“Evil is ancient, unchanging, and with us always. The more postmodern the West becomes — affluent, leisured, nursed on moral equivalence, utopian pacifism, and multicultural relativism — the more premodern the evil among us seems to arise in nihilistic response.” Victor Davis Hanson
Conservative commentator Hanson explains that ancient Greek city-states Athens and Sparta were “antithetical powers.”
Their cultures were very different. Athens was a seaport, dependent on trade. Sparta was landlocked, relying on agriculture. Athens’ government was an aristocratic democracy. Sparta’s, more egalitarian.
America is a country with two vastly different cultures. Vying for influence, the liberal cosmopolitan perspective, more concentrated in our cities, stands in contrast to the traditional way of the countryside.
The Athenses of America today wrestle with unrest, high taxes, exploding costs, or to sum it all up, urban decay.
Many of the modern Spartas have high rates of joblessness and drug addiction–in other words, rural decay.
Neither place is a panacea.
But many in the country still pursue traditional values and standards–life, liberty, gun ownership for hunting and self-defense–and don’t want to add the problems of the cities to their list of local challenges.
Among the awake (not woke) in the US are rural Oregonians who recently voted on the county level to ask their state government to move the Oregon border so they may become part of Idaho.
Idaho stands ready to welcome them. Seven Oregon counties, so far, stand ready to go. The Greater Idaho petitioners hope some northern California counties will jump on board also.
It’s a switch on a population shift already happening as people leave states like New York and California for Florida and Texas.
This effort proposes to move state lines rather than people.
The rural Oregonian effort requires approval from legislators in both states and Congress.
Approval from Oregon’s governing bodies seems unlikely because city cosmopolitans hold control there. They will be reluctant to allow tax dollars to move to another state.
They also hold to an aristocratic view that rejects local rule. This aristocratic view is not a local phenomenon.
For example, the White House recently announced its commitment to “codify Roe“–that is, to legalize abortion from conception through birth everywhere in the US.
To codify will make it a law rather than a court precedent. Roe v. Wade and companion case Doe v. Bolton were the 1973 SCOTUS decisions that eradicated all state laws restricting abortion. States have been codifying Roe as cosmopolitans fear SCOTUS will overturn the cases that established unlimited abortion.
Yet at no point since 1973 have Americans supported unrestricted abortion.
The cosmopolitan goal is to take more laws such as Roe/Doe–those involving other life issues like assisted suicide (legal in places like Oregon, the state of Washington, and DC among others), for example–and pass laws that will uniformly apply across the country.
The Oregon effort pushes back at such uniformity.
America is supposed to operate by the “consent of the governed.” The non-consenting of Oregon have officially called on their leaders to let the people go.
Other regions will follow, regions with less cosmopolitan legislatures, places of the non-consenting.
Southern Virginia is in a similar strait as the Oregonians–with rumblings of readiness to become part of West Virginia but also under cosmopolitan rule.
Pennsylvania, however, whose rural legislative control has only increased in recent elections, has no such departure effort.
Many, I would dare to say a majority, of central Pennsylvanians deeply resent the liberalism of Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
Will a domino fall and begin a map-redrawing process of departure for rural areas looking to escape city influence?
Or is Oregon already that domino?
Photo Credit: Unsplash
A version of this piece appeared in the Altoona Mirror on June 3, 2021.
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