My Irish Up: Why I am seceding

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

I can’t say it was my idea, since several of my friends suggested it, and the more determined among them even started a petition, but soon I could be seceding from the United States of America!

As I’m sure you’ve heard, voting blocs in several states, principally Texas, want to secede from the USA for patriotic reasons — partly because Barack Obama is a Democrat, or at least he claims to be. To each voter his bogeyman, I guess. An Arizona woman ran over her husband in their car the other day, citing “lack of voter participation,” so it’s clear large segments of the electorate are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore unless they have to.

“Leave. We have your best interests at heart,” Johnny Hancock, one of the lumber people, told me yesterday, and the other guys nodded and grunted.

“Yes,” said Samuel Adams, waving his beer, “the country is pretty much unlivable now. There’s high unemployment and underemployment, and you’re part of that. You’re also overeducated and thus unemployable; why should an employer pay you sixty thousand a year when he can get the same results from a telecommuting college grad in India for a quarter of that money?”

“No wonder my mother always said I was acting smart. But I can’t just leave, can I?”

“Sure you can,” Johnnie Adams said, and he slapped me on the back, knocking the wind out of me. “If Texas can secede, why can’t you? After all, who’s angrier at the way things are going?”

“You’re right, John!” I said. “Wars and terror drones and no national health care. Every break for Big Money and Big Oil. The rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, rampant hyperindividualism and almost no fellow feeling. Nothing being done about climate change. No wonder Texas is leaving! I’ll move to Texas and secede with them!”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” said Nathan Hale, pushing me back against the wall. “Texas likes wars and hyperindividualism and no national health care and excluding people and nothing being done about climate change.”

“If they’ve already got the America they want, then why are they leaving?”

“Because they say Obama and the Democrats and Washington in general are moving the country in the wrong direction. The Texas petition says Washington’s making the economy worse rather than better,” my pal Pat Henry said.

“Bottom line, Texas wants to live in the America that a Texan can believe in, where a man’s a man, as long as he’s a rich white man. And who can fault them for defending their principles?” Jimmy Monroe said. “Your average Texan doesn’t want to even be associated with states where everyone else is supposed to count, too.”

“Then why am I leaving, if I want good government and less xenophobia and a healthier environment for future generations and no more wars for pernicious reasons, and I want to work for liberty and justice for all?”

“Because you’re never going to get that, either, and you’re dreaming if you think you will,” Ethan Allen explained. “America is always going to fall short of its ideals, both for the individual and for society as a whole, because there is no way the interests and rights and laws of society aren’t going to clash with the interests and rights of the individual. It’s a hopeless balance, only partially attainable, and then only through compromise.”

“And it looks like there’ll never be compromise again, without actual bloodshed. And that’s why you’re giving up the fight and seceding,” Nathan Hale, of all people, said.

“Wait, fellas. Are you sure this isn’t because all of you owe me money?”

“No, no, of course not, we’ll try, um… we’ll always owe you,” protested Nathanael Greene. Then he waved a piece of parchment at me. “Here’s your petition. File it on the White House website called ‘We, the People.’ We’ve already signed. We’ll miss you.”

“But wherever shall I go?”

“Like most Americans, we’re in this only for ourselves,” Patrick said, and he spit in the street. “Frankly, we don’t give a damn.”

Mike Corrigan moved to Lewiston in 2010, but his friends insist that wasn’t close to being far enough away.

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