the once and future republic of vermont

There’s an interesting piece in today’s “Washington Post” by Ian Baldwin, the publisher of “Vermont Commons,” and University of Vermont professor Frank Bryan. Here’s how it begins.

The winds of secession are blowing in the Green Mountain State.

Vermont was once an independent republic, and it can be one again. We think the time to make that happen is now. Over the past 50 years, the U.S. government has grown too big, too corrupt and too aggressive toward the world, toward its own citizens and toward local democratic institutions. It has abandoned the democratic vision of its founders and eroded Americans’ fundamental freedoms.

Vermont did not join the Union to become part of an empire…

For what it’s worth, they make a pretty good case. They even quote our friend Jim Kunstler. If you get a chance, read it. I’ve read it twice now, and I’m pretty sure it’s not an April Fool’s gag.

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  1. ol' e cross
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    So does this open the door for Ypsilanti to become a territory of Vermont?

  2. Dave
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s definitely not a gag. This movement’s been quietly flying under the radar for several years now.

    I’m all in favor.

    Also, I think Michigan should threaten secession thusly: “We’re taking all the water with us!”

  3. dr. teddy glass
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Vermont Teddy Bears will be like Cuban cigars.

  4. murph
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s no joke; I’ve seen their material before. See also,

    * The Free State Project, moving 20k libertarian-minded folks to New Hampshire to set up a “free” paradise.

    * Christian Exodus, aiming to help “Christian constitutionalists” move into South Carolina to influence first County-level, then State-level politics, and take back the State from “illegal edicts” of the Federal government.

    I’ve also seen, in the past, somebody associated with the Second Vermont Republic suggest a broader new nation incorporating Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Quebec.

    I’m all for this kind of local experimentation – but I don’t know if Vermont has the air capacity to stage an Ypsilanti Airlift if we were to try to establish ourselves a territory (protectorate?) of it.

  5. egpenet
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I was just going to add the Quebecoise, but Murph beat me to it … and during work hours, at that!

    Last postcard I got from family up there (Gaspe) … the young folks were filtering down into the cities looking for work.

    Let them eat cod!

  6. robr
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Also in line with Vermont is the state (former Republic) of Texas, which (if I remember right) under the articles of annexation allows Texas to “un-join” the union and separate into as many as four individual states or republics– But seeing as they’re more or less still standing behind their current “favorite son”, I don’t see this happening anytime soon….

  7. mark h
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I think robr is right – Texas can divide itself into as many as 4 states, anytime its legislature so wishes. It’d be a good idea – a south Texas would elect Chicanos to the Senate, and East Texas might send a black Democrat. But it won’t happen.

    And Vermont ain’t leaving the USA anymore than Texas is going to split itself up. The Civil War, 1861-1865, settled the question of whether any state can leave the USA (the answer is no). There is nearly no precedent on earth for a national government of a nation-state to willingly let territory and people leave that nation state. What wimp of a president is gonna let Vermont wreck the Union?

    But hey, Vermonters can dream on, and in doing so, they provde a critique of the US that is smart and funny.

  8. cleo love-paste
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Joseph Smith was from Vermont.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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