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Elections, Features, Politics, Top Stories

The New States are coming, the New States are coming!

Posted: December 6, 2013 at 8:45 am   /   by

By Olivia Vetrano
Geneseo College

We live in a world of many voices. Some are stronger than others, and some are more consequential. Commonly throughout history, man has fought the voice leading him astray. This misuse of voice often drives us to war and political upheaval. But as our textbooks preach, these revolutions fortuitously lead to better days; and dare I say, eras of “good feelings.” Man is neither blind nor dumb; he knows when he is being cheated and unaccounted for. Which is why he stands up.

Today’s state secession movements are inspiring, and certainly nothing short of eye-opening. The tale is as old as time—populations fighting oppression from a government unequipped (and perhaps unwilling) to rule fairly. But what’s particularly fascinating in this case is that it’s not necessarily the state’s fault. States like California and Colorado are too big and too diverse to be governed effectively as one. These small conservative counties don’t want to sever ties with their home states for reasons of power or greed; they just want to save their livelihoods.

These upcoming weeks could be the eve of a bloodless revolution, a phenomenon that should enrapture historians and citizens alike.

In 1776, Thomas Paine published a pamphlet declaring it natural and just to seek independence from a dominion without your best interests in mind. Very fittingly it was titled Common Sense. Have we lost its message over the centuries? Or has the definition of ‘common sense’ been so distorted that we can no longer recognize it? It seems to me that these secession movements are simply following the advice of one of the first men brave enough to publicly advocate freedom from Great Britain.

The 1750s birthed one of the most famous phrases known to man. Up and down the east coast the cries of “taxation without representation” echoed through the colonies. The trouble was that mother England felt it an unnecessary burden to consult the New World before implementing heavy tariffs. In which case the pen was unequivocally mightier than the sword; a day at the office for parliament rallied thousands together to form a nation.

The same lack of representation fuels the initiative behind current state secession movements.

Thanks to a significant increase in left-leaning urban populations, a severe imbalance in representation has developed, and conservative districts find themselves increasingly unspoken for. These republican communities don’t have the state representatives or state senators they need to pursue their interests. The result? The prospect of a new start; a solution that would allow the blue states to carry on about their business while giving newborn red states the platform they need to be heard.

What’s important to distinguish is that state secessionists are in no way shape or form, anti-American. They salute our flag the same as you and me. No proposal has been made for a second Civil War. There’s no new empire in the works, no violence on the agenda, just the blueprints to practice conservative politics freely. The obstacle lies ahead in their state legislature. In order to secede, the counties of topic must be granted approval by state legislatures; then, after that, they’ll have to secure the congressional okay. Considering the root of the issue is the democratic dominated state office, chances are dishearteningly slim.

But slim chances have never stopped a patriot before, so why now?

Almost 250 years ago, colonists made the revelation that the best people to make decisions regarding them were themselves. On a much grander scale they fought to represent their homes…at home. Aren’t our conservative neighbors just asking for the same right? And here’s the kicker: they’re saying please. We shouldn’t ignore that.

Today’s state secessionists are testing their freedom. And don’t we live in a country where freedom always prevails? New liberal government has put conservatives in a cage, but thou shalt not be barred. The American dream is forever changing, and so is democracy. We can’t be afraid to allow those changes to take form.

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy.