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home : opinions : opinions   May 25, 2016

11/20/2012 10:27:00 AM
Column: We're divided but must work together

Craig Sterrett
News editor

Who in the world came up with the idea to start circulating petitions, signing their names to them and telling the White House their state is preparing to secede from the United States of America?
If you saw maps that showed the significant percentage of counties and land mass where Mitt Romney finished ahead in the popular vote on Nov. 6, it makes a little bit of sense to possibly hear some people whose candidate lost utter the word “secede.” But that would be talk, just like people who’ve never lived in an anarchy saying they’re anarchists.
And if you consider the strange land of Texas and some loco Texans believing they already are a nation within the nation, it’s not all that surprising to read that some in the Lone Star State would rather go it alone.
But what America needs right now is cessation of secession speak.
Unfortunately, enough people signed petitions in Texas, Louisiana and Florida that the White House may be required, if not compelled, to respond to such crazy talk. Keep in mind, when you hear jokes on late-night television about states that “want to secede,” petitions in most of the states, other than Texas, had fewer than 100,000 signatures. Also we need to keep in mind, Obama, with almost all votes counted on Nov. 10 in Florida, had 4.23 million votes to Romney’s 4.16 million there.
I like to think that nobody with a level head and without an armed compound really wants their state to secede.
I do hope Obama doesn’t think he has widespread approval of all planks in his platform. He barely won the popular vote. Geographically, by land mass and popular votes in areas that aren’t heavily populated, Romney came out on top of Obama. Here’s hoping Obama truly is willing to reach across the aisle and work with the other party to make sound decisions and find real solutions.
Now, unlike some folks who evidently get jobs as television commentators because they boldly speak in glittering generalities, I do not think Romney carrying rural counties was a racially motivated vote against Obama for not being a white guy.
I think a lot of people who voted for Obama last time voted against him this time because they had not seen a lot of jobs — other than road construction jobs — come to their region. I think a lot voted against Obama because in the 2008 campaign they liked that he opposed lengthy war in Iraq and maybe didn’t think he would push so hard and succeed in passing a frightening health-care plan with uncertain costs and consequences. I think some people, even in some downstate Illinois counties where manufacturing jobs have gone to Mexico and China, were willing to cut Romney slack for his past in corporate job exportation, and were hopeful his success in business might translate as wisdom in guiding the nation out of difficult economic times.
Some who supported Romney just are worried the federal government is too big and others will always support the candidate who is most condemning of abortion.
I’m not telling you who I voted for or why, but I will tell anyone and everyone, I take offense when people getting paid a lot of money to supposedly be journalists or observers make sweeping statements on national television that paint rural or non-metropolitan Americans as redneck racists.
Then again, some non-city folk do need to check themselves and think before they speak, type or tweet.
This is not the first time the nation has heard secession talk. According to Britannica, New England Federalists considered secession in 1814; the Missouri Compromise of 1820 held off secession by slave states and South Carolina threatened secession over tariffs in 1828. Also, Texans have discussed it on multiple occasions since 2000, and town selectmen in the towns making up Martha’s Vineyard voted to secede from Massachusetts in 1977 when a remap reduced their region’s legislative representation.
But other than in 1860 and 1861, secession talk has been just that: talk. Let’s keep it that way.
Now it’s up to our U.S. representatives and senators to work together to find real solutions. If they don’t, the country can fall apart just about as quickly as it would if states withdrew.

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: METALWORKER

Hey Mr. Sterrett.
Growing up I was told by parents, teachers and ministers that calling some one by their last name was just plain rude and poor manners.
I was told that Sir and ma'am were titles to be used at all times.
Mr. and Mrs. were always proper.
A title was earned and was used with respect for the office that that person held.
A gen. was called General and not, hey you.
A Nun was sister and a priest was and is Father or Rev.
Parents were Mom and Dad, mother or father.
and yes sir was always proper and the smart thing to do.
The pres. is and always will be Mr President or President + last name. You must have skiped a lot of days in school when proper etiquete was taught.
Either that or you are just plain rude.
Which is it? However, that seems to be prevalent in your proffesion. You news people have no respect for anyone one. You seem to think that the first ammendment gives you the right to be plain obnoxious. and rude.
Remember, sir and I use the term loosley, you and those in your profession are the teachers of the next generation.
You and those like you are moulding the habits and manners of the young people of this country and you are falling far short. If a teacher in a public school addressed their class in the same manner that you do in you column,m you would be, in that same column, shouting for their dissmisall.
It is the lack of respect in the criticism by the press, all forms, that is destroying this country from within.
It is not only possible to be critical over wrong doings, but necessary to do so but at the same time be respectful, which the press no longer does.
You seem to feel that your job gives you the right to be nasty in your opinions.
As I said Mr. Sterrett, you would not put up with that from someone else at you.

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