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Recession and 21st Century State Secession - Reasonable, Outrageous, and Odd Petitions Sent To the White House
They Are Here To Read Your Petitions:
Petitioning the President For Action
It would be a good publicity stunt for Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln (2012), but regardless, the number and type of petitions received by We The People at WhiteHouse.gov within the 10 days between Election 2012 for President and the wide release of Lincoln on November 16, 2012 was eerily coincidental. Petitions begun by private citizens in nearly all 50 states called for permission to secede from the Union. It was the 1860s all over again.
Fortunately, the 1963 move by the State of Texas to revive the ratification process for the still-alive Corwin Amendment that could re-institute Black slavery was buried in committee the day the proposal was made. Some of the November 2012 petitions to the White House and President Barack Obama are just as hopeless, but many are legitimate. We The People took on traits of a discussion forum when the titles of the petitions were read in succession (see below).
At the same time, some good responses from federal level representatives of the Administration answered many pertinent petition questions made in this program that began in September 2012. See the link to the website at the end of this Hub.
Below is a sample of the diversity of petitions put to the Obama Administration in the White House from September - November 2012. It is both informative and somewhat entertaining. If kept in place, We the People could become an immensely popular and effective means of sharing opinions and venting to the Administration while submitting some credible petitions.
Rating for "We The People" White House Petition Site
A Little Rhyming Glossary
Recession - An economic downturn like that of 2008 - 2010, its aftermath, and beyond.
Secession - A move made by a US State to leave the Union (the United States) in order to form its own sovereign government and nation.
Succession - A chain or progression, one after another, as in how citizens of many States would like to leave the Union.
Petition - A plea to be heard with expectations of a granted request or demand.
A trove of petitions at the White House each names a particular US state and asks the White House, President Obama, and the US Federal Government overall to Peacefully Grant said state to Withdraw from the United States Of America and "start its own government", start its OWN government, and similar language.
Suddenly we see this one: Force all states to pay their portion of the national debt before they can secede from the union. This was started by one "Sam G", November 13, 2012; no state given. It may have been a comment against the runaway-wannabe states as well as a petition and it had received 1,674 signatures as of the morning of November 14. Thus, We The People became a discussion board - or at least a comment board. Here's a partial quote, which is followed in the petition on the website by a list of federal assistance items 'they can no longer have, so there' type of thing (which may change their minds for them, at that):
Residents of all states who wish to secede from the union should be required to take their own advice about 'personal responsibility', and pay their share of the national debt before being released to fend for themselves.
This debt must be paid in full, or they cannot leave.
This means no federal assistance, period.
While it may be a good idea to ask States to pay a portion of the National Debt before leaving, the tone of the petition is sarcastic and unprofessional. Speakers and writers that add the final "period" are difficult to take seriously, although they hold the thought that the word adds strength and legitimacy to tenuous or mean-spirited demands.
In middle school history and government class, when asked about national agendas to target for improvement, I asked whether it might not be a good idea to start paying down the national debt. The team of three white male teachers in their 40s laughed and never explained why my question was funny. They refused to discuss the national debt as something that could ever be paid. That was a long time and many dollars fewer ago -- I wonder what they would say about it now?
Here's another title: Keep the United States United. This comes from Ms. Jacqueline H. in Albany, New York On November 12. 1,275 signatures. All in all, she states that she wants “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
More Petition Titles
The petitions listed below, from the White House web site, have 30 days in which to gather 25,000 signatures (or fewer for some topics) and qualify for an official response. My understanding is that signatures must be those of registered voters.
One petition is a demand for PIZZA, while another is about a college mascot.
Petitions Related To Election 2012 Issues
Signatures on November 14, Morning
Stated Problem to Address
Peacefully grant the University of Illinois Chief Illiniwek back as the school mascot.
Matthew W., Wheaton, Illinois, Nov. 13
"Chief Illiniwek was a symbol of the University of Illinois, and gave recognition to the Native American tribes of Illinois. Getting rid of this mascot is erasing a heroic and symbolic figure of utmost importance to Illinois history."
Allow Any American To Voluntarily Opt Out Of "ObamaCare" [The So Called Affordable Care Act].
Todd H.; Seattle WA; Nov. 13
"The Obama administration has allowed unions like the SEIU, lobbyists like the AARP and certain businesses to opt out of ObamaCare [the so called Affordable Care Act]. This petition asks that We The People be granted the right to opt out of the ACA legislation and its mandates."
We request that Obama be impeached for the following reasons...
Stephen M, no state; Nov.11
MOOT. Impeachment is not done by petition to the White House. It begins with a proposal from the House or Senate. A plea might be made to a Representative or Senator to begin action.
Second Petition, same name, by Todd H., above. The web site states to send only one petition per topic or secession.
Justice for Missouri Secession
Joseph M., Philadelphia PA; Nov. 12
"Peacefully grant the remaining United States of America a Pizza Party furnished by Pizza Hut and Papa Johns (unless he keeps laying off his workers) should the State of Missouri succeed with one or both of their petitions to the White House to Secede from the Union. As remaining loyal citizens of America, and to shove it in Missourians faces once they aren't a part of the US any longer, a Nationwide Pizza Party would reconcile differences, mend old wounds and bring together the nation".
Remove "In God We Trust" from the U.S. currency and remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Connor T., no state; Nov. 12
"This act blatantly respected the Christian establishment. Please help me in undoing this act of religious favoritism and "communist fear" by signing this petition."
Make Election Day a Federal Holiday in an effort to increase voter accessibility and promote democratic culture
Cameron B Champaign, IL Nov.12
May increase voting and if combined with Veterans Day, could double-highlight both events.
Some Additional, Odd Titles
- Repeal Obamacare. It is killing jobs in this country. Thousands have already lost their jobs because of it. This is just the title. The body of the text is a repeat.
- endorse (sic) Johnny Manziel, also known as "Johnny Football," for the 2012 Heisman Memorial Trophy Award.
- Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas & remain part of the United States.
Here's a heartfelt plea:
- Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America. Proposed by Joshua L of Birmingham AL on Nov. 12, this petition already gained 14,870 signatures by the morning of Nov. 14. This petition may gain enough legitimate signatures by December 12, or not, but I do not think that this action requested is either Constitutional or physically possible. Additional similar petitions request the White House to strip citizenship of everyone that signed a petition to secede. That is unconstitutional, a violation of First Amendment Rights.
I don't see how the White House is going to manage this one:
- Restore Objectivity And Fairness To Our Media
I don't think this one can be accomplished through the government other by establishing a national media governing body as that operating in China or the former Soviet Union. That is much more government than many people want and much more than television networks would tolerate. The strictures would likely put them out of business. Socially, it would be accomplished by enough people refusing to watch media that spin the truth and refusing to buy products from their sponsors. This petition is calling for the opposite of the Max Headroom type of society.