A big chunk of Northern/Northeastern Colorado are actively pursuing secession from the rest of the state, to form – they hope – a 51st state. Sick of the onrushing dim-bulb “progressive’ statism that’s engulfed the Boulder/Denver/Colorado Springs corridor, with its attendant spending, rapacious taxation and suffocating regulation, the more traditional, rural, conservative parts of the state have had enough.
[Weld county commissioner Sean] Conway said the new laws don’t support the interests of the northern part of the state, which is rich in agricultural history. Conway said that’s why he and others are proposing to break away from Colorado to form a new state.
“This is not a stunt. This is a very serious deliberative discussion that’s going on,” he said. “There’s a real feeling that a lot of folks who come from the urban areas don’t appreciate the contribution that many Coloradans contribute.”
Parts of Nebraska are also apparently interested in joining in on what would be a new state.
It’ll likely come to nothing; most Americans have been painstakingly taught that re-arranging our states in any way equals supporting slavery.
But there’s a historical precedent:
Conway says five of the current 50 states were created through a similar process. He says the proposal is “likely” to end up on a Colorado ballot this fall.
“The whole purpose of doing this is to preserve an agricultural way of life and to protect the energy sector, that we feel is very much under assault,” Conway said.
Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican Congressman from Yuma, told The Coloradoan in Fort Collins he’s not sure how he’d vote on such a measure, but he says he understands why the measure is being floated at this time. He says Democratic leaders controlling the state Legislature and the governor’s office have not been listening to their constituents in rural parts of the state…If voters in those counties decide they want to move forward, then the county commissioners would ask state lawmakers to approve the plan, and then petition Congress for statehood.
Of course, if the proposal ever did make any headway, the urban parts of the state – which depend, as they do in Minnesota, on the exurbs and the rest of the state to keep up a steady stream of tribute to the central government – would no doubt bog the idea down in court actions and worse until kingdom come.
But leaving all that aside – I think it’d be a fascinating idea here in Minnesota.
Clearly, Minnesota is two states that are stuck together, like Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, more out of tradition, a historical accident based on lines drawn in the 1840s when Minnesota was a sparsely populated swampy wilderness, than out of any rational political, demographic or social reason that they should be forever together.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to have an “East Minnesota” – basically what are now the 4th, 5th and 8th Congressional Districts, the Twin Cities and Duluth and the land they’d need to build their high-speed choo-choo between each other – on the one hand, and “West Minnesota” the rest of the state, form separate states? Perhaps with a capitol in Rochester?
The new states would make more economic, political and social sense than the current one does; “West Minnesota” could orient itself economically toward the rest of the region, while “East Minnesota” could then endeavor to prove its long-standing premise that it carries the rest of the state.
In fact, this would be true of many states; Upstate New York would no doubt love to be rid of NYC and Long Island; greater California would no doubt love to cast its lot with Arizona, Utah and Nevada rather than be stuck with the endless money suck of Los Angeles.
(Likewise the Dakotas are all wrong; the eastern halves of both states have more in common with each other politically, economically and socially than they do with their western halves, which are also pretty much alike; “East Dakota” and “West Dakota” make more sense than North and South Dakota do).