fans of either.
Putting aside the obvious insanity and logistical impossibilities of secession (and I’ll deal specifically with Texas in a bit here) how can the same people dressing up like a denim-laced American flag want to leave the country simply because an election didn’t go their way? I hate using the word “hypocrisy” when it comes to politics, because dead horses want that narrative beaten a bit less… But come on. I didn’t realize that all of the screaming that we needed to “take America back” meant to the Civil War era. It kind of makes me long for the “good ol’ days” when the GOP was just denying rights to minorities, women, and the LGBT community.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came out and said that Republicans had to stop being the “stupid party”, and that might be the first step in moving things in a more positive, cooperative direction. Then again, Jindal advocates for teaching Creationism in schools, so perhaps judgement should be reserved on him until some of his other positions “evolve”. He does make a good point though in the way that conservatives approached the 2012 election. This country is rapidly moving towards a minority-majority makeup, and the GOP still seems to speak to the electorate as though it was campaigning in 1970. That’s not even a slam on their outdated manner of thinking – It’s a fundamental lack of understanding simple demographics.
A few smart conservatives have come forward and embraced the idea that catering to a dwindling base of angry white guys is not going to be a long-term strategy for Republicans to remain a viable political party in the future. Does it strike anyone as odd that Texas is the state leading the charge to secede, and they will most likely be a blue state by 2020 because of the expanding Hispanic population?
It’s time to come together and put country first. By that, I mean leave. Since entertaining the idea that secession is a legitimate conversation only encourages more tin-foil hat wearing, I’m going to quickly give a few reasons why a state like Texas could never function independently in 2012:
Texas operates at a deficit. I know it’s shocking to a lot of the people who believe the narrative that Texas has a balanced budget, but it is balanced because they get billions in aid from the Federal government. Texas doesn’t like taxes, so how would they pay for things like a police force? Actually… they can’t really pay for it now, so maybe the budget shortfall is a good way for them to prepare for a society with no money. No more upkeep for highways, nor for interstates or bridges, no federally funded law enforcement or fire department, no public libraries, no phone lines, no cable television, no cell phone towers, no power grids, no water lines, no mail services, no paramedics, no hospitals which accept Medicare/Medicaid funding, no ATF, FBI, DOJ, SWAT, or Department of Homeland Security, no Border Guard, National Guard, or Coast Guard. I’m sure that will have wide appeal, right?
So yeah, good luck with that. I guess it beats the alternative of working with people who think differently than you do.
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain
My theory on the secessionist movement is this: Republicans feel stupid. I don’t mean for thinking that the Earth is 7,000 years or that White Jesus rode dinosaurs – I mean because they got so blatantly and completely misinformed by the people that they trust that they are having a very hard time coming to grips with what the rest of us would define as “reality.” You remember when you found out that there was no Tooth Fairy, and you really wanted to believe that there was? Ok, now you are an adult, and you think you are a pretty smart cookie since you’ve been around for a few decades. Well, you just found out that there is no Tooth Fairy again and THIS time, you should have known better.
Look, it’s acceptable to be FURIOUS if you are a conservative in this country – You got lied to. You got lied to HARD. You believed a conservative entertainment complex that told you that facts and reality weren’t facts and reality, and then they LITERALLY MADE UP THEIR OWN FACTS. When reality reared its ugly head and disproved their positions pretty much across the board, it became obvious that you got duped. Yeah, there’s a bit of resentment there. Why aren’t you pissed off at Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity? Why would you still listen to a WORD that Newt Gingrich or Karl Rove says? Actually, why would you listen to ANYONE who had Romney winning in a landslide? Do they seem to be in control of the facts? Do they sound like a voice of reason? Are they somebody who YOU should be taking your cues from? If you had a weatherman on your local news who messed up the forecast EVERY DAY – Would you still keep relying on him to tell you if it was going to rain? Eventually you’d probably look at your wife and say, “You know what? I REALLY want to believe that it’s going to be sunny and 70 degrees every day, but this guy seems like he’s just telling me what I want to hear. He’s not even looking out the damn window anymore!”
I understand that as humans, we all have egos. Right now if you support the GOP, your ego is probably pretty bruised, and that is totally acceptable. The greatness of this country is in its ability to adapt, evolve, and grow. It’s a sad day when you realize that the way that YOU think might not be right anymore for your country, or right for other people, or right for your children. It takes a lot of character to swallow pride and work towards the greater good. Trying to run when things don’t go your way is not what America is all about. That’s cowardice on just about every level conceivable. I don’t think anyone refers to Benedict Arnold as a “patriot” for turning his back on his countrymen, but that’s what these people want to do. You have the stones to call yourself patriotic and you aren’t willing to fight for a better United States?
PS – General David Petraeus served his country for 37 years. He commanded thousands of troops, led the war in Iraq, and had one of the most distinguished careers of anyone brave enough to put on a uniform for the United States. For people to imply that he would lie or “cover up” details about Benghazi is not only preposterous, it’s insulting to the men and women who defend our freedom.
PPS – In the time that it took me to write this column, 8 Americans died because they did not have access to health care. While it is a tragedy that 4 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks in Benghazi, step back and get a little bit of perspective.
On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who took the time to share my last column. Tens of thousands of people viewed it, and I’d be lying if I said the response wasn’t a bit overwhelming and humbling for me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support, and hope that you’ll continue to read.
–Sean Kemmerer is a freelance writer, administrator of Politics Without The Crazy Pills, and has seen the movie “Stepbrothers” no less than 50 times.