Pat Buchanan writes for WND, Oct. 10, 2013, that not only many red state Americans moving away from blue state America to seek kindred souls among whom to live, those who love where they live but not those who rule them are seeking to secede.
Across America, separatist and secessionist movements are now fomenting in at least three states:
Five counties of western Maryland – Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll — have more in common with West Virginia and wish to be rid of Baltimore and free of Annapolis. The issues driving secession in Maryland are gun control, high taxes, energy policy, homosexual marriage and immigration.
Scott Strzelczyk, who lives in the town of Windsor in Carroll County and leads the Western Maryland Initiative, argues: “If you have a long list of grievances, and it’s been going on for decades, and you can’t get it resolved, ultimately [secession] is what you have to do.”
Ten northern counties of Colorado are this November holding non-binding referenda to prepare a future secession from Denver and the creation of America’s 51st state. Reid Wilson of the Washington Post points out that 9 of the 10 Colorado counties talking secession and a new state – Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma – all gave more than 62% of their votes to Mitt Romney. Five of these 10 counties gave Romney more than 75% of their vote.
Their issues with the Denver legislature: A new gun control law that triggered a voter recall of two Democratic state senators, state restrictions on oil exploration and the Colorado legislature’s party-line vote in support of gay marriage.
In California, which many have long believed should be split in two, the northern counties of Modoc and Siskiyou on the Oregon border are talking secession – and then union in a new state called Jefferson.
Mark Baird of the Jefferson Declaration Committee rightly observes that “California is essentially ungovernable in its present size.” He hopes to attract a dozen counties to join together before petitioning the state to secede.
Like the western Maryland and northern Colorado counties, the northern California counties are conservative, small town, rural and have little in common with San Francisco or Los Angeles, or Sacramento, where Republicans hold not one statewide office and are outnumbered better than 2-1 in both houses of the state legislature.
Folks on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, bordered by Wisconsin and the Great Lakes, which is connected to lower Michigan by a bridge, have long dreamed of a separate state called Superior. The UP has little in common with Lansing and nothing with Detroit.
While the folks in western Maryland, northern Colorado, northern California and on the Upper Peninsula might be described as red state secessionists, in Vermont the secessionists seem of the populist left. The Montpelier Manifesto of the Second Vermont Republic concludes:
“Citizens, lend your names to this manifesto and join in the honorable task of rejecting the immoral, corrupt, decaying, dying, failing American Empire and seeking its rapid and peaceful dissolution before it takes us all down with it.”
It’s not as if there are no precedents for secession in the history of the United States. Four of our 50 states – Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, West Virginia – were born out of other states.
There are also precedents elsewhere, most notably at the end of the 21st century when the communist party in the Union of Socialist Soviet Republic (USSR) lost its will to rule, the Soviet Empire also disintegrated when former constituent soviets seceded to former the independent states of Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
The spirit of secession is also seen in the non-communist world:
- Scotland is moving toward a referendum on independence from England, three centuries after the Acts of Union.
- Catalonia pushes to be free of Madrid.
- Northern Italy wants to be its own state.
- Dutch-speaking Flanders wants to cut loose of French-speaking Wallonia in Belgium.
Buchanan concludes with the observation that the current secessionist language “may be found in Thomas Jefferson’s indictment of George III,” and a prediction that “If America does not get its fiscal house in order, and another Great Recession hits or our elites dragoon us into another imperial war, we will likely hear more of such talk.”