“Derrick B.,” the man who started a petition seeking Alabama’s withdrawal from the U.S., is a truck driving, knife collecting former owner of a topless car wash who describes himself as “an absolute Libertarian.”
Derrick Belcher, 45, of Chunchula, said in an interview late Monday that secession may be the only way to save working Americans from crushing debt, burdensome federal regulations and rising taxes.
“I don’t want to live in Russia. I don’t believe in socialism,” said Belcher, an operations manager for a Mobile trucking company. “America is supposed to be free.”
Belcher said he posted his petition Friday on the White House web site after hearing about a similar petition filed by a Louisiana resident. More than 30 states have since followed, and Belcher’s petition has gained more than 18,000 signatures –- well on its way toward reaching the 25,000 threshold for receiving an official response from the White House.
A petition for Texas reached that milestone on Monday and had more than 62,000 signatures as of this morning.
When Alabama meets the requirement, Belcher said, he’ll deliver a copy of the petition to Gov. Robert Bentley, seeking formal action by the state.
Belcher said he believes secession can work if states band together to support each other.
“I don’t think any one state can stand alone. But if we’ve got 20 of them, then that starts to be something ,” Belcher said. “If you look at a map of the red states, we have all of the oil and we produce all of the food. We’re the ones that are carrying the rest of the nation.”
Belcher said he is a Libertarian and that he supported Ron Paul as a candidate for president. He said President Barack Obama won re-election last week because of voters who are dependent on the federal government.
More @ AL