Having nothing of value to offer people, Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice are urging residents of Virginia to essentially “secede” from the state and have their counties join (the far more conservative) West Virginia.
Because there’s nothing worse, in their minds, than living in a state run by Democrats.
“What’s happening in Virginia right now is a tragedy in the making,” Falwell said. “Democratic leaders in Richmond, through their elitism and radicalism, have left a nearly unrecognizable state in their wake.”
“What’s happening in Virginia right now” is support for women’s rights, stronger gun safety measures, civil rights for LGBTQ people, and removing restrictions on women’s health care. You know, things conservative Christians can’t stand because they want to live in a world where men control women and gun deaths are just a normal part of life.
Their proposal was so bizarre that even a Republican laughed at the idea.
“What are they doing, a comedy routine?” said Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger.
“Preposterous,” said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, a Democrat.
A spokeswoman for Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam dismissed the idea, saying “As always, Jerry Falwell’s words speak for themselves.”
Falwell insists “Vexit” can really happen even if the process is legally convoluted. But to what end? West Virginia, which now has a GOP majority, ranks (by one measure) 50th in economy and infrastructure, 48th in health care, and 44th in education.
This would be a stupid idea even if they were asking people to move somewhere objectively better in every way. Instead, they want people to screw over their families just to show their disdain for gay people.
Falwell might be foolish enough to do that. Hard to imagine anyone else would take him up on that offer. (I mean, if they really wanted to, they could always just… move.)
But maybe there’s some hope here. If the existence of a Democratic trifecta in Virginia is enough to push conservative Christians out of the state, can you imagine how they’d handle a Democratic trifecta in Washington? If Democrats win the White House and Senate in 2020, conservative Christians would have to move out of the country! That’s Falwell logic right there.
It won’t happen, of course. Because Falwell doesn’t believe any of the things he says. He wants publicity (and pool boys). He wants to broadcast his conservative values, not live by them. He wants to talk about morality, not hold Republicans to any sort of moral standards. He wants other people to upend their lives, but he’s not about to do anything that would inconvenience himself.
Naturally, Falwell said he wouldn’t be moving Liberty University to West Virginia because it’s “so big.” He’s not eager to put his money where his mouth is.