Originally published September 20 2013
Five counties in Maryland join forces to secede from the state, citing total lack of representation by out-of-touch state capitol
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Seems like the deep blue state of Maryland has a few red spots in it after all. And the folks who live in them don't want to be there anymore.
So, they would love to secede from - Maryland.
As Fox News reports, residents living in the state's five western-most counties have been regularly frustrated by the state's largely liberal Democrat leadership. So, many of them have decided that the best thing to do is to seek a peaceable divorce from the rest of the state - just as several other regions around the country are attempting to do.
Per Fox News:
Western Maryland is made up of five counties whose residents largely vote Republican and feel under-represented at the state capitol, run by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and a Democrat-controlled legislature.
The movement began in July as a social-media effort, with activist Scott Strzelczyk starting a Facebook page titled the Western Maryland Initiative.
The movement, however, has since garnered significant media attention, with Strzelczyk talking to everybody from National Public Radio to The Washington Post.
"We are tired of this. We have had enough," Strzelczyk said recently in an interview with the Washington, D.C., area NPR affiliate WAMU.
Gun control, higher taxes, little representation to blame
Strzelczyk went on to say that the biggest issues concerning him and supporters of secession are ever-increasing taxes, as well as the Democrat-controlled state Legislature's gerrymandering with voting districts - so that Maryland's heavy metro areas have the most representation. In addition, tighter gun laws enacted this year were, in his words, "the last straw."
The effort in Maryland is similar to others in areas around the country - areas that include the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, Northern California and a number of conservative counties in Northern Colorado. Surrounding counties in neighboring states have expressed an interest in forming a new state, North Colorado.
That effort "is backed by the Tea Party movement and has gotten the issue put on the November ballot as a non-binding referendum," reported Fox News. "The movement was also driven in large part by state lawmakers passing tighter gun-control legislation this year that was signed by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper."
But the intrastate secession movement isn't just limited to the politically "red" counties. Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary's College in Maryland, notes that politically "blue" Democrats in GOP-heavy states like Florida and Arizona want to break away from their states as well. That is particularly the case in southern Florida and western Arizona (neighboring New Mexico is a Democrat-heavy state).
"This is about folks who just do not believe they are being represented, whether it's Democrats and Republicans," he told WAMU.
There have been groups of Americans who, practically since the nation's founding, have felt from time to time that they are not being "represented." Many people who live in the nation's capital of Washington, D.C., think they are being taxed without representation (they don't like to acknowledge that the Constitution calls for a non-voting, non-represented seat of government which is unlike a regular state).
But the secession movement has grown in recent years, as larger numbers of Americans across a broader swath of demographics feel alienated from their state - and federal - government, as lawmakers at every level seem more and more unresponsive to voters.
Big Brother would have to agree...
That said, many believe the Civil War settled the issue of secession once and for all. Also, as Fox News reports:
[S]ecession will not be easy, for a variety of reasons, including that many of these remote, rural regions rely on money generated in their states' more commercial and populated cities. And secession leaders would need state and federal approval, which seems unlikely considering the last time a region broke off was 1863, when 50 western Virginia counties split to form West Virginia.
Strzelczyk, as well as other secession advocates, realize that their effort is a long shot - but they're willing to make the effort nonetheless. For his part, he and others in his circle plan to begin forming policy committees, reaching out to lawmakers and starting up a 501(c) (4) organization that would be permitted to engage in political activities.
"This is about popular support," he said. "Ultimately, if the people of these five western counties do not support this effort, we're not going to force them to leave."
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