While ‘Calexit’ (the campaign for California to secede from the United States) has been and mostly remains a far- fetched concept, considering recent events in US politics, we should be reluctant about ruling out the seemingly impossible.
Obviously, given America’s history with civil war, the possible secession of any US state would be no trivial matter. Furthermore, the similarities between California as well as coastal epicentres of Leftism including New York, Washington State and Oregon, compound the risks associated with Calexit.
But despite Calexit having the capacity to take California and America into dangerous territory, and that I remain sceptical of the practical implementation of this change upon additional information, the basic idea of self- determination for Californians which underpins this campaign, is more than understandable.
On the profound issues of our time: Russian involvement in the last election, marijuana legalization, abortion, guns, climate change and sanctuary cities, California has become extremely politically disparate from the rest of the United States.
Bearing in mind the depth of these differences, it is not difficult to understand why some Californian residents seek independence.
Take for instance San Francisco, California’s 4th largest city. In the 2016 election, just 9 % of San Francisco voted for President Trump. How can the uniformly anti- Trump crowd of San Francisco ever reconcile with red parts of the United States, who supported a man they regarded as utterly irredeemable?
California has also departed on an alternative demographic route to the rest of the United States and as Pat Buchanan predicted in 2010, this move is fragmenting American society. With rising Hispanic immigration, a remarkable 54 % of Los Angeles residents don’t speak English at home. Again, how can such groups ever harmonize their disagreements with Middle Americans, who regard Spanish to be a foreign language?
Besides the motivations of Liberal Californians wishing to secede from the United States, Calexit could produce beneficial consequences for American conservatives too.
In an atmosphere of interminable political division, the secession of California would represent the admission that Americans cannot agree on core beliefs and values. So if California was to create an autonomous country, this would surely lower the temperature in polarizing political debates, as frequent clashes between Americans and Californians would be no longer necessary.
Moreover, if California was to forge a self- governing nation, the state’s weak policies towards illegal immigration combined with its debt- inflicting welfare programs, would be a magnet for those crossing the Southern border, and likely take migratory pressure off the United States. Given the Trump administration and California are at opposite ends of the spectrum on illegal immigration, this would appear to be a win- win.
Politically, the loss of 55 Electoral College votes in Presidential elections would be a massive victory for the Republican Party, who have long considered California an unwinnable state. And if Democrats feel alienated by a likely Republican dynasty over the United States, they could always move to the sovereign nation of California.
Although I usually side with conservative positions against the typical Liberal Californian worldview, as a paleoconservative, I empathize with the nationalist ambitions driving Calexit.
Prior to America launching its revolutionary war to win independence from Great Britain, a new culture, language and solidarity had emerged amongst the settler population, such that Americans were a distinct people to the British deserving of their own country.
Likewise, 113 years after British convicts were first sent to Australia in 1788, the mutual bonds held throughout the colony once known as ‘New Holland’, had evolved to the point that Australians as a distinct people had formed, and they accordingly created a new nation.
This desire for humans to band together among their own kind in creating new countries, is a primary inspiration for nation states across the world.
Clearly, humanity hasn’t always treated these natural tendencies appropriately, as evidenced by historic conflict, invasions and imperialism.
However as a general point of policy, where distinct peoples emerge, we should allow them to flourish in their own sovereignty as the circumstances permit.
Question is: Have the Californian people truly developed in a unique manner as to morally justify their own nation?
Despite there being no simple answer to this profound, American- defining dilemma, arguments for the basic nationalist premise grounding the Calexit campaign, appear substantive.