In the wake of President Barack Obama’s re-election, residents in several states have started petitions seeking to secede those states from the union. While we understand the feelings of disappointment, that reaction seems like sour grapes to us. Rather than walk away, we have a responsibility as residents to keep fighting for the changes we want to see in our nation. We feel the same concerning the efforts of two area groups pushing for secession on a local level.
The phrase “These colors don’t run” was thrown around a lot in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Meant to highlight America’s steadfast vigilance and refusal to allow terrorists to control our actions, the phrase would became a rallying cry for those who supported the subsequent military operations in the Middle East.
Given the origins of this idiom, some of us at the Daily Press were surprised and dismayed to hear that many who lived this creed emphatically back then are the very same people who think the appropriate response to disappointing results in the recent presidential election is secession.
Residents in several states across the nation, including Colorado, have started petitions seeking secession from the United States. The petition in Texas even reached 25,000 signatures, the threshold needed for possible comment from President Barack Obama’s administration, very quickly.
This is frustrating in part because some of the people at the front of this push for secession are the same people who were so critical of anyone who opposed or disagreed with President George W. Bush, sometimes going as far as calling his opponents un-American. (Can you imagine how conservative pundits would have reacted if Californians tried to secede after the 2004 election?)
However the larger problem posed by this call for secession is that it is paramount to giving up. Rather than getting to work and attempting to steer our country in a direction they want it to go, these people apparently would rather avoid doing that work in favor of not being part of America anymore.
That’s a pretty sharp turn from “These colors don’t run.”
We understand the disappointment over the election results — many of us here at the Daily Press are in that same boat. But that disappointment doesn’t free us from the responsibility of being good citizens.
No one is suggesting that everyone has to follow the lead of our newly elected officials, however agreement and involvement are not mutually exclusive entities. Not only shouldn’t disagreeing with someone preclude you from being involved in the decisions that person is making, it should compel you to be even more involved than with the people and decisions you support.
We also understand these two situations — supporting military operations in the Middle East and trying to constructively oppose Obama’s policies — are not identical. However we believe the same principals championed in “these colors don’t run” should apply here, too.
In other words, we all have a responsibility as Americans — whether you love Obama or hate him — to stop tearing each others throats out over the election and figure out how to effect the changes we want to see in our country. We may not all agree on what those changes should be, but it should be clear to all sides that walking away is never the right answer.
The same can be said of two groups pushing for secession at the local level. Groups in both Hayden and Dinosaur have advocated for seceding from one county and annexing into another, Hayden from Routt to Moffat and Dinosaur from Moffat to Rio Blanco.
While we find the reasons voiced by these groups to be less reactionary and more well established than the reasons given by those at the national level, we still don’t think secession is the answer.
As is the case nationally, the right answer is to get to work trying to bring about the change you want to see. We know times have been tough, but nothing in life is lost until we give up on it.
Our great nation was a place worth fighting for in 2001 and throughout the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We think it still is.