When most of us thought we would be mindlessly viewing images of cats on Facebook following the election, instead we are reading endless posts on state secession. At the time of this writing, 36 states have started petitions. Three of the states, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, have the required 25K+ signed petitions for the White House to respond. With the highest number of signatures, Texas is in first place with more than 83K.
It’s crazy, and unproductive. Embarrassing is another description that comes to mind. What must the world think of this superpower trying to dismantle itself while they watch and laugh?
So far this is reading like a political rant, which it is not. The point of the post isn’t for me to opine on the merits of one political party or the other, but rather to focus on the bad behavior of far too many people in this country. People need to take a step back–regardless of political affiliation–to recognize this will never come to fruition. It’s laughable; the newest form of political entertainment. And yet, the world is watching as we proceed.
There’s a large, loud, pouty political tantrum happening in the United States, and President Obama should heed the advice from a seasoned veteran (that would be me) in dealing with this type of crisis. In raising my children I had a no-tolerance approach to toddler tantrums. If either one chose that course of action to get a point across, it was completely ignored. I made sure my little one was safe (as in not throwing a fit at the top of the stairs), and then walked away. Giving an audience never solved anything for a poorly-behaved child. In fact, it encourages the child to repeat the behavior because of past success.
Conversely, when my children were able to calm down, and use their “big boy or girl” words, I would stop anything to effectively communicate feelings and thoughts. Did my children feel disenfranchised in my home when the dog’s tail was off limits as a play toy, a cookie was denied before dinner, or any other time the word “no” was uttered? Absolutely. But we worked through it. Calmly and with “big kid” words instead of puffed up, red faces screaming at me.
Before the election I wrote about all of us being the change. Do something positive and constructive to make a difference in the country following the election. That was the message. State secession is neither positive nor constructive. And it is as embarrassing as the mom with the screaming child wrapped around her leg as she tries to meander through the grocery to shop.
I don’t personally know how to ameliorate the problem, but hope President Obama can deal with the political malcontents similar to that of a parent with a badly-behaved toddler. Here’s what I hope we hear once the president addresses the issue:
Being the change, and moving this country in the right direction starts when you use an inside voice. Let’s negotiate our differences calmly with constructive (i.e., “big kid”) words so that we as a nation can move forward.
Until then, Mr. President…learn how to use the time out rule.