posted by Satyam Kaswala in Local

Here we go again: Time to secede from the Union

November 15, 2012

Have you had enough? Have you decided that after over two centuries of effort, after massive wars and unprecedented movements for progress, after countless Americans marched and fought and hoped and died by the millions, all for a dream, that all those struggles and triumphs in the quest to form a more perfect Union was simply not worth it? Have you decided it's time to give up on America? All because we now face a threat that makes all others we've faced seem tiny, a crisis so dangerous and scary that fighting it is futile-- namely the re-election of an empathetic, center-left President?

If so, you're not alone! Six thousand Georgians have already signed a petition to allow Georgia to secede from the United States and form its own government. The White House even has a page where you can petition to surrender your American citizenship.

In fact, Georgia is not alone either. According to Creative Loafing, (ex)citizens in over 20 states have signed similar petitions. Yes. Because if there's one thing our country's history has taught us, it's that it's better to run away from our perceived problems than to overcome them.

On a less facetious note, Georgia State University associate political science professor Daniel Franklin said that Georgia doesn't have a tradition of secession as strong as people may think. Of course, far more Georgians do not want to secede than do.

“It may show there’s a fringe in Georgia politics, but it doesn’t represent Georgia tradition, which in fact was never for secession,” he said to Times Record News. The article also noted that Georgia voters rejected secession in 1860. The Georgia Secession Convention of 1861 formed after that rejection.

On an even less facetious note, it's clear that the ghosts of the Civil War still haunt us. Lincoln's long shadow still looms over so much of what we do and over so much of what America means. It's appropriate that a film exploring him comes out this week.

You already know where I stand on this. To me secession, even the desire for secession, is the antithesis of patriotism. It's a laughably hyperbolic response. There are racial undertones. This is 2012. It's nonsense talk.

But at the same time, the South has had to wrestle with moral and literal defeat in a way much of the rest of the country has not. That weighs heavy on the spirit. The blood from most Civil War battles spilled on Southern soil. A presence still lingers. Something from that still stirs.

What makes the South so different? What makes the South, well, the South?

Would you like to secede from the Union? Or would you like for the Athens Talks community to secede from OnlineAthens?

What do you think about secession in general?

Are we still grappling with issues stemming from the Civil War? How does the Civil War continue to inform us?

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