by Jack Minor —
While the move by residents in several Colorado counties to secede from the state has been described as frustration over recent moves by the legislature in Denver, a retired political scientist and author says the move actually is a symptom of a much larger undercurrent of frustration that Republicans are in a prime position to tap into in 2014 and beyond.
“What is happening in Colorado is a little bit different than what we have seen elsewhere,” Charles Dunn a retired political scientist with Regent University said. “What we’re seeing is a manifestation of the frustration and distrust by the people in Weld County who are angry at what their state government and leaders are doing and this has caused them to be distrustful of them.”
Immediately following the reelection of Barack Obama in 2012 petitions from every state began appearing on the White House’s “We the People” website respectfully asking for permission to be allowed to secede from the union.
The Louisiana petition, which was the first to appear on the site, quoted from the Declaration of Independence: “‘Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.’”
The petition quickly reached the 25,000 signature threshold for generating a White House response and was subsequently followed by petitions from the remaining states. The movement was ridiculed in the mainstream media and by liberal groups who expressed vitriol for the peaceful requests. One counter-petition demanded the White House deport everyone who signed a petition.
The administration was finally forced to respond to the numerous requests, in a statement that included a promotion for Obama’s actions, by stating that the founding fathers “did not provide a way to walk away” from the union.
However, while the administration attempted to dismiss these concerns out of hand, the issue did not go away, but instead began to smolder.
On Monday, Weld County became the fourth county in Colorado to vote to put the issue of breaking away from the state to voters. On Thursday, Moffat County voted to join their sister counties on the issue. The Colorado session issue has garnered national attention primarily because of Weld County, which is one of the nation’s largest counties and has been a leader in the secession movement.
The idea of states breaking up is nothing new; in 1863 West Virginia seceded from Virginia to form its own state. While this is the last time a state was actually formed from another state, it was not the last time the idea was discussed.
During the 1980s residents of northern California frequently talked of separating from the southern portion of the state because of it being more liberal than the north. Residents of Illinois have frequently complained about the influence of Cook County on the rest of the state and have occasionally indicated their desire to separate from Chicago. Texas has likewise frequently talked of secession as have the residents of South Carolina.However, the situation in Colorado is different than these previous movements in that while individuals have expressed a desire to separate from the state, the current movement is being supported by elected county officials.