If Republicans ‘Love’ America So Much Why Do They Keep Threatening to Secede?

Colorado Secession

One of the reasons America’s once-storied form of democracy persisted for over two-hundred years was because it contrasted the currently developing form of government where power is held by a small number of wealthy individuals leading America to a corporate oligarchy. Beginning in 2009, conservatives, teabaggers, and corporate-Republicans have taken bold steps to destroy democracy because a segment of the population and their corporate facilitators cannot comport the people’s choice of representatives, and they have attempted to eliminate voting rights, pass nullification laws, and threaten secession to express their disdain for the democratic process that failed to produce the elections they paid for. For two years leading up to, and since, the 2012 general election, establishment Republicans and uber-conservative groups even threatened violent revolution if Americans re-elected the African American President to a second term, and his re-election elicited a wave of calls for secession from anti-democracy advocates. Now, some Colorado Republicans are making moves to secede from Colorado and form America’s 51st state because voters elected a Democratic governor and state legislature.

The push to create a new state is being advanced by three county commissioners in Weld County who are incensed that the legally elected governor and state legislature enacted expanded background checks for gun purchases and renewable energy standards. It is the same sentiment endemic to Republicans around the nation who are dissatisfied with the people’s choice of representatives, but it is the first time the anti-democracy movement has threatened to tear apart a state. Besides gun safety laws, the eight mostly-Republican counties are drawing up battle lines to protect the oil and gas industry, and according to one of the secessionist instigators, “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.” It is unclear exactly what expanded background checks and renewable energy standards have to do with preserving “an agricultural way of life,” but it makes for better propaganda than saying “we hate democracy, love oil, and are livid voters elected Democrats to the legislature and Governor’s office, so we’re forming a new state.”

One thing is relatively certain; any opposition to renewable energy standards is sure to be fueled and funded by the Koch brothers and their representatives in Congress and state legislatures, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). A Republican U.S. congressional representative from Yuma, Cory Gardner, implied personhood for the oil industry in claiming “The governor and his Democrat colleagues in the statehouse have assaulted our way of life, and I don’t blame these people one bit for feeling attacked by the leaders of our state.” According to one of the commissioners driving the secession effort, residents are angry about expanded background checks, but the “straws that broke the camel’s back are oil and gas being targeted” with enactment of SB 252 last Wednesday which increases renewable energy standards. If there is one thing that incurs the wrath of the Koch brothers and ALEC, it is renewable energy standards.

A former University of Northern Colorado political science professor, Steve Mazurana, said the idea of secession serves little purpose but to “get the message out that people are angry,” but he warned that misplaced anger could “draw the backing of well-heeled conservative backers,” and with renewable energy as an issue, “The Koch brothers could come in along with some other wingnut groups.” Over the past couple of years, media coverage of renewable energy opposition at the state level point directly to efforts by the Koch-funded ALEC and template legislation to weaken, repeal, or “repeal-by-weaken” renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) in over two-dozen of the 29 states plus Washington, D.C. that already have them in place. In several states, RPS efforts have been under repeal attack by ALEC-aligned legislators, and Colorado’s new law doubles access to renewable energy as well as creates more than 10,000 new wind, solar, and renewable jobs that the Koch brothers will not tolerate.  However, what the Kochs really cannot abide is losing control of state governors and legislatures to democratically elected representatives who are not beholden to rubber-stamp legislation eliminating renewable energy standards, and opposed to promoting oil, coal, and gas production.

It is doubtful the angry Republicans in Colorado will have success at creating their own state to “preserve an agricultural way of life and to protect the energy sector,” but their sentiments are a microcosm of anti-democracy movements across America that have been exacerbated by Koch brother and ALEC propaganda that something as benign and beneficial as renewable energy is an assault on Americans’ way of life and their freedom. It is unclear how renewable energy is an assault on agriculture or the angry Republicans in Colorado, but they exposed their true allegiance when they claimed their “whole purpose of doing this (secession) is to protect the energy sector that we feel is very much under assault.”  Rep. Cory Gardner, who claimed Democrats were assaulting Colorado residents’ way of life and supports efforts to “protect the energy sectorreceived Koch campaign contributions that explains his support is not for an agricultural way of life, but the Koch brothers and their dirty energy sector profits.

For the past four-and-a-half years there has been a war to control America, and crucial to the Koch brothers and ALEC’s victory is decimating democracy by stirring up opposition to legally elected government at both the state and federal levels. With their failure to buy representatives in states like Colorado and California, they have attempted to ratchet up anger among disaffected Republicans with insane propaganda warning that renewable energy and environmental regulations are a direct assault on individual freedom and their way of life. What is stunning is that there are any Americans who so identify their way of life, and freedoms, with the fortunes of wealthy fascists intent on controlling America that they become enemies of democracy and are willing to secede over the majority’s choice of representatives. However, history is replete with examples of anger and ignorance driving people to make horrible choices, and along with oil money, Northern Colorado has an abundance of all three.




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