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Go ahead: Secede, don't bother returning

By FRANK CERABINO Cox Newspapers

Publication: The Day

Published November 19. 2012 4:00AM

Thousands of Floridians have gotten the idea last week that seceding from the United States is the proper reaction to the presidential election.

This is good news for me.

Especially if these foes of tyranny follow through on their rugged individualism by extending their symbolic gesture into actual action.

In particular, not driving on Interstate 95. It's going to make my commute much easier without having to share this federal highway with freeloading secessionists.

Since President Barack Obama was re-elected - an outrageous perversion of democracy that ended with the person with the most votes being declared the winner - online petitions of secession have popped up in more than two dozen states.

Florida's go-it-alone crowd has two petitions to choose from.

There's the "Peacefully grant the State of Florida to withdraw from the United States" petition and the "Petition calling for the Independence for the State of Florida."

The second one appears on a Web page featuring the Confederate flag with a "Never Apologize for Being Right" motto. So that one is apparently geared for people who are dismayed at the results of both the 2012 and the 1860 elections.

"Reform is not possible," that petition says. "We must now demand our independence."

Please. Do us a favor.

Many of the states where these secession petitions were filed are states that receive more federal assistance than they pay in taxes. So it's a win-win proposition.

Your quest for freedom is our freedom from underachievers.

But I do feel a little sorry for you secessionists and your Founding Bubbas.

It's going to be rough at first, considering that you'll need your own currency, national defense and disaster relief funds.

And it will be challenging to grow old without your federal retirement and health care plans.

To wean yourselves off Medicare and Medicaid, you might consider experimenting with leeches, mustard plasters and tincture of opium.

Also, it wouldn't be fair for you to still take advantage of all that tyrannical federal support of education.

And you're going to need some educating. One of the Florida petitions, the non-Confederate one, was apparently written by somebody sorely in need of a Pell grant.

"We therefore as free men and women of our great state do believe that it is time to take matters upon ourselves to ensure our continued freedom, and to enact our own laws and here buy govern ourselves without the federal government's involvement in our internal matters from this day forward," it says.

I hereby declare that you here should buy into the idea of a more perfect union of your secession language with the English language.

But go, please go. You can always bone up on English while you're trying to protect your sovereign citizens from the next flu pandemic.

As a final note, I've noticed that many of the people who signed onto the Florida petition for secession claim to live in other states.

Knock it off. You're only allowed to secede from your own state. And what you're doing is unnecessary.

Because Florida has proven over the years that it doesn't need outside help in embarrassing itself.

Frank Cerabino writes for The Palm Beach Post.

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