Childhood lessons still apply in US politics
Imagine two children are running around playing tag. We’ll call them Eli and Donny. Eli has not been “it” for quite some time, and he rightfully taunts, badgers and zips around Donny. Eventually, whether it’s because Eli gets tired, negligent or just outsmarted, he is tagged. Instead of continuing the game and starting to chase Donny, Eli pouts, says the game is unfair and quits. As a society, we have many negative names for this type of person — quitters, spoilsports, sore losers, etc. It isn’t hard to see why society views these people so negatively. They reap rewards while they’re ahead and end the game before the opponent gets a chance to do the same, despite all of the work the opponent invested to get ahead. It’s simply not fair. That’s what we’ve been taught since childhood: You get a chance to win, then I get a chance to win. If you don’t win this time, then simply try harder next time. More than 80,000 people in Texas, and more than 10,000 in other states, would have things otherwise. The only option they see, as shown via the White House’s official petition website, is secession from the union. They would much rather forgo their American citizenship, leave the country and forget the blood, sweat and tears sacrificed to hold this country together than to wait another four years and try again. To secede because your candidate did not win is to admit you pledge your allegiance to only your own narrowly defined self-interests and beliefs rather than the principles of balance, democracy and justice for all. Even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, of the state spearheading this movement, doesn’t agree with it. He has released an official statement saying he “believes in the greatness of our Union, and nothing should be done to change it.” Many claim these petitions for secession are simply states voicing their unhappiness with the results of Election Day. There was a proper time and place for citizens of this country to take action and voice their concerns, and that was on election night. President Barack Obama won in the popular vote and the Electoral College. Some also claim the national opinion does not reflect the state’s opinion, and that is grounds for secession. To those people: Recall the Articles of Confederacy, which practically gave each state near autonomy. It didn’t go well, and that’s why the Constitution was created. Secession is simply not an intelligent option. As South Carolinians, we should know better, and other states should remember what happened as well. Back in the day we also tried to secede, and it didn’t go so well either. In fact, it went so poorly that we have an entire period of time officially called the Reconstruction Era, in which we had to rebuild our state. When you lose, it’s not always the end of the world. If Democrats survived former President George W. Bush, Republicans can survive a few more years with Obama.