We’ve been hearing vague threats about this for a while, but upstate state senator James Seward has actually floated the idea of secession — cutting upper New York off from lower New York. He says the concentration of power in the hands of downstaters has cut upstate out of governance, according to the Utica Observer-Dispatch. “For the sake of upstate, we have to explore this issue and see if there is public interest,” says the Milford Republican. “And I can’t think of a better way than to put the issue on the ballot.”
Wow. That would almost make up for not getting the term limits referendum. We could get into all those fun New York regional bigotries — starting with the site of the Observer-Dispatch‘s photo of Seward, Herkimer, a trope of many old jokes.
Most of the other senators quoted in the story think disunion a bad idea, and we have to say, despite our playful antagonism of our country cousins, that we do too. One can’t be locked up with one’s own kind all the time. Why, we’d wind up as crazy as Ernest Borgnine in Escape from New York. And if upstaters were emancipated from filial ties to the City, they might became uncivilized, depraved — you know, like people from New Jersey. Surely neither side wants that.