2016 has been the Year of Cutting the Crap. It will probably continue to be that through 31 December. In fact, some or all of 2017 may have an honorary place as 2016 Redux, because it’s a good bet the crap-cutting will continue.
The latest example is the proposed “Calexit” – secession of California from the Union – spearheaded by a group calling itself Yes California.
Yes California has formally filed to get a measure on the ballot in 2018 to have the state secede. According to the Los Angeles Times:
Marcus Ruiz Evans, the vice president and co-founder of Yes California, said his group had been planning to wait for a later election, but the presidential election of Donald Trump sped up the timeline.
“We’re doing it now because of all of the overwhelming attention,” Evans said.
The Yes California group has been around for more than two years, Evans said. It is based around California taxpayers paying more money to the federal government than the state receives in spending, that Californians are culturally different from the rest of the country, and that national media and organizations routinely criticize Californians for being out of step with the rest of the U.S.
LAT notes that Yes California has tried to generate interest in a ballot measure before, without success. But maybe this is the year. Reportedly, Yes California has 13,000 people interested in collecting signatures for the ballot measure.
(The signatures are required to be those of registered California voters, so we will now take a moment for a good belly laugh.)
Here’s the deal. Parts of California are culturally different from much of the country.
It’s not because they’re “Hispanic.” “Hispanic” people live all over the more-American parts of California, and they’re great. Many of them are descended from settlers who’ve been in California for generations. Many immigrated legally. “Hispanic” doesn’t equal “illegal immigrant,” and never has.
It’s because the culturally different areas are badly governed, they want to keep being badly governed, they want to throw a blanket of bad government over every square inch of land in the state, and their bad government goes hand in hand with (is a product of) elitist politics and nut-fringe ideology. This is a problem that crosses ethnic lines.
As far as the culturally different are concerned, it’s just super that Kamala Harris wants to doxx and harass people for voting their consciences and supporting the political groups they favor. The culturally different parts of the state are ecstatic at the idea of high-speed trains that no one will use zooming through other people’s neighborhoods. The culturally different folks want unfettered illegal migration, no matter what it does to crime rates and property values in middle-class suburbs. They are determined to “cut carbon emissions,” for dubious ideological purposes, no matter how their regulations kill jobs and businesses, and make middle-class life increasingly unattainable for more and more people.
These – the culturally different – are the folks who are always threatening to cut funds for schools, law enforcement, and firefighting, if the people won’t send them more money. Somehow, government jobs in which “experts” plan to make the whole population ride public transportation, shower less often, and perceive “hate speech” where folks never thought to before, are never on the chopping block.
So, yes, they are culturally different. They’re not just culturally different from most of America. They’re culturally different from the people who live on most of the land in California.
As long as we’re talking about breaking things up, therefore, the real proposal should be to break up California.
There are a couple of possibilities. One is that inland California becomes its own state, and the coastal enclaves become their own state. This is not necessarily a simple proposition, because for one thing, the coastal state – call it Costa California – would want to keep encouraging unfettered migration. If its territory extended through San Diego County, it would be able to do that. So I’m thinking San Diego County needs to be subsumed in the other California – which I’m calling Sierra California – whether 50.1% of its voters want that or not.
Costa California won’t be allowed to be armed. It can have seaports with local customs enforcement, but will have to rely on the United States for its maritime security. It will have no ability to pose an armed threat to Sierra California or Oregon.
Sierra California will control the water. Sierra California will extend westward through the San Joaquin Valley and will own all of the inland counties – every one of them that doesn’t front directly on the Pacific Ocean. If Orange County wants to join Sierra California, it’s welcome to. Same with a couple of the coastal counties in the north, which may prefer to be aligned with the more-American state.
Some counties may need breaking up themselves, starting with Los Angeles County. There are residents in the north of the county who’d appreciate not being “supervised” by the urban behemoth in the south. Residents of more-rural Riverside and San Bernardino Counties might say the same about their LA-like urban concentrations in the extreme western ends of their territory.
Costa California can have nothing to complain about, because it will get most of the coast, a huge population, and the non-agricultural industries. It won’t get to dictate energy, water, industrial, and development policy to the inland counties anymore. But that’s a good thing.
An alternative vision of this plan would have Costa California be a federation of city-states, which are not linked by contiguous territory. I’m kind of liking this one, but not necessarily hard over on it. Ideally, Sierra California really should have more access to the coast. As for the cities, San Diego’s too close to the border for anything but being part of Sierra California, but LA and San Francisco would make a nice, non-contiguous federation.
Another possibility is breaking up California and parting it out to the neighboring states. My county would naturally go to Arizona, and that would be just fine. Other counties would go to Nevada and Oregon, if they so chose. There are pros and cons with this one (for one thing, who’s to say the other states want it?). But it should be given serious consideration.
I mean, since we’re going for broke – and cutting the crap.