Robert Price at the Bakersfield Californian offers many secessionists a much-needed reality check. The town of Needles, in eastern San Bernardino County, is over 200 miles from its county seat, and has had trouble getting the county to support a full-service hospital in the area. Consequently, some officials there have been seeking to separate from California and join either Nevada or Arizona, both of which are just across the Colorado River. While one councilman is at least pressing for a feasibility study, the Chamber of Commerce thinks the Needles city council is "nuttier than a fruitcake."
Mr. Price then surveys other secessionist proposals along the Pacific Coast (interestingly, omitting both the "State of Jefferson" and Cascadia). One of them is a proposal to split off Eastern Oregon from the rest of the State to form a 51st State. Mr. Price gets to the heart of the matter:
"The challenges such a state would face are not unlike those a wayward city or newly created county might experience. Would it have the revenue to pay for its schools? Law enforcement? Roads?
"Editors of the paper in Pendleton, Ore., asked some of those very questions to a leader of the secessionist group. 'I honestly don't have a clue,' was the answer. The word 'independence' has a nice ring to it, but the details can be cumbersome."
The devil is in the details. I have complained before about "ivory tower secessionists." Doing the homework is hard work, but is essential if our movements are ever to secede (or succeed).