In this morning’s Oregonian David Sarasohn in his online editorial in “The Stump” [i] made reference to the secession requests that have blossomed following the re-election of Obama. He reminds Oregonians of the book by Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia. In it the author posed the proposition of the western states of Oregon, Washington and California seceding from the union in order to form a “more perfect union,” or at least one more suited to their priorities.
It is almost laughable that since the election every state in the union has sent petitions to the White House requesting the right to secede! Of course, it is clear that these petitions, for the most part, are simply symbolic of the frustration so many of us feel about the political craziness that has immobilized our governing process. In the case of Texas, however, where over 100,000 signatures have been added to the petition, there probably is a much darker sentiment behind their effort. While governor Perry has distanced himself from the current petition effort, we should remember that he also threatened such action when the health care legislation was causing such a stir around the country. As I have stated in other articles, maybe we should honor the Texas request for freedom from the “dictatorial control” of the federal government and let them go ahead with developing a national status from which they can attempt to develop “international” relationships (without the backing of the power, economy, and security of federal government from which they have received a greater return on their contribution in money sent to Washington than any other state.[ii])
There may be many things we do not like about the federal government and the seeming inability of our representatives to find ways of working together for the good of all is all too apparent. Political intransigence is now so deeply imbedded in the political process that the overall well being of our citizens is hardly visible. The adage, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, seems fully implemented.[iii] Having said that, is secession the answer? Personally, I am not in favor of that action, but I am most certainly as frustrated as the majority of us when it comes to accomplishing what needs to be done. Sometimes the threat of an action is as effective as actually taking the action. Let’s hope we, as a nation, can get our act together sufficiently to overcome our differences and regain the democratic excellence that we have struggled to develop over the last two centuries.
For those of you interested in the Ecotopia project you can start by reading the articles I wrote about it on this blog awhile back. [iv], [v]
[iii] It was Lord Acton (1834-1902), British historian, who originally wrote: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."