Oh say can you secede?
RALEIGH -- In the wake of President Barack Obama's re-election, Internet petition drives to have states, including North Carolina, secede from the union have become the rage.
I suppose some of those folks who threatened to move to Canada if Obama were re-elected suddenly realized that our northern neighbor isn't all that it is cracked up to be.
Besides an historical unemployment rate that has been above U.S. norms, their football teams play with 12 players, not 11. Worse, their national game is hockey, a sport where the owners and players exhibit socialist-like tendencies that involve never-ending work stoppages.
And speaking of socialism, those Canadians have nationalized health care.
So, if you can't go Canada and leave the country individually because of someone's election, perhaps leaving the country collectively is all that is left.
The online petition for North Carolina, which shows up on a White House website, was started by a conservative activist from Chatham County.
He must have missed that provision in North Carolina constitution which reads, "This State shall ever remain a member of the American nation; there is no right on the part of this State to secede; and all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve this Union or to sever this Nation, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State."
That and similar provisions were required of all Southern states following the Civil War.
Fortunately for this fellow, I suspect that resisting secession with "the whole power of the State" won't involve sending National Guard helicopters out to his house.
After all, rational-thinking people will laugh it off.
But maybe they shouldn't.
I can think of a few good things that could come out North Carolina seceding from the union.
First, South Carolinians would have to receive visas and passports to come here, which would surely stem the flow of that unruly lot from coming into the state, solving our immigration problems.
North Carolina also could impose its own tariffs on goods. We could start by charging a $100 tariff on any children's toy that requires more than two batteries. T-shirts with vulgar or idiotic slogans could be charged a $1,000 import duty. Keanu Reeves' movies, with the exception of the first Matrix, would have their own tariffs double that of other movies.
The Carolina Panthers, despite their woeful records, would become national football champions. And the UNC Tar Heels could claim at least 47 previous national collegiate basketball titles for being the best in the former state, bringing their total national titles to 53 or 54, depending on who you talk to. Unemployed tutors could help rewrite the history books.
Politicians could stop worrying about comparisons to other states. They could just point out that the unemployment rate is twice as low as that of Spain, while per capita income here is four times higher than Suriname and seven times higher than Turkmenistan.
And once again, North Carolina will be a great place to live.