Everyone remembers the days when they were young and mom said to clean your room. In that instant you knew that was it, the final straw. You could take no more of the tyrannical leadership. You had been forced to take one too many naps, pick up one too many toys, and eat one too many Brussels sprouts, and it was time.
You pull the pillow case from your pillow, pack a few of the necessities — toys, a cookie or two, maybe a game, and take to the streets. You are a free man, or woman, and the world is finally yours! About five minutes later you pass your neighbor’s house with the big dog and run past the yard as fast as possible so it won’t bark at you.
Then at last, you make it to the end of the kid world, the intersection. That one place you have never been allowed to go on your own since mom always said not to cross the street. Well mom is back at the house, and this is your time to shine! Toeing slowly, making sure all is safe, a car comes fast over the hill and you run back to the street corner.
You have been gone 20 minutes now. You are starting to get hungry and wondering what happens if another car comes. You worry because you left what you now remember is your favorite toy in your room and you already ate your cookies.
Defeated, yet happy, you go home and plot out your next escape so this time you’ll be able to make it across that street. It is only later in life when we are really turned free that we realize it is just like that scary intersection. You are not fully prepared, and you miss the comfort and ease of your family.
Despite this knowledge that every adult has grown to know, or should have at least, some still try to runaway ill prepared and with no head toward the future. I am not talking about a wayward teen, I am talking about the fully grown adults of the secession movement.
Texas has long been the ring leader in the if-you-don’t-agree-with-me-I-am-leaving parade, but there have been many others. Following President Obama’s re-election this month, now all 50 states have had petitions to secede from the United States, filed by individuals with the White House website We the People. It is interesting how quickly we forget what happened the last time states decided to secede instead of working out our differences.
The Civil War is an excellent example of what happens when we as America break apart. Our resources are split, our trade routes are broken, and the country is weakened. The war that followed took 750,000 American lives.
The official non-Latin motto of Kentucky, “Unite We Stand Divided We Fall” has been proven true time and time again. It has been proven on the macro level by the millions of lives lost over centuries in civil wars. Then it has been proven again on the micro level in that a people living a solitary life have an estimated life expectancy 20 years less than that of someone in a community.
Without federal backing, a military, regulation, federal funding, national trade, access to out-of-state food sources, and federal assistance programs, it is hard to believe that any state could survive as a sovereign nation. One of secession’s biggest cheerleaders in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry, has come out and said he does not support seceding despite his 2009 statement to the contrary.
It is possible that Perry has come to learn through his failed run for president just how difficult it is to become a nation. Every new nation struggles.
So while every state in the United States currently has people petitioning to secede, none have more than a small fraction of their population supporting it. Even Texas, the one state that truly believes they cannot be messed with, who has far and away the most signatures on their petition, has only been able to muster a measly .4 percent of their 25 million residents.
Maybe these numbers just mean that while there are always the Peter Pans in the world that never want to grow up, most of us remember our first brush with freedom, and how good it was to hug mom and sit down to dinner when we came home.