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The People's Daily, China

Another Case of America’s Mirror
Reflecting Others But Not Itself


By Tian Wenzhi

The United States government neatly and swiftly put down hundreds of thousands of secessionists. This is bound raise questions as to why, when even small group of three to five people expresses some amount of dissatisfaction with their country’s government, Americans do not hesitate to back them.

Translated By Elizabeth Cao

18 January 2013

Edited by Mary Young


China - The People's Daily - Original Article (Chinese)

About 675,000 people in the 50 states recently signed a petition on the White House’s official website in favor of secession and state independence. The Obama administration’s official response to these petitions called for a continuation of national unity.

Though hundreds of thousands of Americans have made it known that they wish to secede, some say that these calls cannot be taken seriously. The provisions of the petitions on the White House website are that all petitions with 25,000 signatures or more require the White House to reply within 30 days. With over 670,000 signatures from the 50 states, this petition far exceeds the bare minimum. If you include those who may feel the same way but did not sign the petition, the actual number of those who would like to seek independence is probably even higher. Moreover, these petitions do not just contain signatures. They cite legal and historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence, as well as the words of the founding fathers. Some petitions discuss civil rights, and others enumerate reasons for secession section by section. The official spokesperson’s response was eight times the length of the petitions themselves; in it, he made personal comments on the development of the nation and referenced classic works. The tone was somber, and the officials treated the petitions as a serious issue.

These Americans are “fighting for independence,” but it will not, of course, actually happen. At the moment, some people are still holding onto the old idea that America always overcomes everything, thanks to its constitutional system: the respect for personal ideas and beliefs and freedom of expression. They thank the heavens that this “movement” did not realize its goals, and they couple this with the fact that the so-called rebels did not create any further obstacles for the national government to handle. These thoughts appear sugar-coated and gilded to me, and I do not know if their reactions are due to true misunderstanding or feigned confusion. “Fighting for independence” is a way for people to express dissatisfaction and disappointment with the Obama administration. It also shows the deep partisan struggles over political, economic and social issues.

The United States government neatly and swiftly put down these hundreds of thousands of secessionists. This is bound raise questions as to why, when even small group of three to five people expresses some amount of dissatisfaction with their country’s government, Americans do not hesitate to back them. They not only go and drum up support for them, but they also help fund their protests and chastise other countries for not respecting these groups’ “public opinions.” This time around though, when it directly involved their own country, it was immediately deemed unconstitutional. Why are freedom and democracy in the context of “national unity” not worth mentioning here? What’s behind the lack of respect for “public opinion?”

Mirrors cannot show only the reflections of others and not that of one’s own country. Uncle Sam should take better care of these hundreds of thousands of “public opinions” and stop interfering with what is only a handful of “public opinions” in other countries.



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