Should California Secede? That was the title of Michael Hiltzik’s November 29th article for the Los Angeles Times, and it is certainly a good question. Liberal left-coasters seem to be the most enthusiastic members of the “Calexit” lobby while many on the Right, including Jim Geraghty of the National Review, are downright dismissive if not wholly intolerant of the idea. We on the Right are an intellectually superior lot to our counterparts on the Left, and as such, we cannot afford to be as close-minded as they are. Let’s examine the idea of Calexit and see if it is something that conservatives should be excited about.
First, there is the awkward matter of the fifty stars on our flag. Without California, we would have to redesign the whole damn thing, a costly nuisance that would be borne by the tax payers. We can solve this by saying goodbye to California, and saying hello to Puerto Rico. California has ten times as many residents and a state debt of approximately $460 billion, dwarfing Puerto Rico’s $70 billion in state debt. From a financial and administrative perspective, California is a much larger monkey to have on our back than Puerto Rico. We could stand to lose some weight.
Second, Calexit carries with it profound political implications. Hiltzik made mention that California provided Hillary Clinton with her popular vote edge over President Trump in the election; the surplus came entirely from the Left Coast. If California were to secede, we would never have to hear another word about this unconstitutional nonsense from squawking leftists. The primary boon from Calexit would be California going bye bye and taking its massive fifty-five electoral votes with it. This country would be unable to elect a Democrat to the White House for another century, if ever again.
Additionally, we would surely see a surge of political immigrants leaving many of the other forty-nine states to join the progressive experiment out west. It would be a way for them to escape the supposed tyranny of Donald Trump and his pro-America supporters. Conservatives should be in love with this idea. Also, the exodus of Pharisaical progressive pilgrims to California would no doubt be of the upper-crust ilk–the one percenters who because of their political affiliation are not actually one percenters, or… something. Those who would stay despite the higher taxes and increasing cost of the bloated regulatory regime would also likely belong to this lionized class of noble elitists. The people who stay in California would consist of two classes: Those rich enough to live there and those too poor to leave. Liberal elites would expose themselves as the wage-gap-expanding hypocrites they actually are by transforming the Left Coast into a sick Hunger Games parody.
Conversely we would likely see the exact opposite as right-wing refugees flee CA for greener pastures. CA would become a deeper shade of blue while the rest of the country would grow darker red. Another tiny bonus: However many electoral votes PR ends up getting in the statehood deal – not many, two perhaps – they would likely find their home with the party that granted them their statehood status, that is, the Republican Party. If all of this taken together isn’t good news for conservatives then I don’t know what is. Conservatives should be in love with this idea.
But wait! There’s more…
With Calexit, we would have the opportunity to see extreme liberal ideology put into practice on a scale we haven’t yet witnessed in our country. When California passed single payer not long ago, even the most extreme of their leftist policy makers were knocked on their heels by the sticker shock. When Governor Jerry Brown signed a $15 minimum wage into effect, he even noted that the decision made no economic sense. A sovereign “Republic” of California would be free to pursue its twisted Marxist ambitions free of sane inhibitions. And, just like every collectivist Petri dish preceding it, this foul experiment would inevitably end in disaster. It is a perfect showcase for the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left and the catastrophic toll on humanity it inherently entails. It will be a horrific lesson for the Left to learn, if it is even possible for them learn anything. They will probably just blame it on capitalism or the Russians.
One last thing.
As Geraghty noted at NRO, “About 65 percent of the water for Southern California comes from the Colorado River. Los Angeles, San Diego, all the agricultural production in that region… If you think there are tensions about water usage now, think about what it will be like when authorities and consumers in Arizona and Nevada control the water flow to a different country, a group of ex-Americans who chose to secede.”
This is a YUGE bargaining chip, one among many. The fact is, Calexit would be a tremendous failure for the Left in human terms and in economic and political reality. There will come a point when they come crawling back to us, begging for relief, and in no position to demand anything. At that point, we can dictate whatever terms we please and we will not be changing the fifty stars on our flag. Have fun trading places with Puerto Rico, losers.
We on the Right should be drooling over the idea of Calexit. And perhaps the Left is beginning to realize what a terrible thing it would be for them. Perhaps that’s why liberals like Thomas Elias, writing for the Napa Valley Register, are taking a more passive aggressive tone. Jason Willick wrote in The American Interest that CA is “beginning to symbolically sever ties with the rest of the United States.”
A symbol isn’t enough. California needs to take its colossal debt, its effete Hollywood puritans, its staggering crime rate, and its fifty-five electoral votes, and get the hell out of our country. We on the Right should come together and as one shout, “Good riddance, and don’t let the door hit you on the ass.”