MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin is one of over 20 states that have filed petitions for President Barack Obama's administration to allow them to secede from the Union. This, following the results of last week's presidential election.
The petitions appear on the White House website.
The request for sovereignty opens with the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which reads:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
It then quotes, in part, another sentence from the historic document:
"...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government..."
The petitions aim for a goal of 25,000 signatures by Dec. 10th.
"This is not cute. This is not funny. I'm not sure if we should take it seriously in the sense of even paying attention to it. I'm not really sure if we should take it as a funny joke of these peculiar, abhorrent, odd-ball activities, or if this is a signal -- a kind of above-the-water-line iceberg that's telling us things are still really divisive in America," UW-Milwaukee Professor of Governmental Affairs Mordecai Lee said.
Wisconsin's petition, which nearly 5,000 people have signed, reads in part: "We the people of the state of Wisconsin wish to withdraw peacefully from the Union. We believe in our rights that were granted to us in the Constitution our ancestors wrote, and we also believe that your administration is infringing on those rights."
"I don't think the federal government is being fair with the American people. I think they are being over-bearing. They are taxing us to death, and they are taking our freedoms away," Derrick Belcher said.
Belcher created Alabama's petition, hoping to reach the 25,000 signature threshold which earns a response from the federal government.
Lee says the secession talk may be a form of post-election venting, but says that ultimately, the act is not acceptable.
"I think we need to put it pretty bluntly -- talking about secession is being a traitor to America," Lee said.