Today I learned that the far right in the upper midwest is clamoring to secede from those lefties in the Twin Cities to form a Republic of East Dakota. They’ve been doing the same thing in Washington state and Oregon, all the conservative farmers living on the relatively barren lands of the eastern part of the states begging to join Idaho. It’s not going to work.
The first thing I saw that inspired their rage here in the midwest was this map:
That’s reality. Most of the population of the Dakotas live in the cities like Fargo and Sioux Falls, that hug the eastern edge of the state bordering on Minnesota. Everything else is the Great Empty. They’ve still got 4 senators to Minnesota’s 2, though, and most rational people would look at that and say they’re over-represented in Congress. For that matter, most of Minnesota’s population is localized to the eastern part of our state — it’s like a big gradient of people, getting thinner and thinner the farther west you go.
Far right loons looked at that map and said it doesn’t go far enough, we ought to consolidate all that emptiness and low population density into one grand state, the Republic of East Dakota.
Why they think that would help, I don’t know. That would be a very Republican state, for sure, but it would be underpopulated and devoid of any significant economic power. It would be a collection of dairy farms and tiny towns where all the children dream of growing up and moving away to the big city.
Some went even further and created an imaginary state of East Dakota by carving out the cities of Minneapolis, St Paul, and Duluth and, I don’t know, throwing them away?
Don’t they realize that that is where most of the people, and money, live? My little county of Stevens, population 10,000 (optimistically) benefits immensely from the state money flowing out of the counties of Hennepin, population 1,300,000, and Ramsey, population 550,000, and we’re just going to sever ourselves from those funds and make common cause with even more destitute yokels to our east? That’s crazy talk, man.
If we really want to get serious about radical reorganization, I suggest fusing North and South Dakota, stripping them of two senators, and giving most of it back to the Lakota. That makes more sense than creating another state out of a vacuum.