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Secession is treason, not states' right

Rick Outzen Florida Voices
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:29 PM

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In the spirit of 5-year-olds everywhere, conservative extremists have decided that since they couldn't win the presidential election and seize control of the U.S. Senate, then they will take their toys and play elsewhere. Rather than work with President Barack Obama, they would rather have their state secede from the Union.

Ignore that these are the very ones who cloaked themselves in the American flag, fought for "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and challenged the citizenship and patriotism of the sitting president. No, no, if they can't win, then they'd rather tear apart the nation.

And as tempting as it may be to tell them good riddance and don't let the screen door hit their fat butts on the way out, we can't overlook their treason and their attempt to take away the freedoms that all other Floridians enjoy under the U.S. Constitution.

Secession isn't a states' right. The Civil War was fought over the issue, costing 620,000 soldiers their lives — a cost that can't be dismissed by headline-grabbing politicians and pundits.

In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln said, "Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy."

Yet here we are more than 150 years after that horrible war with Floridians petitioning the White House to "peacefully" allow our state to leave the United States and form its own government. Nearly 35,000 Floridians have signed the petition on the Obama Administration's "We the People" website.

This is a 180-degree shift from the conservatives' response to the Vietnam War-era protests, when those who opposed the Johnson and Nixon administrations were told to "Love It or Leave It." Sadly, their mantra appears to have become "Love Me or Leave Me."

Our democracy has thrived on citizens of opposing views who have been willing to compromise and work together for the greater good of the entire nation. The "all or nothing" doesn't work in politics. Yes, there are core beliefs that can never be compromised — such as the Union — but history has shown us that extremists, whether of the liberal or conservative persuasion, aren't good for any democratic government.

The 35,000 men and women who signed the petition seeking Florida's secession from our nation would destroy the liberties and rights granted to us and our families under the U.S. Constitution. They are traitors and as such should be forewarned that their actions will not be tolerated by those of us who proudly call ourselves "Americans."

Rick Outzen is the publisher/editor of Pensacola's Independent News. He can be reached at

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