Are plural and profound. I address myself to but one of them. What they call “CalExit” and what I refer to as Secession Version 2.
There is no mention in the United States Constitution (unlike the EU Constitution) of any means for one or more states or territories of the United States to withdraw from the Federal Government. The issue has of course been tested, and decided, by trial at arms (qv the American Civil War 1861-1865). Thus, in my estimation, the issue is well and truly settled.
The blue residents of my native state are nonetheless proceeding to re-test the issue.
Let us assume for a moment that they manage to get their wish and move to secede. Let us further assume that the United States does not once again settle the issue by force of arms and agrees to let California secede (neither of which I find likely).
The new Nation will face some challenges.
- Land Ownership. About 48.5% of the land in California is Federal Property1. How will the new Nation recompense the U. S. Government for this land?
- National Debt. California, with an estimated population of 39.370,000 is 12% of the population of the United States (U. S. Population of 322,762,018). 12% of the National Debt ($13,620,000,000) works out to $1,661,346,038. Starting out a new nation with nearly 2 trillion in debt is unlikely to result in favorable bond ratings nor in high confidence in any currency or debt instruments issued.
- The West Virginia Precedent. 25 California counties went for Trump in the 2016 elections. It seems a safe bet that those counties will not be favorably disposed towards leaving the Untied States to become part of the new nation. Expect some or all of these counties to apply to the United States for Statehood.
- Electrical Power. California is a net importer of Electrical Power. The systems providing that power in the United States would be under no obligation to continue providing that power at the current rates.
- Water. California’s Southernmost counties (South of Los Angeles, which draws its water from the Sacramento River via the California Aqueduct) import most of their water from Hoover Dam in Nevada. The United States and the State of Nevada would be under no obligation to continue providing that water at the current rate structure.
- Trade Relations. As a foreign nation California will be subject to tariffs, and will not enjoy the same trade arrangements that the United States has negotiated.
- Border Control. The new nation has a very long coastline and borders with Mexico and the United States (Arizona, Nevada, Oregon)
For those who have not figured out my subtext, I’ll speak plainly. This is surely one of the worst ideas I have ever heard. Only a fool or a mad man would pursue it.
I’m a third generation native of the formerly Golden State (along with less than 10% of current residents). My first allegiance is towards the United States. Should California persist in this folly, I will emulate the late great Davey Crocket, and will only return as part of a 21st Century Union Army.
1Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data, Congressional Research Service
The insanity continues:
Calexit backers can begin collecting signatures to qualify for 2018 ballot
Could California really break off from the United States and form its own country? Should it?
BY JIM MILLER, The Sacramento Bee
Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment seeking California’s secession from the U.S. can begin collecting voter signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot, the secretary of state’s office said Thursday.
The so-called Calexit movement emerged within days of the upset presidential victory of Republican Donald Trump, who lost California by nearly 4.3 million votes. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that nearly one in three Californians support the state leaving the U.S.
Proponents have until July 25 to collect 585,407 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.
The proposed measure would strike language from the California Constitution defining the state as “an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.” If it passed, there would be a statewide special election in March 2019 to ask voters if they want California to become an independent country.
State campaign finance records show that Yes California has opened a fundraising committee but has not reported any contributions. Besides the measure’s long odds of qualifying for the ballot, let alone passing at the polls, any effort by California to leave the U.S. likely would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That would require approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-quarters of the states.
If I say eject, and you say “What?” you’ll be talking to yourself…