I live in what may one day become the fifty-first of these United States of America. Many of us here in Northern California, along with many others in Southern Oregon, display and discuss our support for the as-yet-mythical State of Jefferson. Why? Because…well, there are lots of reasons. We don’t want our economies, schools, taxes, resources, and lives controlled by the population masses in Los Angeles or Portland, or by the litigators and legislators in Salem or Sacramento.
|Just off I-5 in Siskiyou County, California|
Signage painted onto barns and sheds, referendums on county ballots, an official newspaper, Jefferson Public Radio and myriad green-and-gold flags, patches and bumper-stickers proclaim our desire for deliverance from the double-cross, the ebb-but-not-flow that drains our resources without ever surging back by way of benefits.
We know what it is we are against. We know what we advocate in favor of, too. We advocate in favor of being delivered from what is so that we can…well, do something else. Not that we have a clear vision of what that something else is, of course. But first, let’s get rid of what is, and then we’ll be able to figure out what we want to have instead.
|Official Newspaper of the State of Jefferson|
There is a certain logic to this process, of course. But it is the same logic by which The Arab Spring followed the pattern established in Iraq, Iron, Afghanistan, and too many other destabilized countries and regimes to count. What steps into the vacuum when the status quo, however detrimental to the populace it may be, is removed without a clear vision for what will be once what is has been destroyed.
So, my fellow citizens of the future State of Jefferson, here is what I advocate: that before we destroy our ties with what is, however egregiously the cost continues to be exacted, let us first determine what it is that we want to be instead. Only then is there a hope of creating a state where our resources are appropriately valued, wisely conserved and, when used, remunerated equitably.
|Are you a Jeffersonian? If so,|
what does that mean to you?
I would also suggest some guidelines. Where we see arbitrary injustice, inflexible retribution, and arrogant profiteering, even among our compatriots, it is not enough merely to oppose the too-familiar pattern. The example is ingrained deeply and must also prompt a positive alternative if we intend to do other than meet one injustice with another, repeat one retribution in its opposite, and arrogantly reclaim profits as our due from those who have profited from our resources in the past.
The time to begin a policy of reversing rather than repeating the sins of our current overlords must come long before the inauguration of the fifty-first of these United States of America. The time for justice, mercy, and humility is now, even as we seek the deliverance that unites us. Because we are not called to do unto others as they have done unto us. In a more recent translation, the admonition that results in a unified brotherhood reads, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”