For those of you who don’t know, Maryland is a funny looking state. The Chesapeake Bay comes in from the Atlantic Ocean and nearly severs an area called “the Eastern Shore” from the rest of the state. That area is rural, mainly farming and fishing. There’s a little mountainous tail out west where the land is hilly and poor. That area relies on tourism these days. Then, in the big, fat, middle, there’s Baltimore, a working class city with an active port, Annapolis, the capitol, many wealthy suburban communities, and some farming, including horse farms.
Some crackpot in the middle of the state of Maryland says he wants to secede from the rest of the state. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care about this. Maybe, I’m not. Maybe I don’t. Look, I get it. We all have our intemperate moments. I certainly do. Those times when we have a few beers with our friends and we say things that we kinda-sorta mean at that moment, but we’re happy that no one’s tape recording it. “Let’s start a rock band. We would totally rock!” “If I was president I would just be like, ‘Congress, kiss my ass.'” “Yo! Man! You’re funny. You should do stand-up!” “On Monday morning, I’m gonna tell my boss to take this job and shove it!” After all, what are friends for if not for mildly psychotic commiseration and megalomaniacal fantasies. So I totally understand, man, that some of you out there in western Maryland are, right now, sitting at a bar, having one too many beers, and saying things like, “How about those shit-for-brains in Annapolis. I could run the state better than they can. Hell, my five-year-old could run it better. We should have our own damned state! We should fucking secede, man!” Most of you say that knowing that life is a bunch of tradeoffs and compromises and a great deal of the time we don’t get what we want and it’s okay to complain, and most of you say that knowing that you probably will be glad in the morning if no one recorded your more brilliant moments for posterity. It’s also okay by me that you maybe don’t like Baltimore any more than you like Annapolis. That’s why you live out in Garrett County and not here. Like my mother used to say, that’s why there’s vanilla and chocolate.
Well, it seems like one of you was recording all that and he’s gone ahead and made a Facebook page – the Western Maryland Initiative. Yup.
Now, 150 years later, a 49-year-old information technology consultant wants to apply the knife to Maryland’s five western counties. “The people are the sovereign,” says Scott Strzelczyk, leader of the fledgling Western Maryland Initiative, and the western sovereigns are fed up with Annapolis’s liberal majority, elected by the state’s other sovereigns.
Scott Strzelczyk’s LinkedIn page says:
Counsultant at self Employed
Baltimore, Maryland Area
It doesn’t look as if he’s expecting to find work in any of his five precious western counties. Me neither, actually. It’s a beautiful, but impoverished, part of a wealthy state. Seeing that Mr. Strzelczyk lives in the eastern most of the western counties, it looks as if he’d like to draw his income from a rich state and pay taxes in a poor one.
Is it okay to say that I’m getting fed up with all this sort of stuff? Texas wants to secede. The Tea Party wants to secede. The sovereign citizen movement wants to secede. Who knows. Maybe after Garrett, Allegheny, Washington, Frederick, Carroll and Montgomery counties secede, forming Western Maryland, Garrett and Allegheny counties will secede, forming Western Western Maryland. Who knows, maybe everyone in the town of Accident will get tired of the rest of the state making fun of their name and secede, making them the fifty-fourth state after Western Maryland, Western Western Maryland, Little Colorado and Northern California and the removal of Texas.
Hey, anyone hear that boy who cried wolf story? I’m having a hard time caring anymore. So, I’d like to put it up for a vote. Honestly, I don’t think most of the people in those five counties would go for it, but it would be nice to put this silliness to rest. I like to think that the people out in the western counties are not, overall, as ridiculous as this fellow, but if they are…? Well, don’t let Howard County hit you on the way out, because I will call that bluff.
The bigger question is why is the Washington Post even giving this crackpot the time of day. I guess it’s click bait.
On a similar note, Texas Governor Rick Perry is still on his job-poaching tour that Lewis Black mocked on the Daily Show. He’s gone to California, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Missouri and will be coming to Maryland next week. He’s jetting around the country telling everyone what a low wage state Texas is. Supposedly this is supposed to make people want to move to Texas. I guess I’m missing something. Interestingly, according to this chart Maryland has the highest median income in the country. So what’s Perry selling? Move to Texas and earn less money and send your kids to worse schools which are currently showing signs that they will soon get even worse?
So, let’s all go out for a beer and I’ll tell you what I really think of Texas, just promise you don’t record it and post it on Facebook tomorrow.