Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

September 7, 2013

Secession?

Man says it’s time for us to form our own state

A Carroll County man says his county should join Garrett, Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties in seceding from Maryland to form their own state.

“We do not have representation,” says Scott Strzelcyk. “Annapolis could care less about the people in the five western counties. The only two things we can count on from Annapolis are they will assault our rights and our wallets.” He says Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties rule Maryland.

If that sounds familiar, it should.

Strzelcyk’s conclusions sound like those drawn by leaders of the 13 British colonies when they began the process that led to their becoming the 13 charter members of the United States of America.

Also, 19th-century citizens of western Virginia had complaints similar to those of modern Western Marylanders, except theirs were directed toward Richmond, instead of Annapolis.

When the Civil War came, they saw their chance to escape from their tormentors in the Tidewater part of the Old Dominion and form their own state. They were, by the way, not at all united on the idea of remaining in the Union.

President Lincoln was advised not to sign the West Virginia statehood bill because it violated a constitutional provision that no state shall be divided against the will of its legislature. However, he reasoned that the Wheeling government was the legitimate government of Virginia (which by that time had seceded) and that he could do things in wartime that wouldn’t fly in peacetime.

Strzelcyk says the five western counties could form their own state because of state constitutional provisions that allow Marylanders to reform or abolish their government as they see fit, particularly if it is deemed to be perverted, endangered and ineffectual (which some people would agree is a valid description of its current condition).

Sixth District Rep. John Delaney, who represents four of the five Western Maryland counties and a small portion of Montgomery County (Carroll is in the Eighth District), says the idea of dividing Maryland is “utterly ridiculous.”

Delaney resides in Potomac, a part of Montgomery County just outside the newly realigned Sixth District that elected him to Congress.

Strzelcyk won’t get his way, but he makes some good points.

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