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article imageOp-Ed: VEXIT? — If counties don't like Virginia politics, secede to WV

By Karen Graham     Jan 29, 2020 in Politics
Great shades of BREXIT! At a news conference in Martinsburg, West Virginia Tuesday afternoon, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and WV Governor Jim Justice, urged unhappy Virginia counties to secede.
What in the world is behind this nascent movement? Apparently, secession has been backed by dozens of elected officials in West Virginia in recent weeks, including the governor. And it is all about gun rights.
And it is also because Democrats have gained control of the Old Dominion's General Assembly for the first time in nearly a generation. So, Falwell, whose university is in Lynchburg, Va., and Justice, a Republican in a state where the GOP dominates the legislature, says the invitation sends a "valid" message, according to the Associated Press.
"If you're not truly happy where you are, we stand with open arms to take you from Virginia or anywhere where you may be," said Justice, who's running for reelection, according to WDBJ7. "We stand strongly behind the Second Amendment and we stand strongly for the unborn."
Falwell then added: "While there will likely be a robust debate about how cities and counties could leave their home state of Virginia, one thing is absolutely certain. Many counties are taking a long, hard look at escaping the barbaric, totalitarian and corrupt Democratic regime in Richmond that is trampling on individual rights in the state."
The preacher then cited a number of issues he has with the "totalitarian and corrupt Democratic regime in Richmond." Among them, he doesn't agree with Virginia's stance on abortion, gun rights, environmental regulations and a budget proposal that would eliminate tuition assistance for students in online programs at private colleges, including Liberty University.
A spokesman for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam offered a response to the "VEXIT" proposal: "Sounds like it's an election year in West Virginia." And, "As always, Jerry Falwell's words speak for themselves."
Falwell's announcement comes two weeks after he publicly warned lawmakers that Democratic-backed gun legislation could face a fierce backlash from law enforcement officials if the proposals become law, and one week after close to 30,000 gun advocates flooded Richmond in a peaceful protest against gun legislation.
Of course, reporters asked Falwell how a county would go about seceding from the Commonwealth. Falwell suggested that secession would have to be approved by both states, and perhaps the U.S. Congress. He added that localities could have a non-binding resolution on the ballot in November - adding that this will put “pressure on politicians in Richmond to do the right thing.”
Quite frankly, I would suggest a simpler way to handle the issue. The Reverend Falwell and anyone else who doesn't like the idea of Democrats having the majority in the General Assembly can just pack up and move to a state more in line with their political persuasions.
However, Falwell and Justice did put on a great show on Tuesday. The duo drew laughs from both sides of the aisle in Richmond. "What are they doing, a comedy routine?" said Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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