Secession: Totally a Good Idea

By Elena Giannella, Class of ’15

People of Pennsylvania: pay attention. We are on track to secede from The United States of America.

After the November election, all 50 states filed official petitions to the White House to secede. Two official petitions from Pennsylvania were submitted to the White House ask that the Obama Administration “Peacefully grant the State of Pennsylvania to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”

These two petitions together have 23,152 signatures. And the count is growing! Looking at the rate of signatures per day since these petitions were created on November 11, 2012, the percentage of signatures in relation to the population of PA as a whole, and the fact that Statistics is really hard, it’s safe to assume that we are looking at the emergence of the Republic of Pennsylvania in the very near future.

So what does this mean? Of what will this new world order be composed? Most importantly, what will be our National Anthem? The answers to these questions will help us shape our uniquely Pennsylvanian identity as we prepare to enter into this new chapter of history. And we are actually already more prepared for this than one would think.

Pennsylvania is economically, militarily, and culturally ready to become a nation-state as early as tomorrow. On the other hand, I’m sure there are many who are skeptical – probably the remaining 12,719,734 citizens of the state.

Some question whether or not this is truly a unified motion, taking into account the difference in culture and lifestyle between the more urban areas around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and the large span of Alabama that stretches across the middle. However, proven by the numerous commenters on Radnor Patch, a source of neighborhood news, many of those who wish to secede are literally in our backyard. But they will soon see the light, and here’s why.

First let us look at the ethic of secession. According to Senator Ron Paul, “It’s not un-American to think about the possibility of secession. This is something that’s voluntary. We came together voluntarily. A free society means you can dissolve it voluntarily.” Secession then is not a divorce from the United States, but rather a return to our roots. Rather than being un-patriotic, secession is the most pure expression of patriotism there is. Any state with similar petitions should be lauded for their commitment to this true Americanism.

As for the many logistical concerns that our new nation would have to face, one Radnor resident commenting on the Radnor Patch website had this to say:

“What would we lose leaving the federal government – the various departments – Agriculture (we can learn what we need to know from the Amish), Education (been dragging us down for decades), Commerce (we can set our own rules), Treasury (I think we could afford our own printing press), Defense (just my guess but I think we could handle an invasion from New Jersey or Ohio).”

Radnor Resident is right. We got this. We don’t need the federal government. What do they really provide that we can either do instead for ourselves or don’t actually need to begin with? Money for infrastructure? It’s a well-known fact that many of PA’s roads leave much to be desired. It can’t get much worse.

And do we really need all of those Federal grants and scholarships which help pay for our college education? Do we really need a college education? If, as Ron Paul suggests, secession is a return to our American roots, then the answer is obviously no! As stated by Radnor Resident, we can learn all we need from the Amish. If Pennsylvania were to secede, we would have essentially nothing but these quintessentially Pennsylvanian Amish roots.

I say that it is high time we jump back on that horse and buggy and go it alone. And as an added bonus now you won’t have to deal with your absurdly fit and health-conscious neighbor flaunting his reusable grocery bags filled with seasonal fruit from the local farmer’s market as he walks in his door, because now he’ll have just gone to the market – it won’t be anything special anymore since that’s all we’ll have.

But aside from the logistics of secession, its true purpose is to facilitate change. It’s certainly in keeping with Villanova’s new motto: IGNITE CHANGE. GO NOVA. What better way is there to ignite change than to stubbornly bulldoze the existing system in order to construct a brand new one, whose better-ness results solely from its newness?

It is obvious that facilitating meaningful discussion or contributing to thoughtful debates about the problems facing the country does not actually amount to change. Just look at the most recent election or the standstill in Congress over the “Fiscal Cliff.” Compromise is equivalent to surrender – the surrender of one’s values and convictions.

The only way to make these values safe from such surrender is to guard them with sensationalist rhetoric. One should grossly exaggerate all facts and statistics that in any way support their position. It is also a nice touch to cleverly rename issues in ways that add a sense of apocalyptic gravitas, such as the “Fiscal Cliff.” One should engage in such rhetoric to such a level that people cannot decipher anymore what one’s values actually are. The threat of secession is the pinnacle of such rhetoric. It is therefore time that Pennsylvania rejects all forms of federal assistance because it’s un-Pennsylvanian. Don’t ask why. It just is.

Edit: Looking at the most popular musicians who come from Pennsylvania, our National Anthem is most likely to be written by Christina Aguilera or Taylor Swift. Disregard entire article. Shut it down. We’re doomed!

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