GOOD

Digital Civil War: Secession and Viral Petitions of Incivility



President Barack Obama was reelected in a tense and polarized political environment—we knew there would be anger, disappointment, and ranting tweets from Donald Trump—but secession?

In just one week since voting day, almost 700,000 people from all 50 states have signed petitions to secede from the union of the United States of America and to create their own new government. Although keep in mind that the names of the signatories have not been verified and anyone can sign as many petitions as they like.


Could this digital secession movement be an ominous sign a second Civil War brewing?

The push for secession began on November 7 when a man filed a petition to allow Louisiana to secede from the U.S. on the We The People forum on the White House website.

Giving new meaning to the nickname “The Lone Star State,” Texas leads the secession petitions with almost 100,00 signatures. Austin, the quintessential blue dot in a red state, has in turn filed a petition to secede from the rest of Texas.

Despite his criticisms of the Obama administration, GOP Texas Governor Rick Perry has made it clear that he opposes secession.

“Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it,” press secretary Catherine Frazier wrote. “But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas.”

Counter-petitions to “Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America” has over 15,000 signatures, and “Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them” has nearly 10,000.

Any petition with more than the 25,000 signatures requires a response from the White House and leaves us wondering how heavily the divisive sentiment weighs on American unity in the wake of the president’s second term.

In Obama’s acceptance speech, the president addressed the strife amongst the American people.

“By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin,” he said.

The real danger of a second Civil War isn’t actual armed conflict between the states, but rather a prolonged culture war that prevents people from working together to solve pressing problems.

Photo (cc) flickr user Jesse Newberry

Articles
Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

Keep Reading Show less
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture