Richard Carson: Secession Redux

December 19, 2012


The first political group to secede from the Union was a place called Ecotopia. It wasn’t Texas. It was 1975, and the Ecotopian Pacific Northwest — at the time of secession — included northern California, Oregon and Washington. It was a time when people believed in self-sufficiency (not nationalized sustainability) and individuality (not collective inability).
Fast forward, some 30 years. The state of Washington legalized the possession of marijuana and gay marriage – and Oregon and California did not. I have a couple of thoughts on this as an expatriate from Oregon and California to Washington. They are the thoughts of a fiscal and not social conservative, and a political pundit. I am also a Son of the West.
                 I moved out of Oregon and California because I found both to be socially-engineered manic states. As in a state-of-mind and political 

dysfunctionality. I spend 30 years as a government manager at the state, regional, county and city level. I worked for two governors as a policy analyst. I helped put in place some of the most amazing (good and bad) social agendas in the last two decades.

                And then I left Oregon and California because I had to admit it was better to live my ethics and values, than it was to disallow them through my vote or presence. These days I am a retired, doctorate student in southwest Washington.
                So Washington passed laws allowing both gay marriage and the smoking of marijuana. These are two things that Oregon and California could not do. Why? Because they are held hostage by partisan thinkers and not independent thinkers. To a libertarian thinker, gay marriage and marijuana use are ridiculous political arguments. Free thinkers do not wish to regulate the harmless activities of our neighbors. We also don’t want to be held hostage by religious values in a country where religion is not allowed to dictate our political values. This is the political albatross of the Republican Party. They forgot our collective Constitutional reality. And the Democrats? They forgot our individualistic proclivity.
                But Oregon and California are not there yet when it comes to being free thinkers. They are still held hostage to partisan politics about social issues. And so is America! When did the religious right hi-jack the Republican Party? When did economic justice fail to trump religious conviction?
Take a minute and sit down with a copy of The Constitution of the United States. Google the words abortion, homosexual or marijuana. The words are not there. So this means these are a matter of state rights. And Washington just put Oregon, California and other states on notice. This is the land of free thinking. Take your progressive and repressive social agenda elsewhere. We just think for ourselves here.
As for the secession of Ecotopia? You don’t need to secede from a union in order to secede from collective stupidity. It is not a state of denial. It is the future.

Richard Carson is a doctorate student in public sector organizational development at Washington State University. He is semi-retired after 30 years working at the city, county, regional and state level in California, Oregon, and Washington. Rich is also a descendent of Kit Carson. He can be reached at

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