It’s a common joke – California may as well be another country, based on how in-touch it seems to be with the rest of the nation, but some residents and activists want to make this scenario a reality.
During a recent Fox News broadcast, the Vice President of the California Freedom Coalition Shankar Singam spoke with Tucker Carlson, stating “This is California. We’re not the United States.”
“Our values are different,” he went on to say. “ If it’s good for the state, we’re going to do it, regardless of what the federal law is.”
Singam is a supporter of Calexit — the idea that the State of California should secede from the union and form a separate nation.
The movement is made up of liberals who object to Donald Trump’s presidency and to conservatism in general. Its materials primarily focus on the dream of social utopia, and overlook the state’s failed socialist and progressive programs and the large conservative population that resides there, too.
During the interview, Carlson led off by stating the US may soon lose a star from its flag and went on to cover the Calexit ballot initiative. He went on to debate the feasibility of the idea with his guest, who felt that a split would need to be hostile.
According to Singam, California is a financial powerhouse and would become one of the largest economies in the world upon departure. But how accurate is this assessment?
The State of Calexit
Inspired by Brexit, Calexit is a movement in California, Washington and Oregon, with some left leaning groups wishing to have the entire state leave the union in protest after Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral victory. In California, some liberals have even asked for a formal Calexit petition to be placed on the ballot and voted on. These initiatives are well organized and very well-funded, according to the New York Times.
Funding and media attention aren’t the only issues though; seceding from the United States is against the Constitution,and triggered a bloody Civil War the last time it was tried.
Calexit supporters went so far as to gain approval to gather signatures to make a ballot measure. In August, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office released the summary and title for the ballot, now called the “California Autonomy from Federal Government” initiative. Planners now have 180 days to collect the almost 600,000 signatures they need to place this initiative officially on the 2018 ballot.
Unfortunately, the move would immediately alienate the scores of conservative residents already living there. And they have good reason to be skeptical about being governed by Sacramento rather than Washington.
Socialism Already Failed in California
According to the Orange County Register, California’s love affair with progressivism and socialism is not leading to prosperity for many who live there. Severe state control over land use continues to make California one of the most expensive places to live in the entire nation, driving many middle class homeowners from the state entirely. Some of the richest people in the world live in California – and so do some of the poorest in the United States. As the middle class continues to be priced out of the area, that rift will continue to grow.
The state continues to exert more control over agriculture and business, driving some companies and even whole industries from the state. The growing divide between the wealthy and the very poor continues to cause more and more at the lower end of the income scale to be dependent on not only California, but on the federal government as well.
Socialism on this scale is not working, but Calexit supporters seem to think things will turn around if the state could just break free from their alleged capitalist oppressors on the other coast.
It Won’t Be as Easy as They Think
Aside from the anticipated costs, legal issues and even action from the United States government, Calexit faces additional hurdles. According to California State professor and author Victor Davis Hanson, about 75 percent of California is actually conservative. This portion of the citizenry is in the areas that control “all of the minerals, the oil, the agriculture is farmed or worked or mined by conservatives.”
Speaking to Fox News Anchor Tucker Carlson, Hanson went on to explain the wildly different demographics that exist across the state, and the failed progressivism that has led to financial difficulties for California’s middle class.
Other problems for Calexit come from within, with warring factions taking opposing viewpoints on how the state would secede.
It remains to be seen if the motion can actually get the signatures needed to be placed on the ballot. Expect to see vigorous ad campaigns and an onslaught of media attention as the 180-day mark draws near.
~ Conservative Zone