Filler: No matter who's president, I'm an American
November 15, 2012 5:36 PM By LANE FILLER
Photo credit: M. Ryder / Tribune Media Services | "I'm not looking to move to a new nation, or found one. I'm staying here, and staying American, to fight, write and vote for what I believe in," writes Lane Filler.
Lane Filler is a member of the Newsday editorial board.
It would never occur to me to flee the country because the candidate I favored in a political contest lost an election.
I can imagine plenty of good reasons to flee the country: angry bookies, outraged wives, an announcement that they're going to release three more "Twilight" movies, and my personal nightmare scenario, the outlawing of butter and high-test Coca-Cola.
But pack up the homestead and head for Calgary because the wrong billion-dollar corporate candidate beat the slightly less wrong billion-dollar corporate candidate? I think not.
They don't even have real college football in Canada.
But that always seems to be the big liberal threat: "I swear, ifRomney wins, I'm throwing my "Thirtysomething" DVDs, my schnauzer, Kerouac, and the home-brewing equipment in the back of the Prius and heading for the Northern border. I'm a holistic healer. I can make a living anywhere."
But Mitt Romney didn't win, and extreme liberals didn't have to box up their macrobiotic cookbooks and copies of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" for the big trip. Instead, Barack Obama won, and extreme conservatives, rather than deciding to head for a new nation, are trying to create one. Or 51.
Petitions asking for a peaceful release from the United States and representing every state in the union have been submitted to the White House website. The 51st petition is from ultraliberal Austin, because apparently if Texas quits the nation, some in that city want it to secede from Texas. Next week we'll probably see a petition from a conservative Austintonian named Jim, asking that his house be recognized as a sovereign nation because he hates Austin.
"Welcome to the Republic of Jim," Jim might say to visitors. "Please take off your shoes, as the tidy carpets are considered a national treasure."
Several states, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Texas, have each submitted more than 25,000 signatures, the number needed to engender a White House response. If I were Obama, my answer would be, "None of you can leave, because as a group you produce 90 percent of the top-notch slow-cooked barbecue in this great land. Admittedly, that's not true of Florida, but I carried Florida for the Democrats twice in a row, so we're keeping them too."
The most astounding thing about the secession movement is that it's caused Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, and RedState.com blogger Erick Erickson to chide those behind it for their extremism. When you out-extreme Perry and Erickson to the right, you've done a full day's work.
The only time any significant number of folks fled to Canada for political reasons, it was the possibility of being deployed to Vietnam that sent them on their way. The only time states went through with an attempt to leave the union, it was to preserve the right to own humans.
In both cases, the defectors were at least divorcing themselves from the United States over matters of great import. Compared to that, a preference for or against Obamacare or a small increase in marginal tax rates seems a paltry reason to give up your nation.
There hasn't been a president I've fully approved of in my lifetime. I haven't lived under a single one whom I felt understood the importance of civil liberties, or the vision of the founding fathers, or how beautiful and sacred it really is.
But I'm not looking to move to a new nation, or found one. I'm staying here, and staying American, to fight, write and vote for what I believe in.
As long as I have my butter, high-test Coke, slow-cooked barbecue and college football, no mere president is going to push me off my front porch.