The suffix -delphia is sometimes linked to a Greek term for womb, the human organ for birth and gestation. In the months prior to Amazon’s announcement of its intention to locate a headquarters operation in the Commonwealth, speculation and mouth-drooling had consumed political and business leaders across the state. The advent of the retailing behemoth’s presence in the Old Dominion created heartthrobs among scores of residents and others who would stand to benefit.
But, then, there were others who viewed the entry of Amazon into NOVA as a threat. Once the actual site location in Crystal City was announced, the critics emerged in full force, expressing earlier concerns about the urbanization of Virginia’s northern counties. Those fears assumed more pungent expression following the November elections, when Democrats took control of the two houses of the General Assembly and passage of gun control measures beckoned. Local elected officials–sheriffs and commonwealth’s attorneys among them–voted and supported resolutions declaring themselves in support of an inalienable Second Amendment.
At the same time, Amazon was quietly amassing large real estate tracts to support its operations, including a 141-acre purchase in Loudoun County. The demographic and economic dynamics caused one GOP delegate to suggest that NOVA counties should be merged with the District of Columbia to form a new state. Most observers agreed that the new jurisdiction would likely produce two Democratic senators and, at the least, two Democratic members of Congress. Such outcome, of course, contravenes GOP orthodoxy and would radically reform the current Republican majority control of the US Senate from a six- to a four-vote margin.
Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, coined the term “VEXIT” to encourage secession by Virginia jurisdictions.
In addition to annexation or merger of NOVA, a resolution was passed in the West Virginia legislature inviting the Commonwealth’s Frederick County to secede and join the Mountaineer State based upon some historical longings or promises (see Brief Cases in this issue). This invitation coincided neatly with the feverish movement to declare proposed gun control laws as null and void under a second amendment sanctuary theory. However, not to be left out of the conversation, Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, coined the term “VEXIT” to encourage secession by Virginia jurisdictions. Oddly, shrinking the population and size of the Commonwealth, reducing both electoral and political stature, appears not to enter the thought process when the mind is consumed by ideological (theological?) matters.
At moments such as these, the expressions of those advocating extreme courses of action are to be carefully regarded for both credibility and rationality, along with conformity to reality. Let’s look at some of Falwell’s thoughts:
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 throughout the state.
Other than multiple second amendment sanctuary resolutions and the invitation by West Virginia, no news reports can be identified vouching for “long hard looks” by counties to escape the Commonwealth.
I will be campaigning for my good friends President Trump and Governor Justice this election year. I will also be supporting any efforts to let the people decide the question of Virginia counties joining the state of West Virginia.
No one denies that Falwell will campaign with his good friend Donald Trump. But campaigning with West VA Governor Justice in Virginia on behalf of jurisdictions seeking to secede?
I hope history will also record one day how Virginia divided once again in our decade because the interest of those in Richmond were so divergent from those of us to the west, just as they were with Kentucky and West Virginia.
This statement appears to have more in common with those that heralded secession from the Union prior to the Civil War than barbaric totalitarianism from Democrats in Richmond.
We need a state government that is not elected by federal workers in the suburbs of Washington, DC, as is the case now in Virginia, that will protect our god-given rights, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I believe West Virginia will do precisely that.
In these few words, Falwell neatly summarizes the overarching radical conservatism that permeates both his theocratic and political messaging on behalf of his presidential friend. They are at once divisive concerning urban and rural geography as well as seeking to link religion and governance. Some might wish that Falwell’s musings represent only his vision to relocate Liberty University to West Virginia. Perhaps he could convince the NRA to join him there. (West VA has issued an invitation to the NRA to relocate.
In any event, Amazonadelphia is not yet an actuality, as is a substantially shrunken Virginia, despite all the goofy rhetoric.