Opinion

Secession? Here's the door, don't let it hit ya | Skager

It didn’t take long for displeasure with the reelection of President Barack Obama to surface.

Considering the mudslinging and the generally negative nature of this year’s presidential contest between Republican candidate Mitt Romney and the incumbent, not surprising.

What has been surprising is the nature of the outcry against Obama’s legitimate electoral college victory – 332 votes to Romney’s 206 – and popular vote win – with Obama winning 51 percent with 62,615,406 votes to Romney’s 48 percent with 59,142,004. Given such a close race, you knew the acrimony wouldn’t be far behind.

Like a sore loser threatening to take his ball and go home, the discontent seeped to the surface the day after the election when petitions for the secession of several states found their way onto the Internet.

The movement started in Louisiana and other states quickly followed. Today, petitions from disgruntled residents of all 50 states seeking to leave the Union are posted on the Whitehouse’s We The People petition site at www.whitehouse.gov.

Among them is Texas, whose petition now has more than 100,000 signatures.

(An interesting side note is the petition asking that the City of Austin be allowed to secede from Texas but stay in the U.S.)

Meanwhile, about 2,000 miles south of our fair shores, the tiny U.S. territory of Puerto Rico voted this past week to become a state.

According to news reports, Puerto Ricans voted in a two-part referendum, which first asked whether they supported the current territorial relationship, then whether they supported full statehood, a Sovereign Free Associated State and outright independence. The vote was 54 percent against the current status with 61 percent following up the first question with a vote for becoming the 51st state.

So how do these two issues relate?

Bear with me here.

When I first heard about the secession petitions, I thought, no problem: let’s take anyone who wants to secede, ship them off to the Lonestar State and let Texas become the Republic of Texas again.

Then, after realizing that Texas actually contributed to the national economy (unlike deadbeat states such as Louisiana – which takes $1.45 of federal money for every $1 it ponies up – and Alabama – $1.71 of fed cash for every $1), I realized my initial plan was a poor idea. Plus, I saw what a map of the U.S. actually looked like without Texas (check it out, it’s not very appealing) I realized there might be an alternative.

As of a much-too-late-to-be-up Sunday night, the signature count on the Whitehouse.gov for those in favor of secession was more than 829,000 Americans who want to leave the Union, rather than compromise and work toward the betterment of the country.

Meanwhile, more than 3.7 million Puerto Ricans appear to be eager to join the Union.

So, here’s my idea.

Let’s gather up anyone not willing to work together as Americans and give them Puerto Rico as a new nation. That way they can form their own government, free of the constraints of actually having to concede to the wishes of the majority of Americans. And honestly, who’d be unhappy with the prospect of more than 3,500 square miles of Caribbean island real estate?

In exchange we allow any Puerto Ricans who want to become Americans to come to our shores and settle in the great state of Texas, which with a miniscule population density of 96.3 people per square mile, spread out over 268,581 square miles, has more than enough space for a few more people.

It’s a win-win situation for all.

The Puerto Ricans become full-fledged Americans, the disgruntled secessionists inherit a Caribbean island, and the rest of the country gets back to work compromising and getting the United States back on track, minus a few hundred thousand malcontents.

Let’s just hope Donald Trump and his hair are among the secessionists.


 

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