OPINION COLUMNS

Petition paints inaccurate picture of Texas

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I wasn’t born in this state, but I’ve lived here long enough to grow an appreciation for the character of people who are from here.

Most Texans I know are hard workers. They are self-sufficient. They have a can-do attitude. They are always willing to help out someone in need. They don’t just throw their arms up and cry if something doesn’t go their way.

That’s why I find it so hard to understand a particular petition gaining so much steam.

An online petition calling for Texas to withdraw from the United States garnered enough signatures that it requires an official response from the White House.

It started on Friday, and by Monday the petition, created by a man from Arlington known only as Micah H., had passed the 25,000 threshold needed to get an official response. As of this writing Tuesday afternoon it had more than 76,291 signatures, including at least two Wise County residents.

Signature number 76,220 was by a woman from Decatur. And signature number 75,481 was from a resident of Rhome.

The petition is simple enough. It reads:

“We petition to Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.

“The U.S. continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the U.S. suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect its citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”

The entire petition is an overreaction to one presidential election. The candidate these signers wanted to win didn’t, so they want to cry about it in some kind of official format.

Our U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution in existence. It has passed the test of time. It has sustained us through Civil War and two world wars. Many countries have used it as a model for their own constitutions. It has allowed us to improve dramatically over the years, from the abolition of slavery to giving women the right to vote to the creation of the Civil Rights Act.

Most every other nation has undergone some kind of radical change since then to transform from a monarchy to a modern republic or into a communist or totalitarian state. But the United States has maintained and can boast of being the planet’s oldest continuous democracy.

Yet because some people don’t get their way in one election, they want to throw it all away.

How can you claim to be patriotic when you don’t even want to be part of the United States?

The identity of Texas has been hijacked by people who want to stomp their feet and say “my way or the highway.” But American politics is all about compromise. It’s about a wide range of constituents and viewpoints trying to share a common place in time. It’s extremely difficult. It hardly ever turns out the way everybody wants it to.

But it’s ours. And it has worked. It’s proven to be the most successful form of government in the modern world. Just like most people, I don’t agree with many policies we have, but if you really care about something, you keep working to make it better.

This petition is giving the rest of the nation the wrong idea about Texans and all their strengths.

It shows only weaknesses.

2 Responses to “Petition paints inaccurate picture of Texas”

  1. Rusty White says:

    Brandon,

    WELL SAID!!! Those that signed this crap are less than 1% of the citizens of the Great State of TEXAS, are they not??? Does that not make them a very small amount and not even a “minority” with their self serving beliefs and agendas? LOTS OF LUCKY, Texas and her citizens are not going to follow a bunch of self serving sore losers, want to bet!

  2. Rusty, Brandon,

    As much as I want to say this kind of thinking is exclusive to the right, let’s not forget about that infamous U.S.A./Jesusland graphic that came out of the 2004 John Kerry loss. We’re all prone to think this way and the ideological schism has only deepened since.

    In defense of us on the left, though, that was just facetious. Nobody filed a formal petition demanding a White House response, and we went about forging the way to wins in 2006, 2008, and now 2012.

    Point is, we’ve felt this way before, too, and we’d do well not to underestimate what comes of their fervor, if not their reason.

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