Pittsboro, N.C. — Conservative activists in 20 states, including one in the Triangle, say they want to secede from the United States after last week's election.
Randy Dye, a conservative blogger and columnist, filed a petition at the White House website to split North Carolina off from the nation. His is among 20 petitions filed by conservatives and tea party activists nationwide after President Barack Obama was re-elected.
"I don't see anything good coming out of Washington, and I think a lot of people are feeling that same way this day and age," Dye said outside his Pittsboro home.
He dismissed the notion that secession is a radical reaction to an election.
"When our forefathers split from King George, that was a pretty radical idea, too," he said.
Dye said he sees the election as proof that the country is headed toward socialism.
"The Democrats can have this country. They deserve it. It's going to fall, I think," he said. "I don't mean to be doom and gloom, but I'm just doing the math and the economics."
States cannot withdraw from the U.S. – in 1869, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled secession is unconstitutional. The North Carolina constitution also forbids it, and state Attorney General Roy Cooper says it shouldn't even be considered.
"Yes, we have problems. Yes, some people may be frustrated with the outcome of the election. But it's time for us to come together and do good things for this state and this country," Cooper said.
Dye said he doesn't expect his petition to accomplish much, but it already has more than 8,400 signatures. If it reaches 25,000 signatures by Dec. 9, the White House will have to formally respond to him.
A Texas petition has already topped that threshold.
"Will something come out of it? I don't know. It's more of an ideology stand than anything," he said.