This time, it’s being handled in a more cordial fashion than lobbing artillery shells at Fort Sumter.
A group of relatively anonymous people numbering in the thousands is using a White House website feature to urge President Barack Obama to allow South Carolina to secede and form its own sovereign state.
There is at least one petition seeking to let the state secede and form its own government.
It’s unclear who is behind the move. All signers are identified only by their first name, last initial and hometown, though anyone with a functional email can sign up for an account using whatever information they please.
The relatively new feature notes that those petitions receiving 25,000 “signatures” in a month will receive an official response. Texas already had passed the 80,000 mark as of Tuesday afternoon, so presumably a response is coming soon.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, South Carolina’s petition had more than 12,000 signatures.
It’s by no means unique to this state and Texas. Neighbors North Carolina and Georgia have petitions. Similar petitions have been started for such states as Alaska, California, Delaware, Idaho and Wyoming. In all, there were 46 petitions regarding secession as of Tuesday afternoon — some states had more than one, and some were from in individual cities.
There are petitions calling for stripping the citizenship from — and/or deporting — those who signed secession petitions.
David Gillespie, who teaches political science at The Citadel and College of Charleston, has heard about these petitions from this students and others. Talk of secession or moving to Canada has become a sort of post-presidential ritual, he noted.
It’s rarely more than just that — talk.
“I think we settled this at the end of the Civil War,” he said.
And the petitions are sprinkled in with other issues, such as regulating Internet pornography, enacting a national standard for congressional redistricting and stopping drone strikes.
Some already have drawn detailed responses on such issues as reforming the Postal Service and immigration reform.
But not all pertain to serious matters of national policy: In one official response, the White House posted its recipe for brewing Honey Ale.