There are an increasing number of Americans who cannot accept democracy or Constitutional construct for how this nation operates, and they do not like rules and regulations. Besides exhibiting ignorance of the Constitution or representative democracy, teabagger types are infatuated with the Confederacy and like petulant children unable to get their way frequently revert to secession as the solution to their imaginary problems. For the second time in less than three months, a disgruntled group of conservatives went beyond talking about secession and one has taken the first step form their own state.
On Tuesday, the northern California Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to secede from California and form the nation’s 51st state they already named Jefferson. It is unknown if the name is in honor of Thomas Jefferson or Jefferson Davis of Confederacy fame but at the rate teabaggers champion secession, it is likely the Confederacy’s president. The supervisors presiding over 45,000 residents intend to appeal to nearby northern California and southern Oregon counties to join them in breaking free of overbearing state and federal rules that 38-million Californians adhere to. The secessionists want out of California because they are sick and tired of “regulations, restriction of rights, lack of representation” and intend on reverting to regional rule and “restoration of limited government.” The county is heavily Republican and a staffer from their congressional representative, Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), in attendance claimed other staff members support their effort to form their own state. LaMalfa’s staffer was unsure of the congressman’s thoughts on secession.
Unfortunately for the hopeful “Jeffersonians,” according to the Constitution their secession plan is doomed because “no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.” The chance of the California legislature or Congress consenting to Siskiyou County supervisors’ demand to form a new state is zero and it is curious that the Constitution-loving secessionists were unaware of the conditions required to break away. However, the secession-minded Supervisors and residents are opposed to constitutionally enacted federal laws according to their originalist interpretation as much as they oppose the principle of representative democratic and majority rule. A perusal of the Siskiyou Tea Party website reveals as much with a prime example of promoting an idea from a Fox News segment regarding a Montana State Senator’s bill, “the Sheriff’s First Act,” that gives a county’s sheriff supremacy over all state and Federal agencies and officials and as such becomes a law unto himself.
The hopeful Jeffersonians lodged a typical conservative complaint that they are beholden to state and federal laws governing the people they disagree with, and they demand freedom from burdensome laws and regulations. A local rancher said in favor of secession said “We have to have government that understands our issues,” and his sentiment was echoed by another Siskiyou county resident who complained that “Many proposed laws are unconstitutional and deny us our God-given rights. We need our own state so we can make laws that fit our way of life.” The Siskiyou resident is wrong; the Constitution gives Americans rights not god. However, his contention is an oft-heard complaint from disgruntled teabaggers, and fits the local tea party mission to “safeguard the American dream, adhere to the constitution, and compel our local, state and federal officials to do the business of the people, for the people and by the people without fail.” The problem with secessionists and the tea party is their interpretation of laws that fit their way of life and ideology do not comport with the Constitution or the majority of Americans. Subsequently, when local, state, and federal officials fail to do the business of a gun-crazed, evangelical, anti-environment minority their solution is secession to form a new state that Colorado Republicans are actively pursuing.
Because Colorado voters elected a democratic legislature and governor that enacted background checks for prospective gun purchases after two of the nation’s worst mass shootings, three Colorado Republicans advanced the idea of secession to form a new state; Northern Colorado. The northern Colorado Republicans pushing secession are angry about background checks to be sure, but they revealed the real impetus for secession is renewable energy standards the majority of Colorado citizens support. According to one of the instigators, seceding from Colorado is primarily to protect the oil and gas industry and he readily admitted “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.” The secessionists’ mouthpiece, Rep. Cory Gardner, is protecting the energy sector because he receives Koch campaign contributions that have nothing to do with an agricultural way of life.
The secession-minded Coloradans did not explain how renewable energy standards are destroying “an agricultural way of life,” but it incites anger and is more palatable than admitting that they hate democracy and cannot accept that a majority of Colorado voters elected Democrats to the legislature and Governor’s office. It is the same sentiment harbored by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors who reject the legally elected California legislature and likely President Obama as well, and it is a pattern among teabagger conservatives to revert to the Confederacy that was not lost on civil rights advocate Jessie Jackson.
Around the time President Obama prepared to speak at the commemoration of the march on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr., Reverend Jackson remarked that “the tea party is the resurrection of the Confederacy; it’s the Fort Sumter tea party.” Jackson was referring to opposition to the President and its basis in racial animus toward African Americans, and although he is on the mark, the tea party secessionist movement is the Confederacy’s rebirth. One of the complaints against President Obama by many tea party groups is that he violates the Constitution by not allowing states to nullify federal laws they oppose, and in several states Republicans proposed laws mandating local law enforcement officials arrest federal officials if they attempt to enforce federal laws. The Siskiyou teabagger’s support of a bill granting county sheriff’s supremacy over state and federal officials is the next logical progression and demonstrates they are resurrecting the Confederacy.
It is unclear what part of representative democracy or the Constitution’s blueprint for governing America the teabaggers and extremist conservatives fail to comprehend, but they are not the patriots or Americans they purport to be. The bloody Civil War was the result of a group of so-called Americans who could not tolerate federal laws or the legally elected president, and it was their nullification and secession that resulted in the death of over 750,000 Americans. Although the current trend of seceding from one state to form a new one is not breaking away from the Union, it is the same mindset of sore losers who will go to extreme lengths because they cannot and will not accept representative democracy the Founding Fathers carefully crafted in the Constitution.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.