Online petitions calling for seven southern U.S. states to formally secede from the nation may be gathering steam, but counter-petitions with tongue-in-cheek suggestions on how to deal with the defectors are starting to pop up on the White House's "We the People" website.
At last count, the petitions have gathered thousands of signatures: Texas (115,641), Georgia (more than 2,000), Louisiana (36,634), Alabama (29,936), Florida (34,333), Tennessee (30,699) and North Carolina (30,037).
In response to these numbers, several alternative petitions have been posted:
- Nearly 25,000 have signed a petition asking the U.S. president to deport everyone that has signed a petition to withdraw their state from the U.S. As of Tuesday morning, the petition needed only 202 more signatures before Dec. 12 to be addressed by the White House administration. According to the website, any petition that gathers more than 25,000 signatures within a month will receive a response.
- With more than 18,000 signatures, one petition demands that states be required to pay their portion of the national debt before being allowed to secede. The states asking to secede "should be required to take their own advice about 'personal responsibility,'" wrote the petition's creator.
- While some Georgia residents may want their state to leave the U.S., a different petition asks the government to grant its capital, Atlanta, permission to remain if Georgia secedes. almost 1,600 people have signed this petition. Other petitions for cities in Texas are also asking to remain a part of the states if Texas secedes.
- Others just seem fed-up with the tone of the petitions. The website "has become a mockery with petitions for secession from almost every state, and cities wishing to de-secede in such events," wrote Brian W. from Washington. He started a petition calling for the president to shut down the program.