Pima County lawyers and politicians attached an amendment to Republican state sovereignty bill that would have allowed them to secede or ‘separate’ from the State of Arizona. The amendment failed, but the act raises interesting questions.
Recent Secessionist or Separation Movements
Obviously, Pima County isn’t the first relatively recent case of a region or state looking to secede. There is near constant talk in Vermont of secession from the United States, for example, and the Valley residents have long wanted to separate from Los Angeles (as a former Angeleno, I doubt they’d be missed). And Oregon, Washington and British Columbia have all shared an interest in creating their own country called Cascadia. As an extremely progressive and wealthy region, you could see why they would want to secede from the U.S. and Canada.
Pima County Secession
So what is different about the nascent Pima Country secession movement? To be brief, they find the rest of the Arizona state government, led by Jan Brewer, to be far too radically conservative for their tastes—owing to the recent state immigration and healthcare policies. But, that isn’t all: the Pima secessionists actually want to be part of the federal government. They aren’t interested in fully seceding from the Union and existing as a buffer region between Mexico and northern Arizona.
It is important to understand that the secessionist gesture was, according to by Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, who advanced the amendment, “tongue-in-cheek.” In an interview with the The Arizona Republic, Aboud went on to say, “We don’t want to be part of a state that continues to embarrass Arizona.”
It’s hard to tell if Aboud is publicly hedging here so that she and others don’t appear crazy. And since the talk of secession began, a Facebook page called “Start Our State” was created. The proposed name of the severed state? Baja Arizona.
To secede, the secessionists would need to get the measure on a ballot, then seek approval from the Arizona legislature, which is firmly controlled by the radical conservatives. The amendment failed in a vote, but the idea is so novel that it would have been truly surprising had Aboud succeeded.
And, even though it might be a massive undertaking, it is certainly worth the continued effort, and I for one support the Pima County citizens.
Who Else Should Secede?
Since we’re on the subject of secession based on conservatives-gone-wild, what other states or cities might think of seceding? This is a thought experiment of sorts—one that every socialism-hating patriot should consider since the liberal coastal state taxes fund their pork barrel projects. And if pork barrel politics isn’t socialism, then what else qualifies?
True. California is in a bit of a budget crisis, but as the seat of the entertainment and agricultural industries, Silicon Valley, pornography, not to mention the world class cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco (hell, San Diego might even qualify), California is not in want of anything, aside from energy (more on that later).
California boasts approximately $1.8 billion in gross state product, the highest of any state in the union. The tax revenues from California have been redistributed all over the country, even down into those socialism-hating states to the southeast. And given that California food feeds most of the nation, they’re certainly entitled to federal government bailout (what with all the taxes paid over the years).
Let the conservative states with significant fundamentalist Christian populations pay tariffs on all the food they purchase from liberal California. California has great potential for alternative forms of energy, like solar, wind and ocean power. And what is more, they are not in want of the intelligence to accomplish it.
2. New York City
Another case of a region’s wealth being redistributed to the pork-barrel states, New York City could sever itself from the rest of its State, but a secession from the Union would be far more problematic. Too much of the U.S. economic interest is tied to the city.
In 1969, Norman Mailor and Jimmy Breslin ran on a ticket for the NYC mayoralty and city council presidency. They suggested New York City secede from New York State, and the rest of the state call itself “Buffalo.” Times have changed and Buffalo is no longer the manufacturing base it once was, but that probably wouldn’t bother upstate New York residents, who are regularly at odds with the state power wielded by New York City.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has even raised the possibility when he publicly noted that the city pays out $11 billion in taxes and gets virtually nothing back in return from the rest of the state. The same could be said of all the red states who enjoy the federal benefits of New York City’s economic dominance.
Alaska is a rogue state anyway and a chief beneficiary of pork-barrel projects financed by more economically robust state economies, so let’s just let this place go, and then Sarah Palin will finally get her wish of becoming president of a country.
Another possible scenario? The Russians, drunk on high-octane beer, invade and occupy. The rest of the U.S. is happy either way.
Texans like to talk a big game about how they were once upon a time their very own Republic, so why not let the red state secede as planned? They clearly dislike being told what to do, especially by President Obama (not unlike Georgia Rep. Paul Broun), and they have an economy that could support their population with very cosmopolitan cities like Austin, Houston and Dallas. There really is no reason for Texas to exist as part of the Union.
They have plenty of land, steers, BBQ recipes and cowboys to make this all happen: what are they waiting for? Get on it boys! Wooooo-eeee! ”The stars at night are big and bright… (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.”