Six of the eleven Colorado counties that had secession referenda on their ballots yesterday voted in favor of leaving the state.Michael Tomasky wrote about the Colorado secession movement yesterday over at The Daily Beast. He sees the referenda as a result of the “culture-ization” of politics,
the trumping of shared culture over shared political traditions and agreements that go back generations. We’ve seen it around the world. Czeckoslovakia splitting in two. Yugoslavia splitting in five.
He also points to the desire of some who live in Western Maryland to have done with the blue state follies emanating from Annapolis.
He almost gets it right.
Back in the ’70s, I spent a great deal of time in Colorado, mostly around Colorado Springs. On common theme I heard in conversation among the Colorado natives was a complaint about “Californicartion.” By that they meant the shift in the state’s culture caused by refugees from urban areas moving into the state. Many were coming to get away from the problems of big cities, but they were not assimilating into Colorado’s culture. They were expecting the natives to change and be like them.
It’s not surprising to me that the secession movement is mostly out on the Front Range, the area east of the Rockies. That’s agricultural land that hasn’t attracted out-of-state folks to same extent as Denver and the ski country.
Tomasky is correct in seeing the cultural divides that are opening up between mostly urban and mostly rural areas in some states. If the kulturkampf is decided strictly at the ballot box, then I suspect the secessionist areas will be forced into remaining inside the existing state borders, at least as long as the blue states can remain financially solvent.