THE BLOG

If at First You Don't Secede

11/15/2012 12:22 pm ET | Updated Jan 15, 2013

In a massive hissy fit about the results of the presidential election, Tea Party types sporting one-letter surnames (Kenny G, Todd A, Mitt R) have filed a series of petitions to allow their states to secede from the United States on the White House's We the People site. (Secession petitions on a website paid for by the government: ironic, huh? In an Alanis Morrissette kinda way anyhow.) Texas has several such petitions, with the combined number of digital signatures now well into six figures; secession petitions for Alabama and Tennessee currently boast well over the 25,000 signatures required for consideration. A not-particularly well-thought-out petition to allow Massachusetts to secede has also been introduced but has garnered a mere 773 signatures. (Brad M: you do know that there will still be more liberals than conservatives in Massachusetts even if you were to secede, right? Hell, probably just in Northampton.) An equally-serious counterpetition to strip citizenship from and exile those signing secession petitions has also gone up on the site. The media have mostly viewed these petitions with a degree of amusement, and several southern governors, including Rick Perry of Texas (who himself has suggested, then denied, that he would favor his state seceding), Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Robert Bentley of Alabama have made statements distancing themselves from what they see as a frivolous secession movement.

Now, some -- okay, most -- might view these petitions as at best an impotent expression of frustration with and rage at the reality of the election, at worst a treasonous and racist hearkening back to the secession of the Confederate states that started the Civil War. Me? I see it as an opportunity.

For decades, we've known that the blue states subsidize the red, that citizens of blue states tend to pay more to and receive less from the federal government than their fellow citizens in red states. They get benefits; we get taxed. Secession would benefit everyone. It would remove a crippling financial burden (i.e., the red states) from those of us who live in the blue states, while those secessionists who decry socialism would no longer be forced to suffer under the yoke of the oppressive government that builds their roads and bridges, educates them (well, tries to), provides them with police and firefighters and ensures that they have health care when they shoot each other or themselves or have babies with their relatives. According to my calculations (admittedly carried out by randomly punching numbers into an Excel spreadsheet that I use to track my bowel movements), the savings in tax revenues paid out to the red states would allow those of us left behind in more liberal areas to pay off our share of the national debt, repair our roads and bridges and install Veuve Cliquot fountains on every street corner. And also to treat the alcoholism epidemic resulting from the Veuve Cliquot fountains. Unintended consequences are a bitch.

Also, and I'm trying to be nice here (It burns! It burns!): we don't enjoy their company, and they don't enjoy ours. Consider the now-infamous collection of post-election racist tweets reported on Jezebel: these tweets go beyond mere free expression of stupidity; they represent a fundamental desire to offend humanity and decency, a lack of respect for the president, our country and other human beings. It saddens me that people like that live in the same country I do. So, yes, please, let the Free Republic Of Racistan (formerly the state formerly known as Texas -- because doesn't that name sound a little... Hispanic to you?) go its own way, and let the secessionists who live among us hit the road down there -- while there are still roads down there. Oh, and you guys'll love the summers: it's a dry heat. Not unlike that of Hell. Stay hydrated.

So, rather than mock or attack the secessionists, I say we help them. Sign their petitions. Create dozens of pseuds and personas on We the People and sign those petitions, then sign them again, then again. (As we like to say here in Chicago, vote early and vote often.) Send emails to the red-state governors urging them to support secession. Offer to drive local secessionists down to Texas or Alabama. Forcibly kidnap some of them down to Texas or Alabama. (Don't forget to leave the trunk cracked for air circulation. They'll thank you later.) Tell them how if they stay, we'll force them to gay-marry the Fed. Whatever you do, don't mention that Medicare is a government program and their new country will have none of it; they won't believe you anyway, and it'll just cause friction in the last few days before they go off to enjoy their socialism- and tyranny-free paradise.

Don't worry, secessionists; we'll divvy up the $15 trillion check later. Tell you what: the Iraq War? On us.