The people of Scotland voted Sept. 18 to stay within the United Kingdom — 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent, according to the Guardian.
For three years, politicians from both sides have been attempting to persuade the people of the North, at times rather vigorously with threats of economic collapse, a currency meltdown or increased Westminster oppression, one way or ?another.
In short, there were those who believed an independent Scotland would better meet the needs of the Scottish people and those who believed complete self-rule might inhibit the Scottish people.
Currently, Scotland has its own parliament with a fair degree of authority, but it functions more like a state does within the United States than an autonomous country.
As the votes came in early Friday morning, the world seemed to watch nervously. If Scotland voted to break away, a new international precedent for independence would be established.
For example, many felt that places such as Northern Ireland, Wales and Quebec would want to follow suit.
If Scotland has the right to hold a vote, wouldn’t the rest of us?
My personal opinion on the subject was not particularly strong, though I did watch with interest.
It is difficult to critique a situation that involved a context unfamiliar to me. I am not a native of either the UK or Scotland, and who am I to judge whether or not a group of people can guide their own political destiny?
It would seem rather hypocritical for me, as a citizen of a nation that broke away from England, to cast a stone against Scotland’s attempt.
All that being said, it did get me wondering about my own country.
I wondered what it would take for, say, Virginia to hold a referendum on sovereignty, or Kansas. Could we ever get to that point? If we ever did, how would we respond? These are not questions I ?enjoyed thinking about.
Of course, secession from the union has been discussed before in our national discourse, and it resulted in the greatest loss of American life in history with the Civil War, which I think only furthers the point that any secession movement in the future would be ?painful and costly.
I have been convinced for some time that the strength and beauty of our great nation lies in its diversity as well as its union. To lose even just one of our 50 great states would be tragic to say the least.
Hopefully, the events that have transpired in Scotland promote unity in nations around the globe, especially in ours. Only time will tell.