A significant number of people in America would like their state to peacefully secede from the Union.  Not surprisingly, the percentage is high in the western US and rural areas, home of rugged individualists, who want to be left alone, at least until something happens they don’t like, when they say, “somebody ought to pass a law against that.” My fellow doctors were like that, too.  They wanted to be left alone, until somebody muscled in on their turf, then wanted “administration” to do something about it.  Don’t get me wrong.  All of us are hypocrites at times.  I am.  But I admit it.

I am open to new ideas but seldom like those that were tried and failed, unless circumstances have changed.  A non-peaceful split resulted in the bloodiest war in American history.

I certainly can empathize with secession:  when I lived in Tucson, I was subject to laws passed in Phoenix, where progressive voices were drowned out by the Maricopa County crazies.  Many of us said, “Free Baja Arizona”  as a joke.  Our governor vetoed the bad laws, until she got tapped to head Homeland Security, part of the decimation of good Democrats whom Mr. Obama picked for cabinet positions.  Not counting him and Mr. Biden, at least four good senators and two Democratic governors in red states were lost, hurting the Senate, Kansas, and Arizona, which has never recovered.

But back to secession.  As a joke, in 1982, Key West declared itself the Conch Republic, declared war on the US, surrendered, and wanted aid.  The then mayor, if I remember correctly, actually got death threats.

I use Europe and the former Soviet Union to state my case against breaking a union.  Europe is a patchwork of small countries; the strongest, Germany, is one that unified.  Yugoslavia, once a powerhouse in southern Europe, run by the cagey Tito, is now seven smaller states.  The UN still has troops in Kosovo, keeping an uneasy peace for the past two decades.  Like Mt. St. Helens, the Balkans will erupt again.

Is Moldova really better off not being a part of Romania?  Perhaps. Is it a player on the world stage?  No.  Closer to home, Quebec tried to secede from Canada, fortunately not succeeding, which would have been disastrous to both.  Scotland almost left a three century old union.

The problem the secessionists don’t seem to understand is that there is a lot of work necessary to form another country, even another state.  Two northern counties in California want to become the state of Jefferson.  Their combined population is 50,000, about one-fourteenth the number needed to get a seat in Congress.  Anybody think of that?

Let’s look more closely at the “devil is in the details,” some of which apply to those who want to have a new state:

  • Constitution and governance:  Who writes it, and how is it ratified?  Who gets to vote and why?
  • Currency and how it will be backed: Gold bullion?  Who weighs, who certifies?  Cheating does occur; gold plating is easy to do.  Don’t laugh; Arizona has passed bills twice (fortunately vetoed) allowing for gold and silver to be used as legal tender, despite the hassle (ironically, big government) of having certified scales so that one can buy beer or bullets using Grandma’s earrings.
  • Ah, yes.  Taxes.  What is taxed and how much, who decides, who collects, what are they used for, and who enforces?
  • Defense: You may now follow the part of your beloved Second Amendment that you have ignored, because you will require a militia. By the way, the flag you love so dearly will no longer be yours.  The star will go, too.
  • Trade agreements with America: You may be subject to tariffs.
  • Safety nets, for a significant percentage of older Americans require Social Security as their primary source of income.  Have you thought about that?  Do you boot them out or let them “self deport”?
  • Healthcare delivery and payment.  Do doctors get paid with earrings or chickens? If I were still practicing, I wouldn’t take JSD (Jefferson State Dollars).
  • Payment for public land, which currently belongs to the American people, including folks like me, and I am not willing to sell it at any price.  I have rights, too, or are they now abrogated?
  • Dealing with natural disasters, like fire and severe storms, many of which affect states or areas more likely to favor secession.  Remember, FEMA isn’t coming any more.  Let’s discuss FEMA:  Maybe some think that passin’ the hat at church on Sunday will collect enough singles to pay for rebuilding a town. Good luck.  That is why we have FEMA, at least Mr. Obama’s FEMA 3.0, the one that works.  FEMA 2.0, under Bush, led to “Heck of a job, Brownie.”  Some of the 67 Republicans (no Democrats) who voted against federal aid for Hurricane Sandy rebuilding were themselves from states that received federal aid from natural disasters.  Katrina required 10 days to get an aid package passed; it was two months for Sandy.  Lot of hypocrisy out there.
  • Finally, JUSTICE.  Who arbitrates when two rugged individualists clash about land, roads, weight of gold or silver, taxes, responsibilities?  Who will ensure there is no cheating in the marketplace?  Who arbitrates when somebody is a nuisance, pollutes the land, shoots another, or even carries a firearm into a place where somebody like me doesn’t approve?  Who is right?  Who decides what the supreme law of the land will be?

The small town of Weed, California, in the heart of the state of Jefferson (a large sign stating the name is on the roof of a barn further north on I-5), lost 200 homes in a few hours from the Boles Fire.  Yes, passing the hat got $180K four days later.   They got assistance from Sacramento and the Red Cross. This won’t happen in the New Divided America.  These folks may charge tolls on roads that run through their land, and they may put checkpoints around them.  We in the rest of America will do the same.  Oh, the remaining US will be hurt, I don’t doubt that.  But not as hard as the next Weed, Joplin, New Orleans, or the Central Valley, when the next Cat 4, EF5, or Haines Index 6 + a cigarette tossed out a car window occurs.

Finally, I return to the basic tenet of the United States of America.  Secession to me has a simple one word synonym:  TREASON.  When I peaceably protested the Vietnam War 45 years ago, I was called a traitor for exercising my First Amendment rights.  Bumper stickers said, “Support the President”, then Mr. Nixon, under whom “a secret plan to end the war” caused 28,000 additional Americans to die. Other bumper stickers said, “America, Love it or Leave.”

We’ve come full circle, folks.  Support the President, and if you don’t like America, then you may freely leave.  But you don’t get to freely take your piece of America with you.  Nope.  You may try Moldova, Albania, or Turkmenistan, since European countries are socialistic, and 2000 languages are spoken on the African continent, along with Ebola and malaria.  You certainly don’t want anything to do with Spanish.  Maybe the Aussies or the Kiwis will take you. Or not.

Much as I don’t like you or want to be around you, I’d rather you stay, and a unified country.

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