Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You’re Not Doin’ Fine, Oklahoma


oklahoma flag 11-12-12

I guess I was fooling myself that all of the anger and animosity that was brewing throughout the election season would just miraculously fade away once a winner was decided.  And people on both sides have some really strong feelings, and definitive ideas about what’s best for the country, so I guess maybe I can understand why it’s continuing on almost a week after it’s all been settled.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Image courtesy of koratmember at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What I can’t understand, though, is the narrow-minded, short-sighted point of view that has led to 20+ states filing petitions for permission to secede from the union.  I mean, seriously?  What, exactly, do these signers think that they’re going to accomplish? 

Now, before I alienate too many people, let me say that I fully believe that some people have a genuine—and maybe even appropriate—concern for the seemingly exponential growth of the national government and who really believe that much more autonomy should be granted to the states.  However, in many ways, and for many, many people, I do not believe that’s the real reason for this request for mass exodus.  It seems to me that for many people—certainly many of the people I know—this extreme dissatisfaction with our government is a direct reflection of their dissatisfaction with the president, and their dissatisfaction with him is based largely on the color of his skin.  And that’s where they lose me.

If you disagree with a man’s policies, I get that.  If you think he has poor decision-making skills, I can understand that.  And if you believe that the way he wants to run the country is detrimental to your best interests, I can totally appreciate the concern.  But if you think that he shouldn’t be president because he’s not an actual citizen, or that we shouldn’t follow him because he’s a “Muslim terrorist”, or that his opinions don’t matter because he’s just always looking out for “his kind”, then I have to say that I’m not too impressed with your decision-making skills.  Also, if you fall into this latter camp, then I also think that you have bigger problems than can be solved by putting your name on a worthless, symbolic petition.

And I think it’s a pretty safe bet that these petitions are purely symbolic.  I doubt that there are too many people who actually believe that the President of the United States is just going to willingly allow half the union to separate and go its separate way.  And I hope that they haven’t reached the point where they won’t stop with asking.  But whatever they’re thinking, I’m sad to admit that my state is one of the ones presenting these troublesome petitions.  But this is the same state that was having a hissy fit just a few months ago because FEMA wasn’t responding quickly enough after our annual bout of wildfires.  And, really, between fires and tornadoes, FEMA is on-site here just about every year.  Unless they’re moving too slowly, nobody complains about the federal government then, and nobody turns down their money.  Not to mention federal dollars and jobs that build and maintain our highways, or the Air Force base that’s the largest employer in the state.  I’d be interested in knowing how our state would replace that revenue if we were no longer part of the United States. 

Really, I’d be interested in knowing how a lot of things would work.  But I don’t expect that many of the folks signing those petitions could give me those answers, because I am firmly convinced that many of those names were added purely out of hatred.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But I hope we can come to our senses soon, because this kind of bitterness isn’t very Oklahoman, and it isn’t very American.  And I really don’t want it to be our legacy.