Thanks to Ohioans Jeremy in Oak Harbor, Bryan R. of Cleveland, and Richard C. of Frankfort, you can support the secession of the Buckeye State from the union.
Their proposals are among more than 50 secession petitions posted on the White House website “We the People” since President Obama’s re-election last week.
Each state is represented at least once — Ohio had three as of Wednesday evening.
Obama launched the online platform last year as an easy way for citizens to approach the administration on any subject they wish. But secession dominates the website in the wake of Obama’s re-election.
“Peacefully grant the Republic of Ohio to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government,” reads Jeremy’s petition, launched Monday. By Wednesday afternoon, it had almost 7,000 signatures.
“It would be a crime against the people of any state to hold them, against their will, in a Union that they desire to leave,” said Bryan’s competing petition, which was created Saturday and had about 9,700 signatures.
Bryan quoted John F. Kennedy: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”
Richard C. started his Monday and had about 400.
A symbolic statement
All three men eventually may be disappointed.
University of Akron law professor Will Huhn said the process has no force of law.
While it was Abraham Lincoln’s election that triggered the Civil War, the issue of secession since has been completely settled, said the constitutional law specialist.
“It is not a legal proceeding. There are no legal consequences,” he said. “What Obama has done is open up an avenue for these petitions to receive visible support.”
“It’s largely symbolic,” said Christopher Banks, an associate professor of political science at Kent State who specializes in federalism and constitutional law. “It’s a venue for venting.”
Nor does the prospect of seceding have support from many leaders.
“The concept of seceding hasn’t entered into our policy discussions,” said Rob Nichols, spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“It’s kind of a waste of time,” said Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage County Tea Party.
Call for deportation
Secession also is getting some push back. Joshua L. of Birmingham, Ala., launched his own petition drive to deport everyone who signs a petition to secede.
Still, the burgeoning Ohio drives are signed by local folks including Kate L. in Barberton, Scott A. in Medina, Shaun W. and Jennifer R. in Akron and Joe B. of Stow.
Petitions don’t list the signers’ last names.
However, to create a petition or add a signature, a person must create an account, provide first and last name, ZIP code and an email address.
Petitions need at least 25,000 signatures to generate a response from the White House.
“White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response,” according to the website.
Louisiana appears to have been the first petition to go up the day after the election, followed Friday by Texas, Alabama, North Carolina and Kentucky.
So far, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Louisiana have reached the signature threshold, and Texas has coasted to the top of the list with more than 98,000 signatures within five days of being launched.
While none of the six states bidding for secession has received a response yet, the administration has responded to 82 petitions on everything from pediatric cancer care to the humane treatment of horses.
Possibly the most complete response to a petition at http://petitions.whitehouse.gov is for a request for the recipe for White House Honey Brown Ale.
The White House provides the recipe and notes that it is “the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds” and uses honey tapped from the first-ever bee hive on the south lawn.
Regarding the secession petitions, it should be noted that signers don’t have to be from the state seeking separation.
Several persons from Ohio support Michigan’s departure, and some from Michigan likewise wouldn’t mind saying goodbye to a Buckeye Nation.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.