Chris Johnson

If at first you don’t secede -- cry, cry again

As someone who has supported Jimmy Buffett for president over and over, I completely understand all this hullabaloo about wanting to secede from these here United States of America. As soon as I figure out where Margaritaville is, I'm on my way, something I decided long before the most recent presidential election.

As creepy as all these secession petitions are, the number of names on them are a very small proportion of those whose candidate lost -- and they are likely the very element of their party that cost them the election by scaring away independent voters, the kind of folks who actually check before they pass along right-wing emails that don't pass the common sense test. I'm sure the vast majority of folks who voted for Mitt Romney still want to be Americans and not try to secede every time they lose an election.

(Just imagine if my hometown of Possum Holler had succeeded in its secession effort after losing that vote to become the county seat in 1872! Whew! I just couldn't stomach the thought of growing up in Turnip County instead of Macon County!)

And when George W. Bush beat John Kerry in 2004, I heard a lot of moaning and groaning from my liberal friends (who, thankfully, didn't have Facebook back then) about how Bush was gonna lead us into some kind of terrible recession due to a prolonged war based on false information and because of irresponsible tax cuts. What a crazy lot they were, huh? But they weren't crazy enough to secede.

Problem with all of the secession talk out there right now is that it sounds an awful lot like the annoying kid in the neighborhood who doesn't get to be the quarterback for the afternoon's pickup football game and then pouts and says, "I'm taking my ball and going home!"

(Hey, wait a minute! That was MY ball! That annoying kid down the street stole it!)

It also doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Folks supporting secession -- something about as possible as Lindsay Lohan staying sober for a year -- are the same kind of folks who said they were going to move to Canada (yes, left-leaning, single-payer-health-system Canada) if that Marxist Muslim from Kenya were re-elected. That makes as much sense as someone saying, "Columbus has gotten too populated, urban and crowded, so I'm going to move somewhere quiet with more elbow room like Tokyo."

Then again, maybe Canada was the only country that came to mind since about the only countries more right-leaning than the United States are ones that make their women wear burqas. At least, I think those are women under there. Heck, it could be men under there, which means the anti-gay secessionists might have to leave the planet to be happy.

But all the people discrediting the concept of secession are not taking the time to consider whether secession movements have their good side. Hear me out, you liberal, left-wing, panty-waist socialists! (Michael Moore must wear really big panties, by the way.)

For one, you wouldn't have to hear "The Star-Spangled Banner" or that terrible Lee Greenwood song anymore. If my home state of Georgia became its own country, we'd have Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" as our anthem, which is way better than the U.S. national anthem.

And if just a handful of red states seceded, states like Mississippi would no longer sit at the bottom of the list of healthiest and most educated states. Sorry, Delaware, but you're now the fattest state in the union! Never saw that coming, did ya?

Of course, secession would open some complicated questions, such as whether that whole Emancipation Proclamation thing still applies. If not, I don't think African Americans are gonna want to hang around Georgia much longer. Of course, maybe that's what secessionists want. But if you thought the Atlanta Hawks were disappointing now, just you wait til then!

Luckily, there is an option for those of you disappointed that an entire state's secession might not be a viable option. You can secede by yourself -- leave and go to a place white enough, er, I mean right enough for you to be happy. To paraphrase humorist Lewis Grizzard's advice for folks who weren't happy living down South:

Delta's ready when you are. And if Georgia were to secede, as much as I love my home state, I'll have to leave because I'm an American first, a Georgian second.

Well, unless there really is a Margaritaville, in which case I'll send all you seceded Georgians a postcard.

­Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent whose "Best of Chris Johnson" is now available for Kindle. Follow him at