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Edward Flattau Headshot

Secession Fever

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Some disaffected Americans want their state to sever ties with the good old USA and become an independent nation. Others feel disenfranchised by their state government and seek to have their region officially designated the 51st state.

These alienated souls need to get a grip.

Let us begin with those who wish to secede from the union. People pursuing this hopelessly futile goal can be found in every state in growing if still infinitesimal numbers. Texas, with more than 100,000 petitioners, has the most vocal faction clamoring for devolution.

It is true enough that Texas has the 14th largest economy in the world and supplies one-fourth of our nation's oil. But even with its substantial wealth, Texas lacks the resources to go it alone, as do all other states.

Unconvinced? In spite of the substantial federal aid Texas currently receives, it remains one of the most polluted states in the nation, and its health care coverage and public school system rank near the bottom of the heap. While approximately five million Texans are on Medicaid and some Three million receive Medicare, more than 6.3 million Texans lack any form of medical insurance. Given these numbers, could a Texas stripped of federal participation replace the loss, much less pick up the slack?

What about modern day environmental threats that transcend territorial boundaries and thus are beyond the ability of any one state to monitor and contain?

Then there are those disillusioned Americans who want to create a state within a state. Since they would need the approval of their state lawmakers, Congress, and the President, it's not going to happen. None of these officials are going to sanction the start of a free-for-all that would adversely impact the already fiscally strapped conditions of most of our existing 50 states.

State secessionists tend to be conservative and reside in rural counties. Many are trapped in a time warp, refusing to adjust to, much less acknowledge, changes in modern society. They object to efforts to mandate green energy and curb carbon emissions, even though they will benefit every bit as much as liberal city dwellers.

They may be uncomfortable with multiculturalism, immigration, and gay marriage, even though such societal tends have become well established and failure to recognize them encourages younger generations to flee the coop in search of modernity.

The irony is that most of these social changes require no more than a passive acceptance to leave traditional lifestyles largely intact.

Those who think a new state would give them more leverage to oppose the "tyranny" of the federal government must be experiencing an epiphany in the wake of the two week government shutdown. The absence of government services previously taken for granted has awakened many to the realization that one man's tyranny is another's salvation.

At the very least, all of these "rebels" should take stock of American history, which has repeatedly demonstrated that "United we stand, divided we fall".