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A new state of Sierra Nevada?

By Bruce Walker
web posted December 12, 2016

The Calexit is the profound silliness of the whining of coastal Californians for “independence” because the rest of America is not in step with them.  California is the third largest state in the union in geographical area and most of that state, in geographical area, is out of step with those coastal Californians. 

The electoral map of California by county shows the stark divide.  In the 2016 presidential election, 21 contiguous counties in the northeastern third of the state voted for Donald Trump and the shift of a few thousand votes in three counties would have given Trump a contiguous area equal to half the size of the state and half of the counties in that state. 

Romney in 2012 carried half of the geographical area of California and about half the counties in the state.  McCain in 2008 carried almost the same half of California and in 2004 Bush carried a contiguous area from Oregon to the Mexican border which included most of California, in geographical area.  If the Calexit folks feel that the presidential election shows that California does not have the same values as the rest of America, then the same election showed that a wide swath of California which supported Trump is out of synch with the ruling coastal areas.

What is true in presidential elections is also true in gubernatorial elections.   In 2014, Jerry Brown won reelection easily, but his Republican opponent Neel Kashkari carried a contiguous area which had most of the area of the state and most of the counties of the state.  Meg Whitman four years earlier did even better against Brown carrying a region which included two thirds of the area of the state and two thirds of the counties in the state. 

Indeed, it is hard to escape the feeling, after looking at how Californians voted by county in presidential, gubernatorial and senatorial elections over the last twenty years that Los Angeles and San Francisco are wildly out of synch with the rest of the state and that, in any event, there is a stark and clear divide between the populous coastal California from those urban areas and the rest of the state. 

These Californians are about as safe from Sacramento as blacks in the Jim Crow South from state government in those states.   President-Elect Trump and Republican in Congress are, in many ways, the protectors of the people in the Sierra Nevada area of California, against the oppression of the gang in Sacramento which need only worry about what people in Los Angeles and San Francisco want.

Those who want California to leave the United States ought to at least grant to those people trapped in that half of California whose values are submerged within the values of the majority in Sacramento.  Those who proposed Calexit ought to allow these seven million Californians to do what those Virginians in the northwest part of that state did at the time of the Civil War when West Virginia was born and to form their own new state.

While the Constitution may or may not allow secession, it is clear under Article IV, Section 3 that a new state may be created out of part of California if the California Legislature and Congress both consent.   This process is fairly straightforward and this was how the first states which entered the union after the original 13 were created:  Vermont out of New York, Maine out of Massachusetts, Kentucky out of Virginia and Tennessee out of North Carolina.

The California Legislature ought to pass a bill which would allow the counties of California to remain within the United States, if California secedes, and to form a new state, Sierra Nevada, after that mountain range which largely includes those counties which are much more conservative and Republican than the rest of the state.  If that is asking too much, Calexit supporters ought to ask the California Legislature to allow a nonbinding vote of the people in every county of the state which asked voters in that county if California were to secede from the union if these voters would like their county to remain as part of a new state including those parts of California which did not want to secede.      

If that is too much, then we know how utterly unserious and pouting the nominal Calexit folks are in fact:  they are angry because America is unwilling to let them run the nation, so like all spoiled children, they are pouting.  ESR

Bruce Walker is the author of book Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life and a contributing editor to Enter Stage Right.






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