Following last week’s election, petitions were filed in 18 states demanding they secede from the USA. Good Lord! Could that mean American Civil War Part II: The Revenge (This Time It’s Personal!) is really imminent?
Hardly. The “secession” petitions filed in those states (identical to similar petitions filed by the same complainants after the 2008 election) total only 50,000 signatures. Out of a total population, in those states, of over 100 million. (Perspective: right now there is a Facebook group— with 50,000 likes— dedicated to unfavorably comparing actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s face to that of a horse). I suppose the rest of us could just acknowledge the request of those seeking to leave the Union by deporting them off to somewhere else. Maybe Antarctica. See? Problem solved.
There is always a small group of hyper-zealots who insist on taking their politically-charged views to the ultimate extreme. Meanwhile, the political middle, or “swing voters”— i.e, those who really decide who wins and who loses in national elections — apparently remain unimpressed with all of the recent partisan hoopla, and want less bullshit and more cross-party cooperation from their elected officials. Even though this was the most expensive presidential election in history… apparently 6 billion dollars spent on attack ads doesn’t buy much in the way of drastic change.
But the sky is not falling, and the country is not about to collapse. The truth is— when compared to the rest of the world, and to our own past history— the United States of America is doing pretty well. Even from a conservative point of view. As was recently pointed out by David Frum in an excellent commentary at CNN.com:
“Compare the United States of 2012 to the United States of 1962. Leave aside the obvious points about segregation and discrimination, and look only at the economy. In 1962, the government regulated the price and route of every airplane, every freight train, every truck and every merchant ship in the United States. The government regulated the price of natural gas. It regulated the interest on every checking account and the commission on every purchase or sale of stock. Owning a gold bar was a serious crime that could be prosecuted under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The top rate of income tax was 91%.
It was illegal to own a telephone. Phones had to be rented from the giant government-regulated monopoly that controlled all telecommunications in the United States. All young men were subject to the military draft and could escape only if they entered a government-approved graduate course of study. The great concern of students of American society — of liberals such as David Riesman, of conservatives such as Russell Kirk, and of radicals such as Dwight Macdonald — was the country’s stultifying, crushing conformity.
Even if you look only at the experiences of white heterosexual men, the United States of 2012 is a freer country in almost every way than the United States of 1962.”
Yesterday was Veterans Day. Enemy bullets fired at this nation’s defenders in times of war don’t know the difference between “Republican” or “Democrat.” A true patriot is one who is willing to make necessary sacrifices to defend and serve the best interests of his country. His ENTIRE country.
So, enough whining. Time for everyone to cowboy up and get back to work.