First, of course, read Easley's article on the PoliticusUSA website (by clicking on the big green "Read Article" button, above); then, here's my comment that I posted beneath it...
Your posting, Mr. Easley, goes too far; and given the tenor of this place (which, don't get me wrong, I love), that's saying a lot. I get the overarching point you're trying to make...
...however, even as a means of illustrating the sheer ridiculousness of the secession cry, the invitation to those making it to "go ahead and do it" roundly dishonors the memory of the 750,000 men who sacrificed their lives for -- and the manifold more than that, for at least another generation, whose entire lives were turned almost literally inside out by -- the greatest and most consequential war in American history: The Civil War.
As Ken Burns helped Americans to understand as never before with his stunningly magnificent "The Civil War" TV series -- first aired in 1990, and, to this day, the most-watched program in the history of PBS -- the tentacles of that great war extend to the present day, and affect the lives, still, of literally millions of Americans, and the very culture that is America's south.
No one understood, better than this nation's 16th and greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, the absolute imperative of holding-together the United States; a cause for which his presidency greatly suffered, and for which he, too, ultimately gave the greatest full measure of devotion. Every American could benefit, right now, in the din of this ridiculous -- and ridiculously minority -- call for secession, from (re-)reading Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
I love your work, here, Mr. Easley, but I humbly request that you write, in the future, about this secession silliness with at least one non-negotiable inalterably in mind: That, no matter what, there must be no seceding by anyone, at absolutely any and all costs.
For anyone who's interested: Burn's "The Civil War" series will be re-broadcast on PBS, starting Sunday, April 3rd thru Thursday, April 7th, from 8:00 to 10:00 PM. Check your local listings.
Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA
gregg at greggdeselms dot com
Additionally, over on the Opposing Views website, regarding this whole secession silliness, and the article's apparently being impressed by the numbers of people insensibly calling for it, I wrote:
Never be too terribly impressed by such numbers.
In September of 1986, then-freshly-former "NBC News Overnight" anchor Linda Ellerbee (now aged 68, and host of Nickelodeon's duPont Columbia award-winning "Nick News") told the TV audience of her then-new primetime TV series, "Our World: It's About Time," that around 3% of Americans didn't believe that we had landed men on the moon.
In 1986 there were around 240 million Americans; so, then, around 720,000 of them didn't believe we had landed men on the moon. I just happen to remember seeing that broadcast, and I remember thinking, at the time, that that's about how many people are typically in Chicago's Grant Park on July 3rd, each year, for Independence Day fireworks (Chicago does it on the 3rd, not the 4th). These days, it's closer to a million, they say... maybe even more; but back then it was around three-quarter million, give or take.
Most people have trouble getting their minds wrapped around such numbers of people, all in one place. A typical sports stadium holds from 40,000 to 60,000; with the largest US stadium holding a little under 120,000. So anyone going to such places can envision at least that many; but beyond that, at least all in one place, is kinda' tough for most people.
I'm lucky, though. Back in those days I worked for a medical professional association whose annual meeting at McCormick place rented every hotel/motel room in the city for a week each year; and so, through those connections, I found myself, two summers in a row in the mid-1980's, at a July 3rd party in a two-story suite on the thirty-somethingth floor of the Swissotel, overlooking Grant Park. It was high enough up that some of the fireworks actually exploded below our eye level; and we could see the entirety of Grant Park, below... bandshell, and all.
So I, from that, have a half-decent idea what three-quarters of a million people, all in one place, looks like; and I remember thinking, then, about Ellerbee's 3% statistic; that that's how many people didn't believe, in 1986, that we had landed someone on the moon.
And I remember thinking to myself that if a person were standing down in the middle of the field in a sports stadium which held only one-tenth that number of people; and if all those people were simultaneously yelling at said person that the sky was purple, it probably wouldn't take said person very long to start half believing it. That many people all telling you something's true can be convincing, indeed. But don't be fooled...
...even that huge number of people would have still been, back in 1986, only three-tenths of a percent of all Americans. Three tenths of a percent of 100 people in a room is equivalent to not even a human finger... maybe even only a fingertip.
Even 25,000 idiot Texans is just under one-tenth of a percent of today's US population (although, in the case of these petitioners, it's still 100% idiot). If one-tenth of one percent of a room full of 100 people expressed any opinion at all, even while the rest of those in the room remained silent, you'd dismiss it as not worthy of your attention, much less your contemplation, in a heartbeat... especially because unless said one tenth of one percent were a mouth (as opposed to the aforementioned fingertip), then it, too, would be silent. But now I digress. Sorry.
Oh... but, wait! I didn't even need to go back 26 years to find an example of group lunacy (pun intended) in at least superficially seemingly-impressive numbers of people. Last week, a whopping 59 million people -- 47% of all who voted, but only around 19% of all Americans -- voted for Romney.
And they were idiots, too.
They're everywhere... idiots, I mean. You can't throw a rock without hitting one...
...no matter how hard you try.
Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA
gregg at greggdeselms dot com
In fact, when you add-up all the people who've signed all the silly secession petitions in all... what... 23 states... it's still less than 1% of all Americans... far fewer, even, than polls say currently believe we never put a man on the moon (a number which, in 1999, according to Gallup, had risen to around 6% from 1986's 3%).
Also beneath that Opposing Views article, a New Yorker, apparently, has updated the well-known, and very funny "Dear Red States" letter that always seems to get updated after every election:
Dear Red States:
We're ticked off at your Neanderthal attitudes and politics and we've decided we're leaving.
We in New York intend to form our own country and we're taking the other Blue States with us.
In case you aren't aware that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the rest of the Northeast.
We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the people of the new country of The Enlightened States of America (E.S.A).
To sum up briefly:
You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
We get Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren. You get Bobby Jindal and Todd Akin.
We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard (Princeton, Penn, Haverford, Colgate, U of R). You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.
With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.
With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.
We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
Thirty eight percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.
We're taking the good weed too. You can have that crap they grow in Mexico.
Citizen of the Enlightened States of America
Ha! That one never gets old (though the South can have all the weed, as far as I'm concerned; not only might it actually cause them to start making more sense, but I'm one of the few liberals who's four-square against legalizing it... I've seen the truth about it in my ministry... see my bio, here).
It'll be nice when all this ridiculous talk of secession dies down and this nation can get back to the business of figuring out how to rid itself of the (Insani)Tea Party...
...er... wait... maybe they're the same thing.