The White House officially responded to separate petitions from eight different states to withdraw from the United States and create their own governments. The states included Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana.
A total of 352,809 people signed the petitions, with the petition for Texas garnering the most signatures: 125,746.
The response also addressed a ninth petition, a petition to "Deport Everyone That Signed a Petition to Withdraw Their State From the United States of America." That petition received 29,650 signatures.
Here is the response from the White House to the petitions to secede:
This response was written by Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement.
Thank you for using the White House's online petitions platform to participate in your government.
In a nation of 300 million people -- each with their own set of
deeply-held beliefs -- democracy can be noisy and controversial. And
that's a good thing. Free and open debate is what makes this country
work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for
the liberties we often take for granted.
But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don't let that debate tear us apart.
Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United
States "in order to form a more perfect union" through the hard and
frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in
that document the right to change our national government through the
power of the ballot -- a right that generations of Americans have fought
to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from
it. As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address
in 1861, "in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the
Union of these States is perpetual." In the years that followed, more
than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that
vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent
union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the
Supreme Court confirmed that "[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States."
Although the founders established a perpetual union, they also
provided for a government that is, as President Lincoln would later describe it, "of the people, by the people, and for the people" -- all
of the people. Participation in, and engagement with, government is the
cornerstone of our democracy. And because every American who wants to
participate deserves a government that is accessible and responsive, the
Obama Administration has created a host of new tools and channels to
connect concerned citizens with White House. In fact, one of the most
exciting aspects of the We the People platform is a chance to engage
directly with our most outspoken critics.
So let's be clear: No one disputes that our country faces big
challenges, and the recent election followed a vigorous debate about how
they should be addressed. As President Obama said the night he won
re-election, "We may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we
love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future."
Whether it's figuring out how to strengthen our economy, reduce our
deficit in a responsible way, or protect our country, we will need to
work together -- and hear from one another -- in order to find the best
way to move forward. I hope you'll take a few minutes to learn more about the President's ideas and share more of your own.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
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