FLINT - Since the presidential election, more than 750,000 people from all 50 states have signed petitions on the White House website saying they want their state to secede from the union.
This is either the start of the second Civil War or the biggest case of sour grapes ever.
Not that I blame people. When George W. Bush won a second term, I wanted to abandon the country on grounds that I couldn't live among people who would willingly re-elect a guy who: A) Couldn't pronounce the word "nuclear;" B) Practiced "strategery;" and C) Went after Saddam Hussein when Osama bin Laden is the guy we wanted. But I didn't leave because as a grownup I understood that you can't run from your problems. Plus my passport was expired.
So tempting as it is, I'm not about to criticize people who want their state to secede just because an African-American liberal got re-elected. If their conscience is OK with it, so be it. Yeehaw.
Besides, we're so politically divided these days, breaking up into two nations might be a good thing. I would suggest, though, that we do it on left and right, north and south basis since that didn't work out so well last time.
I propose that righties can take the right half of the country, from the Mississippi River east, and form the nation of Conservistan, led by President Rush Limbaugh and Minister of Propaganda Karl Rove. While lefties can take the western half and call it Liberaltopia, led by President Hillary Clinton and Minister of Cool Dudeness Bruce Springsteen.
Think how nice and peaceful elections would be. No more yelling, no more ads. Just modest disagreements among people who more or less share the same philosophy.
If that solution is too jarring, we could simply give people what they want and left certain states leave. It's no skin off my nose. I've always thought this country could use a good pruning, anyway. Where is it written that we have to have 50 states? I'd be perfectly happy with 40, 30 or even 25 good ones. If I'm being honest, we have plenty of states that are hangers-on and others that are just plain annoying or useless.
Take, for instance, Texas. Almost 100,000 people there have signed the petitions saying they want out of the union. I say let 'em go. Texas is hot and dry, and on top of being the place where Kennedy was killed, it is also home to the most annoying franchise in pro sports, the Dallas Cowboys.
Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, boys.
Ohio would also be high on my list of states that I'd like to show the door. Have you ever been there? The landscape is ugly, the people are uglier, and their biggest university is named after a nut. No one would miss it a bit. And I don't say that just because I'm a University of Michigan Wolverines fan.
We could also do without New Hampshire and Vermont. I got them backward on a geography test in Mr. Allis' sixth grade class decades ago, and I still can't remember which is which. You probably can't either, so clearly nothing of note or interest happens there. Would you miss them?
I didn't think so.
I would also let Florida go, even though I like to vacation there. That hanging chads thing was bad enough, but any state that takes two weeks to count its presidential ballots is a state we can do without. We can still vacation there. It'll just take a passport.
A lot of my family is from Georgia, but I'd be fine without it, too. Many people don't realize, but Georgia is the setting for "Deliverance," which contains the single scariest movie scene ever for 98 percent of the guys in my generation.
Alaska would have to go just because of Sarah Palin, although I'm willing to keep it if she decides to emigrate to Conservistan. I'd also say so long to Kansas (too dusty), Iowa (too flat), New York (too Donald Trumpy), North and South Dakota (too pointless) and Delaware (too dinky).
I can't see Michigan leaving the union, however. Nor can I see other states asking us to leave. We have too much going for us. We have the Great Lakes, the Detroit Tigers, the auto companies (sorry, Mitt, they're still alive) and Motown.
On the downside, though, we do have long winters and the Detroit Lions.
No state's perfect, I guess.
EDITOR'S NOTE - Andy Heller, an award-winning columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Write to Andrew Heller at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.