After the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, the state of California was the first state to float talk about their desire to ‘secede’ from the Union that would soon be led by a president that they didn’t vote for. However, now it seems like the rural counties in California have had enough of the terrible leadership foisted upon them by the cities near the coast, and have declared their own independence.
And so, the founders of the state of New California announced their desire to secede from the state of California as it currently exists. To be clear, they don’t want to leave the United States; they just want to leave the state of California and be able to form an independent government.
According to the ‘founder’ of the state of New California, Robert Paul Preston, their reasons are simple. “Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California.” Preston continued on to say that “there’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed.”
Many would write off such a group of people looking to secede as a group of extremists or nutjobs looking to make the news rather than trying to actually accomplish their objective. However, the people who make up the ‘New California’ movement are doing things properly, looking to Article 4, Section 3 of the United States Constitution for their guidance, and hoping to follow the example of West Virginia, which formed via a similar secession.
The group has taken many of the same steps that West Virginia took, including organizing its own government and a council of county representatives. However, they realize that they are months away from being able to operate an actual state government, and the movement believes that it will take them 12 to 18 months to reach that important point.
Though it may seem silly to many, the people of ‘New California’ have a point. Much of California politics is ruled by the city areas, which trend heavily to the left in almost every imaginable way. Because of this, a tiny area of the state is essentially in control of the entire state and its political leanings. Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco wield far more power to force the state to do whatever the big cities would like than the rest of the state combined.
Because of this, the entire state has to fund terrible spending bills, conform to ridiculous practices that are often anti-business, and live under a far-left regime that continues to tax businesses and those who produce far more heavily than they tax others. Indeed, the rural areas of California have every right to feel as if they have been more or less abandoned by their own state, which seems addicted to pandering to the urban left.
However, the idea that the rural counties of California would be well-served being ‘independent’ is a hard one to square. To begin with, the state of California itself is unlikely to let them go without a fight; after all, the state is a ‘winner takes all’ state, and the leftists that control the state don’t want to lose any electoral votes that they can reliably throw behind any presidential candidate with a ‘D’ in front of their name.
Then there’s the fact that the rural counties don’t have the same income, especially where taxation is concerned, as the urban areas. Of course, taxation in California, especially the tax money derived from businesses in the state, gives plentiful tax breaks to big businesses like those in Silicon Valley, so if ‘New California’ was able to maintain a sane tax policy that targeted every business equally, they may be able to generate even more tax revenue, as well as attracting businesses from ‘Old’ California.
An interesting side effect of ‘New California’ would be the way that it would change the political landscape of the country. California as it currently exists has 55 electoral votes, which are considered to be so certain for the Democrat candidate that before voting is complete in the state, they are often already considered to belong to the blue candidate. Uncoupling some of those votes from the state of California would mean that they would no longer provide 1/5th of the electoral votes needed to elect a Democrat candidate.
While the idea of ‘New California’ is an interesting one, it needs more consideration, and even with said consideration, it would still face an uphill battle. However, a world where California doesn’t automatically make a terrible Democrat politician electable would be an interesting one to live in.