Daily Constitutional

California dreamin'

Posted by richardmoore on December 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Years ago, living in New York City, my wife and I, excitedly awaiting the birth of our child, attended Lamaze classes in Manhattan to prepare for what we hoped would be natural childbirth.

These weren’t just any Lamaze classes. It was called Fusion Lamaze, or something similarly exotic, a 1980s update to the techniques popularized in the 1940s.

I’ll never forget the first lesson. Our instructor informed us that the modified Lamaze techniques had just been imported to New York from a foreign country — California, she deadpanned. It was quite funny, and we New Yorkers enjoyed a good and knowing laugh.

But it’s no longer a joke, and no one is really laughing anymore, least of all the people on the Left Coast. California is in fact a foreign country — culturally, politically, socioeconomically — when compared to the rest of the United States, and it has been for a long, long time, at least from the days when the state gave birth to Fusion Lamaze.

It’s not just that the state voted for Hillary Clinton, though California is increasingly the last stand of the Democratic Party. If New York is the Democrat’s wallet, then California is its heart and soul.

New York, though, has deep cultural, patriotic, and birthright ties to the rest of the nation; to be a New Yorker is to be a true American Yankee.

Not so California. There’s no cultural or philosophical tether. Symbolically, to be a Californian is to be a gold digger, not a Yankee.

Its residents are as foreign in lifestyle and thought as the day is long. They dream of open borders and establishment globalism. They do not share our respect for American sovereignty and constitutional values.

They identify their politics by special-interest allegiance to identity groups. They claim gender on the basis of self-identity, and even citizenship is a state of mind. Human-driven climate change, though, is indisputable science, and skepticism is subject to censorship.

Californians are tie-dyed clothing in a dressed-up and grown-up world. Around LA, everybody eats out but nobody goes outdoors, for the smog is too thick. In California, a policy expert is otherwise known as a movie star.

It’s time to admit that California is California, not America, and it always has been. In 1949, as columnist Joe Mathews points out, Carey McWilliams wrote in his book, “California: The Great Exception,” that “(o)ne cannot, as yet, properly place California in the American scheme of things.”

“California is no ordinary state,” McWilliams wrote. “It is an anomaly, a freak, the great exception among the American states.”

We all know this. Californians all know this. And so it is time for all of us to admit that California will never be properly placed in the American scheme of things, and to file for an amicable divorce.

To say it straight up, it is time for California to leave the United States of America and to become its own country.

It’s certainly strong enough economically to do so. Just this year, according to Reuters, California became the world’s sixth biggest economy, larger than India’s, larger than France’s. There’s nothing stopping California now.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no desire to boot the Golden state from the nation. I’m simply here to say that we should help them leave if they want to, and a growing number of them appears to want to.

In the wake of the presidential election, an independence group, Yes California, has submitted a proposed ballot measure to the state’s attorney general’s office. They hope to have a statewide referendum on secession in 2018.

Among the reasons they cite for wanting to establish their own country is the same one I just mentioned: Californians are culturally different from the rest of the country. The group’s leaders say they have 13,000 volunteers ready to collect signatures.

They have some pretty heavyweight Silicon Valley supporters, too. Dave Morin of the social networking tool Path and Marc Hemeon, founder of Design Inc., have reportedly expressed some interest.

The president of Yes California, Louis Marinelli, puts it this way: “This is the first Western secessionist movement that worked, and I think that is going to be very profound. Are you going to say to people in the freest country in the world [you] don’t have the right to self-determination?”

That’s well put, even if it does fly in the face of the Left’s (and most Californians’) wish to deny the U.S. its own right to self-determination, that is to say, our right to reject globalism and open borders for national sovereignty. National self-determination is nothing more than nationalism, after all, so Californians, mad that the U.S. has now embraced an ascendent political nationalism, seem prepared to assert their own nationalist self-determination so that they may then surrender it to globalism.

This is the way these people think, but I digress.

The point is, let’s wish them well. As a libertarian constitutionalist, I do not believe any nation should hold a people hostage, nor can I find anywhere in our constitution where it commands that states that join the union can never leave. This isn’t Facebook, after all.

The nation has been seceding and reorganizing in a de facto way for a while now, and this would merely formalize what is going on. That is to say, as columnist Pat Buchanan has pointed out, conservatives have been moving to politically conservatives states and regions for years, while liberals have been headed for urban utopias. Hence, the nickname the Left Coast.

Just ask a liberal where paradise is, and likely as not the answer will be California, not Heaven.

So how can we help our good friends achieve their Calexit?

Well, though the constitution doesn’t say anything about being held hostage to a union no longer working — much like laws and customs not allowing people to divorce — our liberal courts have interpreted the constitution just that way, and we fought a civil war over such states’ rights.

So allowing California to secede, if they decide they want to, will require a constitutional amendment. If that happens, we should ask our state legislatures to support such an amendment — with appropriate safeguards for American interests and property, of course — and let California’s people go.

It would in keeping with Great Britain allowing Scotland to vote on secession two years ago. It would be in keeping with Britain’s own vote this year to withdraw from the European Union. It would be in keeping with the doctrine of states’ rights, and yet another win for national self-determination and sovereignty.

If California wants to exit, then by all means, say yes to Calexit. And let’s speed up the process.

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