The Governor of West Virginia has invited disgruntled residents of the state of Virginia to buck their liberal government and join his state instead. The bizarre invitation was delivered via a joint press conference with Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr. on Tuesday and would require that dissatisfied Virginia counties act on an 1862 standing invitation to join the West.
“If you’re not happy where you’re at, come on down,” Governor Jim Justice said at the presser, according to Fox News. “If you’re not truly happy where you are, we stand with open arms to take you from Virginia or anywhere you may be. We stand strongly behind the Second Amendment, and we stand strongly for the unborn.”
In November, the Democrats regained control of the Virginia General Assembly for the first time in a decade and quickly pledged a series of laws seeking to expand abortion access and tighten gun control.
Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, faced fierce criticism last year after suggesting that newborn babies could be left to die if the mother expressed a wish for it to be aborted during labor. The shocking remarks prompted a nationwide debate over late-term abortion.
“While Governor Justice and I have always shared great pride for our states, what’s happening in Virginia right now is a tragedy in the making," Falwell said of the current political situation. “Democrat leaders in Richmond, through their elitism and radicalism, have left a nearly unrecognizable state in their wake, and they are using their power to strip away the God-given rights held by every person in the state, despite their due protections under the U.S. Constitution.”
Not everyone was enthused by the proposal, however. Republican Virginia State Senator, Emmett Hanger, simply responded: “What are they doing, a comedy routine?”
The process of secession as proposed by Falwell and Justice is extremely long-winded; it would require multiple petition drives, followed by a referendum. Of course, the proposal would also only be permitted to move forward after being approved by the Virginia General Assembly. This strange pursuit has been attempted before – in Virginia's Frederick County – but it flopped entirely.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Scott Halleran/Staff, ©Getty Images/Alex Wong
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.