According to a Sunday Associated Press story, carried by the Rutland (Vt.) Herald, support for seceding from the United States is increasing in Vermont.
The report indicates that a group of academics and writers are working to bring about a referendum on secession, including a retired Duke University professor who has written a 112-page “manifesto” on Vermont independence.
It quotes the editor of a quarterly Vermont newspaper as saying that the United States “no longer serves the needs of its citizens” and has “electoral fraud, rampant corporate corruption, and a culture of militarism and war.” It also stated that the secession movement has “gained traction” because of the occupation of Iraq, the formation of several secessionist groups and increasing oil prices.
Pro-secession websites Second Vermont Republic (vermontrepublic.org) and Vermont Commons (vtcommons.org) added links to the Associated Press article on their websites, and the article was carried by a number of other media outlets.
A blog on the website newsbusters.org responded by referring to the Vermont secession movement as “conspiracy nutjobs” and their calls for secession “hysteria.” It also criticized the Associated Press for failing to “address the unconstitutionality of secession until late in the article” and “even then in a misleading fashion.”
According to vermontrepublic.org, a survey taken by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont indicated that support for secession among eligible voters in Vermont “increased from eight percent in 2006 to thirteen percent in 2007.” The survey also asked Vermonters if the federal government had “lost its moral authority,” to which just over seventy-four percent responded “affirmatively.”
Earlier in the year in April, The Washington Post published an editorial on this subject written by a University of Vermont political science professor and a Vermont newspaper publisher.
The editorial began by saying that Vermont was once independent in the past, and said that it should become independent again because “the U.S. government has become too big, too corrupt, and too aggressive toward the world, toward its own citizens, and toward local democratic institutions.” It pointed out that the United States “spends six times as much as China” on its military and has “730 military bases in more than 130 countries.” It also stated that the 10th amendment (regarding the rights of state governments) had been “destroyed” by the U.S. government, while referring to various instances in the past when Vermont defied federal decisions.
1. Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070603/NEWS03/706030359/1004/NEWS03
2. NewsBusters.org, http://newsbusters.org/node/13198
3. Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/30/AR2007033002076.html
4. Second Vermont Republic, http://www.vermontrepublic.org/news_events/vermonters_support_for_secession_increases_dramatically