Unveiling what I think would be state number 53 (or 54), the Washington Post profiled a Maryland secession movement yesterday. They don’t have a name yet, but secessionists eyeing five western counties for a breakaway do have a cause. Leader Scott Strzelczyk tells the paper:
“If we have more states, we can all go live in states that best represent us, and then we can get along.”
The new state might be called Western Maryland or West Maryland, or something else.
As with the other secession movements percolating around the country, the one in Maryland centers on rural voters feeling frustrated with essentially progressive urban politics. It’s not purely about money – two of the Maryland counties are wealthy, while three are poor. In would-be North Colorado, they’re mad about gun reform, sustainable energy standards, civil unions and abortion rights. In California, they’re mad about new protections for transgender children and a fire-prevention fee.
The agenda items in frustrated Maryland range from gun rights to abolishing the federal Department of Education. Strzelczyk also says he would put marriage equality to a vote. Oliver Willis notes Maryland did last year. That ended with a win for the pro-equality side. Of the five counties in Western or West Maryland, only one voted for equality. But it makes the cut for secession, maybe because it has the relatively large city of Frederick, and because it’s prosperous. Cities can be handy like that.