Monday Open Thread — Grounds For Secession?by Brad Warbiany
What began decades ago as a joke is gaining steam here on the west coast. Rural counties on the Cal-Oregon border who believe they are completely unrepresented in Sacramento & Salem are considering a way out:
Some folks around here think the economic sky is falling and state lawmakers in Sacramento and Salem are ignoring their constituents in the hinterlands.
Guess the time is ripe to create a whole new state.
That’s the thinking up here along the border between California and Oregon, where 12 sparsely populated, thickly forested counties in both states want to break away and generate the 51st star on the nation’s flag – the state of Jefferson.
You can see the signs of discontent from Klamath Falls to Dunsmuir, where green double-X “Jefferson State” flags hang in scores of businesses. You can hear the talk of revolution at lunch counters and grocery lines, where people grumble that politicians to the north and south don’t care.
You can even hear the dissent on the radio, where 21 area FM stations broadcast from Oregon into California under the banner of “Jefferson Public Radio.”
“We have nothing in common with you people down south. Nothing,” said Randy Bashaw, manager of the Jefferson State Forest Products lumber mill in the Trinity County hamlet of Hayfork. “The sooner we’re done with all you people, the better.”
My view, as someone who is stuck so squarely in the Greater Los Angeles Megasprawl, stretching from Tijuana to Ventura, is one of envy towards anyone that may have a chance at escaping the grasp of Sacramento. If I lived up there, I’d by pushing hard for something like this. So I’m firmly in favor of letting them out.
But this brings up some interesting questions. As a nation that supposedly operates based upon “consent of the governed”, you have a clear case where the people of these counties do not consent to governance by their state Capitols. Granting them exception and statehood, though, causes some problems in that it affects national politics (via electoral college, the Senate, etc).
So what do you guys think? What are the grounds for the counties to dissolve the bonds of government and form new ones? Shall we allow them to break off and form the 51st state, the State of Jefferson? Or not? Why?