The state of Florida could learn something from Colorado’s 8-county movement to secede from the Centennial State. Like Florida, the difference between north and south in Colorado is like black and white, with the central part a shade of gray.
A recent Internet article said North Colorado could become America’s 51st state. The eight counties claim there’s “‘a growing urban-rural divide’ with lawmakers in Denver passing sweeping gun control legislation and calling for more renewable energy and less oil and gas production – a big part of northern Colorado’s economy.”
Florida’s a lot like that. We have the urban south, the rural north and the in-between central. Similar to Colorado, central could split with the north and south and we could have the states of North Florida and South Florida.
Also, like northern Colorado, our legislators have very little clout in north Florida while the urban guys from down south get to run the state as they see fit. In other words, they are the boss of us.
There’s also another option. The northern part of Florida – from Jacksonville to Pensacola – could be divided among Georgia and Alabama. North Florida identifies more closely with those two states anyway. We’re mostly native Southerners – country folks – with traditions that have been passed down for generations.
Actually, this idea of joining other states is not confined to North Florida. Two Nebraska counties are interested in joining the Colorado movement.
The article goes on the say that it can be argued that feeling disenfranchised is part of being American: “Residents from more than 30 states, including Colorado and Texas, filed petitions to secede in the wake of President Barack Obama's reelection in November. But citizens in Austin, Texas, filed a counter petition to allow the city to ‘peacefully’ secede from Texas and remain a part of the United States.”
As much as Tallahassee has a love relationship with everything Austin, TX, I think it would go along with the North Florida secession movement. Tallahassee already claims to be “The Other Florida,” and even with three colleges it’s a good, southern-style city. And ... it can still be the state capital. Geographically, Tallahassee would be in the middle of the new state, and there would be no further talk about moving the capital to Orlando.
The last state to secede was West Virginia during the Civil War years, when it split with Virginia. That’s been a while, and according to the article, secession is not an easy process to accomplish. It takes both state and federal approval.
But let’s keep an eye on Colorado. It’s a forward-thinking state. Remember, marijuana was legalized there last year, which incidently is part of the north-south identity problem. In a role-reversal, however, now the 8-county consortium wants to be the activists, the forward-thinkers (in their minds, anyway), and part ways with the rest of the state.