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

| December 6 2013

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.

10 comments
Mike Kapic
Mike Kapic

I empathize with your frustration and am experiencing it in a 'conservative' state. Nullification doesn't work and secession is radical and economically detrimental. Of course a physical revolution is not desirable, yet anyway, because there in another solution. It is a new movement called the Convention of States. The purpose is to propose amendments to pull in the federal power system, removing the chock hold on the states and allow them their sovereignty again. I would suggest this as an alternative. Most Americans agree with you, and this offers a legal way to begin correcting the problem. Go to conventionofstates.com for more info.   

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@Mike KapicI agree that the amendments concept is one of the closest things we have to a "game-changer." But I also feel the same way about a state-secession movement. The implications are huge. So, Mike, why can't we have both efforts take place simultaneously, and perhaps even cooperatively?

Mike Kapic
Mike Kapic

@WesternFreePress @Mike Kapic I'm not against you leaving the US to become a different state, it's been attempted before. In Virginia or Kentucky I believe. You must have weighed the tremendous cost and trouble to organize a state that would live up to your expectations. I just think there might be a simpler way to accomplish the same thing. If, in your analysis, you don't think so, then go for it. In addition, since you would still be living under the same federal umbrella, the COS Project should also be attempted by you. I believe that's where most of the problems come from. Once we reign in the fed gov, then we'll see what kind of shape the states will be in and start on them. In my mind, returning the states to the federal government the Founders intended is the first step.  

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47@Mike KapicAgreed. Easier said than done, though. We are by nature NOT collectivists (though many of us are quite community-minded). It's sometimes hard to get us focused. But we do need to, or statists will eat us ALL alive. 


So what would be, in your ideal world, the simple, common, uniting theme?

Mike Kapic
Mike Kapic

@WesternFreePress @dleeper47 @Mike Kapic I agree with organizing, but in a smart manner. The left does that and uses a common line or simple statement, i.e. inequality, gov does better, etc, and they don't argue and fight among themselves. There are more conservative or right leaning folks than liberal or left but we seem to argue over the finer points rather than the larger issue. We try to sell the tires on the car instead of the car. We have to unite under a common, simple theme. And we need a voice: a G Washington or R Reagan. We won't get a massive outpouring of 'we the people' until we do a better job of selling than the left does.  

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47@Mike KapicQuite right. The left is always using blitzkrieg tactics; it's effective. 


On any side, there will always be multiple efforts because there are people with differing abiding interests and beliefs. And that's okay. Competition is healthy, and nothing succeeds like success, and the things that work will show themselves. 


In the case of the states and the amendments, though, there is the possibility for synergy. Yes, efforts expended on one are, by definition, efforts that aren't being expended on the other. But as we have seen from the left, which is active on nearly every front of society, activity in one area does not starve another. Indeed, they synergize into a phenomenon larger than the sum of its parts. The people the left organizes for one cause don't evaporate. The lists remain; the energy remains; and in many cases, the cohesion remains.


We must organize for these things, and the act of getting organized for the one helps us organize for the other.


dleeper47
dleeper47 moderator

@WesternFreePress @Mike Kapic

Good discussion thread! I'm in favor of multiple approaches. Following Alinsky's rule (#8 I think), the Left runs multiple initiatives at the same time. Some work, some don't, but they never stop trying.


I do have my favorites too, and right now I like the Article V movements above all. What I fear is that we'll sap our energy, time, and money comparing one such movement to another.


I already see lots of posts arguing "my method is better/faster/stronger than yours." If the leaders among these movements end up squabbling with each other, we're toast. I don't see the enemy doing that with their various strategies and tactics (maybe I don't know where to look?). 


Hit 'em high, hit 'em low, but keep hitting. If & when one approach emerges as the most effective, then conservatives can rally to it. In the meantime, as individuals, we can support multiple initiatives.

Mike Kapic
Mike Kapic

@WesternFreePress @Mike Kapic You make a good point, but I'm not totally sold on the new state thing. I'm not so sure running away from the 'blues' is the solution. Corralling them with law might shrink their numbers and be cheaper.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@Mike KapicI am for both of the approaches. A new state, made of rural counties carved from an otherwise "blue" state would add two new conservative senators, peel off electoral votes from the Dems, and provide better representation for rural voters who are, increasingly, subsumed by urban voters. 


But it would also add another state to the union, which in addition to a much-needed shakeup of the flag-making industry, would add another state in favor of the amendments. Three-fourths to ratify is a high bar, and the more states in the union who agree with us, the better.