This month a group of state delegates and one senator in Western Maryland did the unthinkable. They penned a letter to Republican West Virginia officials expressing their desire to secede and join the Mountain State.
The delegates all hail from the three most western and rural areas of the state—Allegany, Garrett, and Washington—and say they are fed up with how Democrats are running the state and ignoring them.
Marylanders are certainly not the first to feel that Democrat-controlled cities are setting the policies for counties that vote heavily Republican, usually more rural counties. In the last several years, rural Virginia counties have also threatened to secede and join West Virginia.
The cancer of Washington, D.C. sprawl, with its ever-increasing number of federal workers and contractors, has been growing exponentially and has been a bone of contention with both Eastern and Western Marylanders.
The pedigreed workers that D.C. attracts often don’t hold the same values as native Western Marylanders. While highways in rural areas are crumbling, elites in the near Maryland suburbs of Washington are voting for expensive bicycle lanes, green areas, and other policies that do little to add to the value of the rest of the state—programs less affluent constituents in the outlying counties are forced to pay for.
At the state level, districts are drawn and redrawn by population and ultimately determine who gets a voice on forming policies. When large cities that draw college-educated workers in tech and government overwhelm areas within a state, they are effectively cancelling rural votes.
In a report in The New York Times, Wendell R. Beitzel, one of the Western Maryland delegates who signed the letter, acknowledged the proposal faces daunting odds, but said it was not a political stunt as has been reported by some media outlets.
“We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t feel there is a strong sense of unrest and unhappiness among people in our rural area of the state,” he said.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice welcomed the move, saying during a news conference he would even call state legislators back for a special session.
For the measure to succeed, both the Maryland State General Assembly and the West Virginia Legislature would have to approve the move and then it would have to be approved by Congress. Additionally, all three counties would have to first pass a voter referendum.
In May, seven Oregon counties voted for seceding to Idaho and in California the long push to splinter the state continues.
The announcement of Maryland’s succession plans comes amid increasing murmurings on both the left and the right throughout the country of a “National Divorce.” Many Americans believe the ideological differences between the two parties have moved from occasional marital spats to irreconcilable differences and are hoping succession measures succeed.
Americans feel under attack from both their own government and their fellow urban citizens, who lobby to erode their personal freedoms and ignore the Constitution and the separation of executive powers.
They are outraged that rather than Democrat cities getting their house in order, they pass resolutions to defund the police, stop prosecuting theft and public drug use and issue unconstitutional Covid-19 mandates.
Though succession may give Americans who don’t live in concentrated cities their voice back, they must still contend with wresting our institutions from the hands of those who no longer believe in the Republic.
No one ever said divorce was easy or that it is the answer to a broken relationship, but when the “D” word starts getting slung around in heated disputes, it doesn’t bode well.