DON WINSLOW: A Vermont Proposal: Interesting or Just Idiotic?
I may be wrong but I don't think anyone in the village of Whispering Pines moved to the Sandhills from the state of Vermont.
As everyone knows, it is not a big state, so the fact it has not regurgitated a couple or two to Moore County is not unexpected.
But I wish there was someone here from the Green Mountains so I could get their take on the latest movement taking hold in that snow country location.
It seems the Second Ver-mont Republic, an organization with 150 members, has declared it is fed up with the politicians in Washington, D.C., and wants the state to secede from the Union. The group has its own green-and-white-striped "Free Vermont" flag, and members argue their case whenever a gathering develops.
Members contend the federal government has lost touch with the common man and is ignoring the small towns and villages in the United States.
Additionally, the organization is upset with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, global warming, unfair trade activity and the tyranny of multinationals.
In short, the Green Mountain Boys have had it.
Thomas Naylor, a businessman, author and professor, helped get the movement started three years ago, and even though skeptics abound, he insists the only question to ask about the secession movement is not if but when.
One state representative, Democrat George Cross from the town of Winooski, has jumped on the bandwagon and insists that "Vermont should secede." Though he admitted doing so might not be practical, Cross said there are plenty of principalities in the world "that are a whole lot smaller than Vermont."
He goes along with the Second Vermont Republic advocates' idea that the state could end up like Switzerland -- small, unaligned and economically self-sufficient.
You have to remember where this idea germinated. Vermont is not a rock of conservatism, and the New England states, on the whole, might be labeled the ladle of liberalism, dishing out spoonfuls of drivel and plates of economic porridge that are far from mainstream.
The Vermont proposal reminds me of the old 1950s movie entitled "The Mouse that Roared." The Peter Sellers flick told the story of a small nation that relied on the sale of wine to keep its economy gushing. When the state of California developed a wine that was better and cheaper, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick decided its only recourse was to declare war on the United States.
Officials of the tiny country knew that anyone who fought against the United States and lost was rewarded with economic aid, financial assistance and total support, ending up better off than they were before attacking America.
Just look at Germany, Japan, Italy, and the score of other nations that were defeated by the United States and then ended up economic powers!
In any case, the Vermont idea is novel, interesting, but stupid. Regardless of what Naylor might say, it will NOT happen and even he has to know it.
However, the idea is intriguing and I wonder why the concept can't be reduced in scale and work.
Look at Pinehurst and Pinewild. The former wants to annex the latter. Why doesn't Pinewild deflect that possibility by announcing now that it is seceding from Moore County, effectively throwing a monkey wrench into the Pinehurst proposal. I don't think you can annex territory located outside the county and even if you can, you shouldn't be able to.
In Whispering Pines, the need to secede is not paramount but we could use the Duchy of Grand Fenwick master plan to get more from Moore.
Instead of getting a few hundred dollars from ABC store sales we might get thousands if we mobilize, march on Carthage, and immediately surrender when the gendarme pull up.
We would be the defeated, and the county government would try to rehabilitate the citizens of the village and hopefully fill Village Hall with aid.
Ray's Bridge Road would finally be repaved. A post office would be opened in one of the county's largest municipalities. And, who knows, the county might even build a sewer system for village residents, pulling them up to 21st century technology.
Just maybe, those Yankees in Vermont have a good idea. Of course, they have opted to act on a scale that is beyond reason but reduce it to local levels and who knows.
The First Republic of Whispering Pines. There is a nice ring to the phrase.
Don Winslow can be contacted at email@example.com.
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