You may have read about this on Monday via the AP, or you may have seen it in The Onion. Whichever source you heard the news from, I urge you to support — even if not a Vermont resident — this movement. While only 13% of the population of Vermont are behind a secession movement, it is a vocal and viable minority. As a natural born citizen of Vermont, and a former resident, I am lending my ethical support to these folks.
I’m not a revolutionary. I’m not a radical. I’m not an anarchist. I have read very carefully the movement’s points of order, and reasons for secession. What I found were some very salient points. Points that I was initially inclined to believe were overly utopian, but I caught myself on that point.
Why shouldn’t residents of a region feel entitled to safety, peace, economic security, in addition to the other rights granted US Citizens by the Bill of Rights? The movement towards creating the Second Vermont Republic is emphasizing those points in a peaceful separation from the United States. They hold up Switzerland as a political and economic model, and I don’t believe they are far off. However, there are questions the movement will have to answer if it is to succeed.
How will residents of the Second Vermont Republic make their living? The service and manufacturing industries — according to my data — are the largest in the state. Will there be enough support for both of them for individual families to sustain or improve their ways of life?
Will federal grants to public universities continue to be funded, or will there need to be a new method of supplying research grants to the University of Vermont and the like?
Will there be tariffs on trade? Will there be a need for a Vermont passport? What about Vermont’s relationship with Quebec?
I will look for answers to these questions as time passes, and perhaps they are even addressed within their manifesto. I will continue to follow the progression of this movement, and let them know that a native son of Vermont, who was born on town meeting day, is rooting for their success.