The next thing that needs to happen in order to advance pan-secessionism is not only for more active on the ground movements to develop but also for a national leader to emerge that calls for macro-level pan-secessionism on a meta-level.
By Steven Malanga City Journal
A new poll from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics finds that large portions of the American public now favor blue and red states going their own ways to form separate countries. The survey results, writes political scientist Larry Sabato, highlight the “deep, wide and dangerous divides” between Trump and Biden voters, presaging a new secession movement. But the schism was already evident in the increasing number of state and local officials enacting laws and policies that ban travel and restrict commerce with other American places with governments they object to—a trend that the Covid-19 emergency has only deepened. In everything from tax policy to travel to contracting rules, a secession movement within the states has been building for years.
California recently banned any state-sponsored travel by its employees to Ohio, based on a 2016 law that imposes penalties on states that California officials deem to be discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender residents. At issue is Ohio’s new “conscience clause” law, which allows a medical provider to refuse to perform certain procedures, such as gender-transition surgery, if they violate a doctor’s religious or moral beliefs. The Golden State originally passed the 2016 legislation after North Carolina enacted a bill requiring people to use public bathrooms based on their birth gender. Five other states—Washington, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Connecticut—joined California in restricting commerce with North Carolina. Since then, the number of laws that allegedly run afoul of California’s 2016 measure have proliferated—and so have the bans. California now restricts government-financed travel in 18 other U.S. states containing 116 million people—including both Carolinas, both Dakotas, Texas, and Florida. Most recently, California applied its restrictions to states that require transgender athletes to participate in high school sports based on their birth gender—even though prominent LGBTQ athletes such as Martina Navratilova have endorsed a similar policy.