Obama's re-election victory an example of “consent of the governed”Several citizens from dozens of states have filed grievances on the White House petition website, requesting to secede from the nation, likely in response to President Barack Obama’s victory last week.
Most of the petitions invoke the Declaration of Independence, citing the famous words from Thomas Jefferson, who wrote:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.Those words, brilliant as they are, weren’t intended to thwart the democratic will of the people more than 200 years later. Indeed, the words encourage just the opposite, and the election of Barack Obama to a second term in no way undermines Jefferson’s intent from within the Declaration.
Instead, the secessionist sentiments of those forming these petitions go against the very idea that Jefferson had laid out in our founding document. The results of the election, which is representative of what the people wanted -- Obama won a popular and electoral college vote -- is in no way destructive of the people’s ends. If the people wanted something different, they would have voted for it.
It is unjust, then, to “alter or abolish” the current government, and unwarranted to “institute new Government” of any kind.
|A petition requesting secession from the union|
Those who demonstrate a feigned nostalgia for the founders’ words would do well to actually understand them, and to further understand the setting in which they were written. Secessionists act like spoiled children when they threaten departing the Union over an undesired electoral outcome. It's time for them to grow up.