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Secession: The Patriotic Choice

by Jack Fitzpatrick | Arizona State University

F Posted in: News and Politics, Voices P Posted on: March 4, 2011
JackFitzpatrick Jack Fitzpatrick

Secession is the new black.

It’s edgy, it’s rebellious, it’s badass, but all in a thoughtful way. Like a folk musician, a reclusive author, or a grizzled frontiersman, secession is about standing up for your principles, even if it means becoming an out-of-touch extremist.

Humans instinctively know when to secede. Even small children know that running away from home is the best way to get what they want. Obviously, the first step is whining and crying, but when things really get rough, secession gets the job done. Pack your suitcase, tell your mom you’re changing your name to King Play-Doh or Dolphin McSwimsalot, and lay down an ultimatum.

I will eat cookies for dinner, or else I’m outtahere! Bedtime? Never! A curfew? Tyranny!

The phrase, “I will not stand for this!” seems to be encoded in our DNA, so it’s not surprising that the tradition of running away from home has found its way into state and local governments.

The latest example of this rugged individualism comes from Arizona, obviously, but you’d be surprised which Arizonans are threatening secession. It’s not the conservatives, fed up with the federal government’s lack of response to the state’s immigration crisis. It’s a group of Democrats in Pima County, fed up with Republicans in Maricopa County being fed up with the federal government.

It’s a case of pre-emptive double secession. If and when Republicans in Arizona secede from the U.S., Democrats will have already seceded from their secession, thus minimizing the effects of that secession and maximizing the anti-secession secession.

So Pima County would be a new state, apparently called Baja Arizona, South Arizona, or Gadsden, according to The Arizona Capitol Times. I vote for Baja Arizona, so the official state song could be “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Those dogs know how to secede.

But it’s not just Arizona. Texas has been threatening to leave the U.S. practically since it became a state in 1845, and in 2009, Gov. Rick Perry seemed to entertain the idea of secession.

Luckily, there are answers to any questions outsiders might have about Texas secession at TexasSecede.com.

The FAQ mentions the myth that the Civil War proved secession to be illegal. But the website quells that rumor easily:

“It only proved that, when allowed to act outside his lawfully limited authority, a U.S. president is capable of unleashing horrendous violence against the lives, liberty, and property of those whom he pretends to serve.”

That’s right — you thought Abraham Lincoln was acting according to the constitutional rights of the states, but you were wrong. He was only concerned with forcing a partisan agenda of “anti-slavery” and “human rights” on the Confederates. Communism!

Of course, if Texas secedes from the U.S., the mostly liberal city of Austin would end up seceding from Texas, back in to the U.S., forming a sort of yin-yang formation of an American city stranded in Texas, like how West Berlin used to be. Ah, those were the days.

And then there’s Alaska.

Stories involving Sarah Palin’s possible connection to an Alaskan secessionist group — the Alaskan Independence Party — have put a spotlight on the issue since the AKIP collected over 100 signatures on a petition for Alaska to secede from the U.S. in 2006. The organization is an officially recognized party in Alaska, but that particular attempt at secession was shot down quickly.

Here’s a look at the AKIP’s stance on states’ rights, from the “Issues” section of its website:

“Everybody has the right to be ‘stupid’ and it is not the government’s responsibility to protect us from ourselves.”

Yes, I believe the right to be “stupid” is part of the forty-eleventh Amendment, along with the right to ignorance and illiteracy. In fact, I think it’s in the Magna Carta somewhere, and if Obama or anyone else wants to stop Alaskans from exercising their right to stupidity, it’s time to secede.

Maybe we could all secede at the same time, and instead of leaving the United States, we could simply rename ourselves the Disjointed States of America.

In fact, I don’t want to be associated even with a state. Why should states get all the secession action? Let’s learn a lesson from Baja Arizona and secede at the county level, or even the neighborhood level.  I’m gathering a petition for my dorm room to secede from the rest of the world. So far, 50 percent of the population of my room has signed it. I’m still trying to convince my roommate, but if he doesn’t sign, I’ll just secede my half of the room.

We can all secede and just take care of ourselves. No government interference, no taxes, just good old-fashioned independence. My new country will be named the American Nation Against Rambunctious, Cowardly Heathens of Yonder, or A.N.A.R.C.H.Y.

There’s even a Constitution. A.N.A.R.C.H.Y. only has three rules:

  1. No immigration. A.N.A.R.C.H.Y. is and will always be a country of one.
  2. No education standards. I’ll learn whatever I want, and I’ll always get an A-plus. I’m currently working on my master’s degree from Discovery Channel University.
  3. Jack Fitzpatrick is the king, emperor, president and entire population of A.N.A.R.C.H.Y. I rule.

I don’t have to worry about theft, since I can’t steal from myself, or assault or murder, since if anyone messes with me, it’s technically an act of war. My military gives new meaning to the phrase, “Army of One.”

As for imports and exports, I am currently working on a trade agreement with Target. They will supply all my groceries, and I will give them Jack Dollars. There are currently no Jack Dollars in circulation, but there will be as soon as I can figure out how to put my face on them. Who’s good with Photoshop?

Please join me in my quest to come together in a collective movement of secession. One or two secessions will only give independence to a small group of people. We need to come together for a common cause: the cause of refusing to associate with each other. Secessionists of America, unite!

Jack Fitzpatrick Jack Fitzpatrick Jack Fitzpatrick is a sophomore at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, focusing on digital journalism. He has written for the school's student newspaper, the journalism school's yearly magazine and now also writes for The Downtown Devil, the downtown Phoenix campus's student news website.

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