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News :: Politics
Maine Secessionist Movement
09 Nov 2004
Argument against divisive approach in secssionist discourse
Secession or Division?

There has been a lot of talk about secession and about the “red state/blue state” divide. At this point in our country and in our history, we can stand aside no longer and let the leaders and government of this country, which ever party they represent, continue their economic, cultural and religious imperialist attacks on other nations in our name, whether it be through bombs, sanctions or sweatshops. The federal government is no longer representing our interests, desires or needs here in the state of Maine, and anywhere else in our nation for that matter, unless you belong to the wealthy elite. The citizens of Maine are suffering, from lack of health care and education, from unemployment and poverty, from giant corporations that steal our land, our trees, our water and our right to lead a life of dignity and of freedom. Many of us have--or have lost--relatives and loved ones in Iraq, being put in harm’s way by a regime that cares not for us, but about profit and world domination. There is a lot to be angry about at this moment in history.

However, we should not let our anger be used by the corporate media’s portrayals of color coded maps, or of a unified, corporate-run government that poses as a two party democracy, to divide us against our neighbors, our families, or the citizens of this nation. The divide and conquer strategy has been used historically over and over again to neutralize the power we have as citizens and as members of our communities. Bosses used racism to divide workers and employed African-Americans as strike-breakers, stereotypes surrounding feminism has been used to turn men and women against each other, and waves of immigrants are subjected to violence and prejudice over the perceived loss of jobs, when the reality is that this economic system is used to pit people against each other so that they do not notice who it is that is actually reaping the benefits of all this strife. We are taught to fear and hate the Other—those who look, act or have different values than we do. The “red state/blue state” commentary about “Jesusland,” or “United States of New England” vs “the red occupation” come as no surprise in the face of this age old tactic of divide and conquer. If one even believes that the polling numbers are valid, we still have to admit that almost half of the people in the “red states” voted against Bush, and almost half of the citizens in the “blue states”—including Maine-- voted for Bush. By “Othering” those who didn’t vote the way we wanted them to, and reacting with anger and hatred, we are falling right into the trap that the government controlled media has set for us, and concentrating our energies against each other, rather than at the powers who are responsible for this conflict. It is, after all, the ideological divide between us and the Other that is the fuel for the Bush regime’s attack on the Arab world, and the fuel for hate crimes, religious intolerance, and prejudice within our own borders.

Anyone who has the courage to stand up in these dark times against economic, religious, and cultural tyranny, and “say not in our name,” should be commended. Those of us who want to exercise our constitutional right by seceding from a government who no longer represents us, and recognize that our two party “democracy” is just a cover for what is quickly becoming an oligarchy, should keep in mind that there is no Other—there’s only us, and our strength may lie in how well we are able to work together and identify with each other, and resist falling into the color coded net that has been laid out for us.

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