How about we secede from North Carolina?

How about we secede from North Carolina?

He says he’s tired of being embarrassed by living in a state that ranks near the bottom for teacher salaries, a state where every Republican member of the Senate voted to make wearing a mask in public illegal, even if it depends on your health. By using one?

I’m here to tell you, friends, there is a solution to your problem: secession.

I know what you’re thinking: we tried it once before and it didn’t work so well.

But that was a secession from the Union; I’m talking about seceding from the state: North Carolina.

Counties seceding from states, or attempting to do so, are one thing. It’s happening all over the country, from the golden shores of the Pacific to the shores of the Great Lakes.

On May 21, voters in Crook County, Oregon, were asked whether they would like their county to remain in Oregon or become part of a western expansion of Idaho. With 53% of voters opting to secede, Crook became the 13th of the state’s 34 counties to join the Greater Idaho movement, which aims to “relocate the border between Oregon and Idaho to improve both states.”

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Citing differing attitudes on gun control, legalizing marijuana and fossil fuels, as well as paying higher taxes for government services they oppose, residents of Oregon’s eastern and southern counties say they they have more in common with reliably red Idaho than with left-leaning Portland. , Eugenio and Salem.

In November, voters in Madison County, Illinois, will decide whether to ask county officials to investigate joining an effort to create a new state to be temporarily called New Illinois.

The only county likely not to be invited to the proposed 51st state is Cook County. “We don’t want to separate ourselves from the nation,” said one New Illinois official. “Us do “I want to separate from Chicago.”

“A problem arises when bills are passed that are in the best interest of Chicago,” explained GH Merritt, president of New Illinois, “but are not in the best interest of the rest of the state and then imposed on all of us. “

The New Illinois movement has a website and a slogan: “Leave Illinois still – demand a new state.”

The various secession movements, including separationist investigations in California, Colorado, and Maryland, highlight the lines along which our country is so deeply and bitterly divided: liberal/conservative, Republican/Democratic, urban/rural.

In an article for the Brookings Institution, Colby Galliher and Edison Forman argue that the current interest of some counties in seceding from their states indicates “the deterioration of Americans’ willingness to tolerate life under the government of the opposing party.”

“Americans increasingly choose where to live based on the political leanings of the area,” they write. “Now you can follow the polarization in geographical terms.”

You think not? If you found a house or apartment you really liked but saw “Stop the Steal” signs all over the neighborhood, would that influence your decision to buy or rent?

A 2023 study by Colby College found that 23% of Americans approve of some form of secession.

Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has said that “we need a national divorce.” We’re not there yet, but here and there we’re starting to explore separation agreements.

Galliher and Forman say secession efforts “have little chance of success.” For obvious reasons. The states involved, as well as the US Congress, must approve any such agreement. The state that loses population risks losing votes in the Electoral College, as well as representation in the House. Not to mention part of your tax base.

If secession is not viable, where does that leave us?

I guess we’ll just have to find ways to get along with each other, hopefully, respectfully and, if necessary, reluctantly, as Americans, heirs to the greatest birthright any people has ever inherited, an inheritance that should not be wasted. , and to solve our problems. differences the old-fashioned way: in November, at the polls.

There was a time when that thought was comforting.

Richard Groves

Richard Groves

Allison Lee Isley, Winston-Salem Journal