A petition for Texas secession has qualified to receive a White House response.
As of Tuesday evening, the petition — which asks for the peaceful withdrawal of the state of Texas from the union — had racked up more than 81,000 signatures. (Only 25,000 are needed to elicit an official response from the Obama administration.)
According to Politico, the leader of the Texas secession movement said the president’s reelection last week was a “catalyzing moment for his organization’s efforts to quit the United States.”
“I am completely aware that Election Day was a catalyzing moment, but I do not believe that the underpinnings of this are solely about Barack Obama,” Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement told the political news website. “This cake has been baking for a long time — it’s the Obama administration that put the candles on the cake and lit it for us.”
The Texas petition reads:
Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.
The support for the petition has surged in the last couple of days despite Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s calls to support the union.
On Monday, The Huffington Post reported that the governor’s press secretary, Catherine Frazier, said that Perry “believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it.” Frazier added, however, that the governor “also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”
The Lone Star State is not exactly alone in its sentiments.
As an earlier Huffington Post report notes, residents in more than 40 states have filed secession petitions to the Obama administration’s “We the People” program, which is featured on the White House website, in the last few days.
Though none has come even close to Texas’ number, many petitions — including those of Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee — have attracted more than 20,000 supporters. Louisiana’s petition has garnered more than 30,000 signatures.
“As the economy worsened, people began to ask, ‘What if? Why do we need the middle man? Do we believe that we should have more layers of government than we absolutely need? Could Texas govern itself?’ I think really that self-determination is kind of the underpinning to all of this — the ability to provide Texas solutions to Texas problems,” Miller told Politico of the state’s aspirations for independence.
Miller has not been the only vocal and visible proponent of a Texas secession. Last week, Peter Morrison, a Texas GOP official, called for an “amicable divorce” from the United States.
“Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?” Morrison, a treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, wrote in a post-election edition of his Tea Party newsletter. “Let each go her own way.”
Morrison went on to express exasperation at the “maggots” who backed Obama, specifically accusing non-white voters of voting for the president on an “ethnic basis.”
Despite the loud calls for Texas independence, however, the Daily Caller notes that not all Texans are too keen to secede from the U.S.
On Monday, “Caleb M” from Austin, Texas, launched a “We the People” petition of his own, asking the Obama administration to peacefully grant the city of Austin permission to “withdraw from the state of Texas” and to remain part of the United States.
The petition has about 1,400 signatures so far.
As Robert Wilonsky at The Dallas Morning News noted on Monday, however, it seems that no matter how much support Texas’ secession petition gets, the state’s bid for independence is likely not on the cards.