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Foolish retaliation

Daily Herald Editorial

Every presidential election generates a certain amount of dissatisfaction, and this year’s more than most. In keeping, perhaps, with the extreme views expressed throughout the election period, some unhappy voters are now going to the extreme of suggesting that their states secede from the union. The foolishness of these suggestions is multi-fold. More important, perhaps, is the extreme lack of patriotism that is on display.

As of late last week, petitioners in 30 states have suggested on a White House web site that their state should secede in protest of Mr. Obama’s re-election. We can safely assume that many of the signers are just taking an opportunity to express an opinion without any true desire to secede. In each state, however, there is apparently also a core of individuals who style themselves as political conservatives and as patriots who truly would like to secede. The irony should be obvious: There is no act more unpatriotic than seceding from the union.

Simply walking away from disagreements is a common practice; many organizations, from clubs to corporations to families to churches, have split apart rather than work through differences. In each case, both groups believe they represent the true spirit of the organization, and it is often difficult to tell who (if anyone) is right. Not so in the case of secession. First, secession is patently illegal. Second, our country is based on the principal of representative government, and those who don’t like the way things are going are free to vote for a different way; if enough others agree, they’ll get their way. It’s as simple as that.

Talk of secession is amusing to some, but dangerous for all. The United States remains the greatest country in the world, and anyone who would damage that country is simply unpatriotic.