While our federal government sees very little value in federalism and reserving rights of goverance to the states as required in the 10th Amendment(see my previous post) of the United States Constitution, it is still quite evident that the states are still individual entities. I find that comforting. I have found myself in an eastern state and I'm questioning why. While I have had no overt issues with this new state, Maryland, I have found that people here are not as independent as those of the inter-mountain west. It seems that both coasts, where the majority of people in this country are found, have lost their will to want to be left alone unless they choose to interact with people. I have no issue with being around people but I do have an issue with not being able to get away from those same people. In Nebraska and Colorado, my two other states of residence, all it took was a short trip of 20-30 minutes and a person could be where there were no other people. A drive of 2 hours would lead you to places where you were almost guaranteed to not see another soul for miles. Some find that disconcerting. I find that ability to truly alone quite comforting. Follow along as I explore.
While most of the eastern US is held privately(no issues there), that also means that most of the eastern US is populated very densely as compared to the fly over states. Some people love the hustle and bustle. I find the rat race to be rather self destructive. I have found that trying to get all people to think and act the same way just depresses the will of those people to be what they want to be. One thing I notice out west is the people tend to choose where they live for more than just one reason. In the east, it is all about location to work or cost of housing or how their property helps in their quest to win the rat race. In the west, people value quality of life much more. Here, the popular thing is to go to where lots of people are. The National Mall on Independence Day is a prime example. How many people actually go there to celebrate the meaning of the day rather than just go to be part of the group? From what I saw, that number is quite low. It just happened to be the "thing to do" on that given day. Contrast this to visiting a remote mountain setting where you might go camping, hiking or fishing. The people that go there tend to have more of a personal connection to what they are doing and the setting gives them the ability to actually recreate, in the truest sense of the word.
Here, I can walk through woods that were preserved inside a city setting. While the woods are real, the intention was rather contrived. It was a planned area so as to give the people the feeling of being farther away from their neighbor than they really are. Out west, if you go on a hike, there is a chance that you could be miles from the nearest road. The difference is quite stark. There is only a few places here where you can survey your surroundings and see for more than a few hundred yards in any direction. Arlington National Cemetery and the National Mall are a few of the only places in this whole area where someone can survey the area. In the west, any small rise will give you the ability to see for miles on end. At times, you can see over 100 miles. It's all about perspective. Traveling all over this country has now given me a perspective I never truly had. I now truly believe that the folks that choose to live in the flyover states are really the only free people left in the US. Frankly, being forgotten about by the powers that be might be the best thing about living in a low population state.
The ability to self determine is something I find lacking in the east. People here either tend to be set in their station in life or they are obsessed with obtaining power to lord over others. There isn't much room in between those goals. State and local governments see to it that there is little room. In the west, you are allowed to carve out a niche. People tend to be more resourceful. I find very little of that here. When the vast majority of people work in government or in support of the government, innovation is punished and the ability to maintain the status quo is celebrated. Finding a way to secure more taxpayer money is seen as successful. It makes me ill.
After much soul searching for the past several days, I will do what ever I can to move back to the inter-mountain west. Rather than move back to Colorado, which has been and still is being infected(or infested, either works) by people from both coasts trying to simultaneously escape leftist, high tax coastal states and bring the same philosophies that made them leave their former homes to Colorado, I think Wyoming, Utah, or Montana will be the states I look toward. Wyoming holds some of my best memories and is the most rugged and independent state in the Union, outside of Alaska. There are fewer people in Wyoming than any other state and the population density is lower than all other states except fore mentioned Alaska. Wyomingites have an independent streak that is shown by the laws that they have enacted to protect individual rights. Governor Matt Mead has shown himself to be one of the greatest defenders of the individual of any governor in the United States. Perhaps the best evidence of this was his signing of bill that has become known as Constitutional Carry in 2011. The bill passed the Wyoming House and Senate with huge majorities. The state has voted for a Democrat in presidential elections only once since 1952 and the election of 1964 was seen as a sympathy vote for Lyndon Johnson because of JFK's death shortly before that election. Romney won by a 40 point margin in 2012.
|Small Town Wyoming|
|I choose this over what is below. No matter how creative man is, God is infinitely more so.|
The mountains have seeped into every pore of my being. I think I took them for granted for the last few years of my time in Colorado but now that they are gone(Don't tell me that the Blue Ridge Mountains are actual mountains. They are foothills that serve as a barrier to those that don't have a yearning to be free). I miss seeing the stars at night from a campsite so dark on a moonless night that every star in the sky seems to explode toward you. I miss feeling the air cool as soon as the sun goes down. I miss seeing the sun set behind granite peaks. I miss thin air and prairie grass. I miss seeing herds of elk and pronghorn. I miss seeing roads that go for miles and miles and miles without a town only to pass through a little, tiny town to do it all over again. I miss being able to enjoy hiking without feeling like the air wants to crush you. I miss being able to open my window in my bedroom at night. I miss it all.
|A Grand Teton Sunset|
|The Mountain Sky at Night|
I think that Wyoming needs to be my new home. I want to go to a state that respects the individual over all other entities. There is little room for actual individualism here in the east. People here think that individualism is wearing your hair in crazy unnatural shades or wearing clothes that scream aloud that you want to be seen. That is a false sense of individualism. True liberty is the ability to govern yourself and do what you see fit to do because you want to, not because anyone says you have to. True liberty comes with the responsibility to be good to your neighbor. In western states, there is still a sense of duty to be a decent neighbor with the understanding that each person should be left alone unless true need comes into play. Family and friends are meant as one's support system. Not government. My time here in Maryland will be short. As soon as it is possible, I will head back west in order to save my sanity and my soul. It also helps that Wyoming doesn't have any state income tax.
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