President Obama delivers his victory speech in Chicago, Nov. 6, 2012. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
In the wake of last week's presidential election, thousands of Americans have signed petitions seeking permission for their states to peacefully secede from the United States. The petitions were filed on We the People, a government website.
States with citizens filing include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Oddly, folks from Georgia have filed twice. Even stranger, several of the petitions come from states that went for President Barack Obama.
The petitions are short and to the point. For example, a petition from the Volunteer State reads: "Peacefully grant the State of Tennessee to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." Of all the petitions, Texas has the most signatures so far, with more than 23,000.
Of course, this is mostly a symbolic gesture. The odds of the American government granting any state permission to go its own way are on par with winning the lottery while getting hit by a meteor while seeing Bigfoot while finding gluten-free pizza that tastes like the real thing.
An article from WKRC quotes a University of Louisville political science professor who explained that these petitions aren't uncommon. Similar petitions were filed following the 2004 and 2008 elections. Still, should the petitions garner 25,000 signatures in a month, they will require an official response from the Obama administration.
From the We the People site:
The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. We created We the People because we want to hear from you. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.
Not everybody who wants to secede is polite enough to write a petition. Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County (Texas) Republican Party, wrote a post-election newsletter in which he urges the Lone Star State to leave the Union.
"We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity... Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years."