CalExit? California Group Pushes Secession from United States 0

Anyone who is from California understands there is a certain arrogance that comes from being born or living in the state. That arrogance has reached new levels as the state’s attorney general gave approval to a group that wants California to secede from the Union to begin gathering the 585,000 signatures required to place the question on the 2018 ballot.

If approved, the referendum, known as “Calexit,” would establish a commission to oversee an independence movement for California. This would include amending the state constitution where it declares that California is part of the United States, and would instruct the Governor and state legislature to negotiate with the government of the United States for greater autonomy for California up to the point of complete independence.

This is the second attempt to try to separate the “Golden State” from the Union. In April, a secession measure was proposed but that measure was later withdrawn.

A Movement Based on a Fantasy

Californians have long believed that they march to a different drum. The state was one of the early leaders in granting equal rights to gay people, and was the first state to recognize same-sex unions. Now it finds itself as one of the chief proponents of rights for illegal immigrants to enter America, and has sought to declare themselves a sanctuary state where the federal government cannot remove those who have illegally entered the country.

Many residents point to the fact that California, on its own,  has the fifth-largest economy in the world, and gives the federal government far more taxes than the federal government gives back in benefits for the state.  Their argument is that the United States needs California more than the reverse being true and so it is only natural for the state to remove itself from the Union.

One of the chief proponents of the measure is Shankar Singam, a native-born Californian who holds a BA in Sociology from Cal State in Fullerton, and is currently an educational counselor at Contractiors Career Centers in Van Nuys.  Singam, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to explain why Californians are feeling “isolated” from the rest of the country giving the measure momentum.

On the basis of his appearance on Carlson’s program, it appears that immigration is the catalyst behind the secession measure. The California legislature has been looking to enact a law to punish companies that are willing to take part in the building of a Trump wall between the United States and Mexico, and several cities in the state have already declared themselves as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.

Advocates for Calexit believe that immigrants are the key to California’s prosperity. On Tucker, Carlson pointed out that a large percentage of the middle class are moving out of California because of economics and political concerns. A jubilant Mr. Singam explained that this was actually good for the state because it “opened up spots for the new wave of immigrants to come.” He added, “We are exporting our middle class to the rest of the United States.”

Here’s an excerpt from the Carlson program on this subject:

 

A Fantasy Bordering on Delusion

However, the leaders of the Calexit movement, a group that includes Singam, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, human rights activist Steve Gonzales, and community activist Tim Vollner,  are missing a key ingredient in their plan: need. Despite the strength of its economy, California is dependent upon other states for its very survival. For example, 60 percent of the water that is used by Californians comes from the Colorado River. The state, which has suffered drought conditions for over a decade, could be denied access to water for citizens and for farmers unless it negotiated a deal to be able to retain those rights, something that could not be guaranteed if the state were to become independent.

Electricity becomes a huge issue as well. California gets nearly one-quarter of all its energy from sources outside the state. Those, too, would likely be cut off or the state would face increased costs to pay for electricity, a cost that many Californians could not afford.

In an ironic twist, the state actually has an excess of energy produced by solar panels and wind mills. California pays Arizona to take that energy off their hands so that power lines do not overload. The obvious choice would be to divert that energy to other parts of the state to provide the needed energy, but that would require billions to be spent on infrastructure, something the state cannot afford.

The Democrats Will Never Allow This

California is arguably the most liberal state in the country and they are often out of touch with mainstream America. It would seem to make sense to Progressives to remove themselves from the Union and to create their own haven where Progressive ideas could be pushed to their limits.

However, no one should expect that to become reality. Democrats need California if they are ever going to be able to regain control of the White House and Congress. Currently, 39 of the state’s 53 members in the House of Representatives are Democrats. If California’s representatives were to leave, the Republicans would have a 60 percent majority in the House, an absolute filibuster breaker.

The Senate would lose two Democrats as well. That would have meant that the recently failed Senate Healthcare measure would have been approved because  the Republicans would have had two more seats in hand, leaving the Senate in their control with Vice-President Mike Pence then passing the deciding vote.

In addition, the White House would likely be the permanent residence of a Republican president. With 55 electoral votes gone or dispersed among the other states, the Republicans would dominate politics in America and likely ensure a monopoly on the government for generations. The Democratic Party would become a second-class citizen in America.

The Real Reason Behind Calexit

The most important part of this provision is that it enables the Governor of California to negotiate for greater autonomy. No one really believes that California is going to leave the Union. They may have the fifth largest economy, but that would likely collapse as their agriculture would become non-existent without water, and they would be forced to increase taxes to pay for waves of immigrants entering the newly formed country, infrastructure, and higher energy costs. The middle class would flee from the state in droves as would many businesses.

This is really an attempt to gain greater autonomy and, three years ago, this may have worked. However, a Republican legislature and president are not going to negotiate with California. They don’t have to and would be foolish to open the door to states gaining greater independence for themselves. Governments don’t give up powers and this is why this measure is irrelevant and a real time waste for California liberals.

One Last Nail in the Coffin

The Calexit plan may seem like a great plan to many within the state, but they are forgetting something: Northern Californians and Southern Californians absolutely hate each other. Over the years, measures have been passed that have greatly benefited the southern part of the state, often at the expense of those in the north, like the California aqueduct system. There would never be an agreement on how this exit would even occur, should it pass. It would be doomed from the start.

The truth is that there is a greater likelihood that California divide itself into two or more separate states than an independent country.  Vermont seceded from New York in 1777, Maine seceded from Massachusetts in 1820, and West Virginia seceded from Virginia in 1861 in order to stay with the Union rather than joining the Confederacy. Despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, Texas does not have the right to secede because of its previous status as a separate nation, a point that was decided by the Supreme Court in Texas vs. White in 1969.

However, partition is no more likely than secession. In 2016, the Six California movement, fronted by Republican venture capitalist Tim Draper, proposed breaking up the state into six separate states, dividing the state’s congressional seats among the six new states, and adding ten more senators to the United States, leaving the 12 seats now belonging to the former California divided among four predominantly Republicans states and two predominantly Democratic states.

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