(Can anyone imagine the NYT calling a drive for Southron secession “polite?” – Ed.)
NYT – Peculiar, impractical and illegal(???) though it may be, secession has its enthusiasts in a surprising number of states. Just last year, Texas Republicans voted on whether to include an endorsement of independence in their party platform (they didn’t); this year, there have already been three attempts in California at a “Calexit,” though it’s probably more viable as a Scrabble word than a political objective.
Even New York City has made noises about seceding from time to time, though generally from its parent state and not the country at large. In 1969, Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin ran a political campaign largely devoted to the idea of Gotham’s sovereignty — with the mulish insistence that the city get custody of the name “New York.” The rest of the state would be re-christened “Buffalo.”
Like Mailer and Breslin, Vern Barclay, the old-school radio host and septuagenarian hero of Bill McKibben’s “Radio Free Vermont,” doesn’t truly believe he’ll have any success with the secessionist movement he leads. He’s an accidental renegade, a guy who fell backward into the revolution business while reporting his final story…