The consequences of Barack Obama’s re-election are beginning to felt, in ways both small and large. There have also been plenty of predictions for the market and suggestions on how investors might take advantage of it. Some reactions, though, have been a bit…reactionary.
Perhaps inspired by Donald Trump’s election day tweet calling for a revolution, Americans from 20 states have filed petitions on the White House’s web site asking for their state’s right to secede from the United States.
That’s right, secede, as in “leave the United States and form their own government.” Petitions have come from 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. Most of the petitions have included snippets of the Declaration of Independence in the text of the petition, perhaps suggesting these petitions are spearheaded by one group.
The White House’s web site began accepting online petitions last year as part of its “We the People” program. Under the program, the White House will respond to any petition receiving 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days. Anyone older than 13 can create a petition. Perhaps the most noticeable petition so far under the program was one that successfully convinced the White House to release its home brew beer recipe.
Currently, the Louisiana and Texas petitions are the only ones approaching the threshold for response. They were the first states whose citizens posted petitions online. The other states have generally only had a few thousand signatures for their petitions, with some coming from out-of-state signers.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry briefly flirted with the idea of secession in 2009 before backing away from it, and former Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., suggested secession as an option in 2010 if the elections that year and in 2012 did not result in a change of leadership.
Perhaps these secession petitions are the end result of a bruising, bitterly divisive general election this year. Or maybe people have just seen the trailer for the new Abraham Lincoln movie too many times, and feel nostalgic for the Civil War.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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