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  • Shelly Albaum

California Will Declare Independence


Here is some interesting news and a prediction for the New Year: The #CalExit movement is inevitably going to occur. It is inevitably going to succeed. And other states will inevitably join.

Below briefly, and more deeply in the coming weeks, I will describe why #CalExit is every bit as inevitable as were Bernie's and Trump's unexpected ascendance, AND why this is a very good thing for America and for the planet.

WHY INDEPENDENCE WILL OCCUR: Only 31.6% of California voters chose Trump. Californians believe in good government, and fewer than half of us are white. We will not tolerate a racist Attorney General in charge of enforcing our nation's civil rights laws. California is not rolling back civil rights for minorities any more than we are willing to reintroduce slavery. That by itself is reason enough.

WHY INDEPENDENCE LEGALLY CAN OCCUR: Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence most famously described the absolute right of the people to form their own government. And the Tenth Amendment reserves the right of secession to the states, since it is neither claimed nor prohibited by the Constitution. Of course it would be absurd to suggest that any state that voluntarily joined the Union could never change its mind, ever, under any circumstances. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also recognizes the fundamental freedom of association that allows people to form and dissolve states.

There is nothing magical about having 50 states. Groups with shared values frequently come together to form nations or federations. Over time, boundaries change. Sometimes larger federations emerge, like the EU. And sometimes states withdraw from larger federations, as UK did with Brexit. Each State provided its consent to join the USA, and each State may withdraw its consent if it no longer wishes to participate in this form of shared governance.

WHY INDEPENDENCE SHOULD OCCUR: As the world's 6th largest economy (bigger than France), California is ready to take its place on the world stage, join the United Nations, and join the G8. Our current governor (Jerry Brown) is fit to lead a great nation. Our next governor (Gavin Newsom) will be a courageous successor.

Other blue states will probably join California in some sort of federation once they realize that California is in fact gaining independence. States that join the Independence movement early might influence the development of California's new Constitution, or the structure of a Blue Federation. But California will proceed regardless.

WHY CALIFORNIANS WILL CHOOSE INDEPENDENCE: In any doomed relationship there is a moment when one party realizes that it is not meant to be. And when that moment comes, it always feels like you should have realized earlier. For California, that moment was when Donald Trump was elected President. Perhaps we should have known when the slave states went to war to war to protect slavery, or re-instituted Jim Crow. But we won't be beating ourselves up for not ending it earlier; we are simply going to end it now.

Californians WILL approve independence, for several reasons.

* First, Trump himself is a deal-breaker -- we do not submit to an illegitimate idiocracy -- but many of Trump's specific policies are each independently deal-breakers, including his vicious immigration plans, and his moves to roll back civil rights. Full stop.

* Second, California is a donor state, contributing a net of $15B per year to subsidize other states. California also contributes $70B per year to the nation's defense, but we will need less than $20B to defend California, so we will keep at least an extra $50B to spend on our schools, universities, roads, parks, and beaches. If Californians have a chance to claim $65B per year in additional investment in the state without raising taxes by a single penny, Californians will vote to do that (trust me on this).

* Third, Californians are done with the damaging federal education policy that imposes testing and standardization that are destructive of our children are the opposite of what the research says kids need.

* FOURTH, all the rest of it: California is done with federal environmental that poisons the world. California is done with the federal government's war on drugs, done with the privatization of public land, done with the prison industrial complex, done with government surveillance, done with limitless assault weapons, done with endless wars, done with billionaire-owned elections, done with corporate personhood, and done with voter suppression. That is not how we live here. These are irreconcilable differences.

THERE IS NO CAUSE FOR VIOLENCE. There are many modern examples of countries that divided into separate sovereign entities peacefully. Indeed, Canada only achieved full independence from the UK in 1982, and all steps toward this end were peaceful; there was no war for Canadian independence.

THINGS DON’T HAVE TO CHANGE THAT MUCH. Californians will be dual citizens of the US (most of us were born in the US), and California. California will assume its share of the US National Debt, as well as responsibility for administering Social Security and Medicaid. Federal military bases can remain on land leased back to the US.

Red States can still use Google and iCloud, play against the Dodgers or 49ers, watch Pixar films, visit Disneyland, and drive or fly to California, just like they can drive or fly to Canada or other countries. Fast passes similar to TSAPreCheck, Nexus, and Global Entry will speed passage into and out of California.

The only thing that MUST change is that Red States will only be able to politically and economically dominate their own territory. If California (and any states that join a Blue Federation) decide that they want universal health care, strict gun control, strong environmental protection, and good wages, Red States won’t be able to stop them, any more than Red States can stop Mexico or Canada from having those things today.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? First, try to shed the false dogma that Independence is immoral, illegal, or will result in civil war or violence. Regardless of what happened 150 years ago, the world today is very different. Second, do some research to confirm what I am asserting here, which is that there is NO legal basis to prevent California from declaring its independence, and NO compelling practical reason for Californians to continue to submit to the immoral, unconstitutional, and illegitimate Red State Rule. Finally, if you are in a Blue State, begin your own Independence movement, so your state will be ready to decide whether or not it wishes to join California and/or propose a Blue State Federation.

IF YOU ARE IN A RED STATE AND DON'T WISH TO SEE THIS HAPPEN, there is not a great deal you can do to prevent it, because there is plenty of money ensuring that this WILL be put to a vote in California, and there is every reason for Californians to approve it. However, if you can somehow help oust the illegitimate corporate invasion of the United States, currently led by President Trump, that would probably take some wind out of the sails for those setting a course toward Independence.

DO YOU NEED TO MOVE? If you are sick of living under Red State rule that has dropped our nation from #1 in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness all the way down to the bottom of many lists of the top industrialized nations, consider moving to California or to any of the blue states that might join California, because Trump has filled his cabinet with people planning to accelerate the trend. If you are living in California and would like to explore that awaits working people in a government of the billionaires, by the billionaires, and for the billionaires, consider selling your house and committing to a red state.

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