Michael Steele is tired of his fellow Republicans arguing that secession is the solution to their (many) problems. The former Republican National Committee chairman told Hardball’s Chris Matthews on Wednesday that the whole movement was “absolutely silly” and that no state would actually secede from the United States in light of President Obama’s reelection.
“Let’s enjoy our Thanksgiving turkey and move on,” said Steele.
His remarks come as seven states have accrued at least 30,000 signatures on petitions to secede from the U.S. That includes Texas, with 115,000 signatures, in addition to Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. “Texas is a big state,” Steele pointed out, so getting that many signatures is “not as a big of a deal as you think it is.”
James Peterson, the director of Africana Studies at Lehigh University, agreed that talk of secession was more of a rhetorical statement than an actual movement. But he said it shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.
The same people signing the petitions are the same people that are “more racist, they’re more sexist and more entrenched in the old ideology of America.” For the Daily Beast, Peterson compared the states signing such petitions to those in 1859 and in the 1950s. He found that states in favor of secession are the same states that were pro-slavery or open to slavery and open to racial segregation.
James Moore, author of “Bush’s Brain,” sees the secession movement as driven by bigotry. “The reason is race. They do not want an African-American president,” he said.