Threatening to move to Canada or France is so 2004. In the wake of the Nov. 6 election, voters disappointed that Mitt Romney lost to President Obama are taking the time-honored tradition of the post-election tantrum into uncharted territory. Some are lashing out at the federal government, while others are taking out their ballot-box blues on targets closer to home. Here, four overreactions to last week's presidential election:
1. Trying to secede from the Union
It's no secret that "the 2012 election figuratively divided the country," says Lester Brathwaite at Queerty, but the split is "fixin' to get literal." Protesters in some 30 states have filed petitions asking for permission to secede from the U.S. (The petitions have been submitted to the White House's "We the People" website.) One, from Texas, says that the federal government has failed to address mounting debt, so it's up to the state to "protect its citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties." Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party in Texas, wrote in a Tea Party newsletter that the state should get an "amicable divorce" from the federal government. "Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?" Of course, this idea isn't going anywhere. "Anyone who wants their state to secede from the union is someone whose brain has already seceded from their body," says John Andrews, director of the conservative Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. Still, Texas, Louisiana, and a few other states might muster the 25,000 signatures needed to guarantee a White House response, says Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post. "Previous popular petitions demanded the White House beer recipe (success) and marijuana legalization (no success)."
2. Getting violent
A woman was arrested in Arizona on Saturday and charged with aggravated assault after she allegedly ran over her husband with a Jeep because he didn't bother to vote. The woman, Holly Solomon, 28, apparently believed that her husband, Daniel, was somehow "directly responsible for Obama's re-election," says Neetzan Zimmerman at Gawker, even though Romney would have needed Daniel Solomon's vote and 199,999 or so others to take the Grand Canyon State — in which case he still would have lost to Obama in the Electoral College. Nonetheless, the couple argued loudly about the election in a parking lot, a caller told a 911 dispatcher. "He got out of the car and she was screaming at him. And he started walking away and she started driving in circles around him and she wouldn't let him go so finally he took off to try to get away and she ran into him." Daniel Solomon was taken to a hospital in critical condition. He told police his wife "just hated Obama," blamed the president for the family's problems, and figured she'd be in for more hardship now that Obama has won a second term.
3. Stockpiling guns
Sales of firearms surged in some places after Obama won re-election. Thomas Truesdell of Sharp Shooters, a gun store in Lubbock, Texas, says his business jumped by as much as 500 percent in the days immediately following the vote. His theory: Gun buyers are afraid that a newly re-elected Obama will push tighter gun laws. "I don't know if it's necessarily founded or not, but I think people are just a little worried about their ability to purchase and own guns," Truesdell tells KCBD.com. Vietnam veteran Tony Mendoza says the run on guns is an overreaction, but an understandable one. "Me being a country boy, you know weapons were always a part of the household. I have eight weapons in my house and they are all loaded," he says. "We've been having all these problems with terrorists and all that, so you get a little bit paranoid. I understand that."
4. Committing suicide
In the run-up to the election, Henry Hamilton of Key West, Fla., had "increasingly blamed his personal struggles on President Obama," says Tim Elfrink at The Miami New Times, and had warned his partner that he "wouldn't be around long" if Obama was re-elected. Sadly, two days after the election, Hamilton was found dead in his apartment, where police found two empty prescription bottles and a will scrawled with the words, "Fuck Obama!" The 64-year-old had reportedly struggled to keep his tanning salon afloat and was also battling with mental health issues.
Editor's note: This article, originally posted on November 13, was updated on November 14 to include Hamilton's suspected suicide.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 language habits that reveal your age
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- 10 things you need to know today: July 24, 2014
- Deficit scolds are the most crazed ideologues in America
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- A scientific fact-check of 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
Subscribe to the Week