This past week proponents of an independent California gained a small victory in their movement, as their Secretary of State Alex Padilla has approved a petition initiative to begin collecting signatures from voters.
Thanks to the recent vote in Great Britain to leave the European Union, which was dubbed #Brexit, California’s movement has taken on the hashtag name of #Calexit. The movement, which has gained steam after the the overall meltdown of the American Progressive Left after the election of Donald Trump, is not actually a new one. The Yes California Independence Committee PAC has been around for a couple of years.
From their website:
Yes California is the nonviolent campaign to establish the country of California using any and all legal and constitutional means to do so. We advocate for peaceful secession from the United States by use of an independence referendum to establish a mandate, followed by a nationwide campaign to advocate in support of a constitutional exit from the Union. By joining this campaign, signing up as a member, donating, volunteering, or otherwise supporting this important cause, you agree to these nonviolent principles.
While Yes California supports and encourages Californians to stand up and take direct action, to be bold, and to unapologetically demand the liberation of the people of California from its captors, we explicitly reject conduct or speech inciting open rebellion against the American government.
The idea of secession is not actually a new one in California, while the #Calexit people want to leave a Federal Government that they do not view as being attuned to their Progressive Political leanings, there is a much older movement within California’s more rural Northern State’s to breakaway and create the 51st State, The State of Jefferson.
I find it quite interesting that there is a group of people within California who feel that they are being bullied by the Federal Government & the Electoral College, who feel that they are culturally out-of-step with the rest of the Unites States — but who are completely oblivious the plight of their fellow Californians who feel the same way towards them.
Now, do I think that there is a reasonable chance that someday soon California will become a sovereign nation-state? No, I think there is about as much chance of that happening as there is of Donald Trump nominating Rosie O’Donnell to the US Supreme Court.
However believing that something is going to happen and believing in the right for that thing to happen are two completely different things. It was the inspiration for the name The State of Jefferson, who wrote the greatest declaration of secession of all time, otherwise known as the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas DiLorenzo, of the Mises Institute, wrote a few years back an article about the Jeffersonian secessionist tradition posted at LewRockwell.com:
Thomas Jefferson, the author of America’s July 4, 1776 Declaration of Secession from the British empire, was a lifelong advocate of both the voluntary union of the free, independent, and sovereign states, and of the right of secession. “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form,” he said in his first inaugural address in 1801, “let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it.”
In a January 29, 1804 letter to Dr. Joseph priestly, who had ask Jefferson his opinion of the New England secession movement that was gaining momentum, he wrote: “Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the eastern . . . and did I now foresee a separation at some future day,, yet should feel the duty & the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family . . .” Jefferson offered the same opinion to John C. Breckenridge on August 12 1803 when New Englanders were threatening secession after the Louisiana purchase. If there were a “separation,” he wrote, “God bless them both & keep them in the union if it be for their good, but separate them, if it be better.”
I am firmly of the belief that, while not everyone may realize it on a conscious level or express it in these exact terms, the human heart yearns for liberty. Supporters of a strong and all-powerful Federal Government will bring up the “…one Nation under God, indivisible…” part of the Pledge of Allegiance or say things like the Civil War and Texas v White ‘settled’ the issue of secession.
As far as the Pledge of Allegiance goes, while I truly feel blessed to have been born in the what is still the greatest country on God’s green earth, I pledge my allegiance to no one. I am a free man, nobody owns me and I am not subject to the rituals of blind devotion to the State because of a pledge written by a socialist decades after our Republic’s founding.
The United States of America came to be after the Thirteen Original Colonies successfully used the God-given right to self-determination in unshackling themselves from the chains that tied them to King George’s England.
Ron Paul in a 2009 CNN Interview said:
The biggest surprise to me was the outrage expressed over an individual who thinks along these lines, because I heard people say, well, this is treasonous and this was un-American. But don’t they remember how we came in to our being? We used secession, we seceded from England. So it’s a very good principle. It’s a principle of a free society. It’s a shame we don’t have it anymore. I argue that if you had the principle of secession, our federal government wouldn’t be as intrusive into state affairs and to me that would be very good.
We as a nation have endorsed secession all along. Think of all of the secession of the countries and the republics from the Soviet system. We were delighted. We love it. And yet we get hysterical over this just because people want to debate and defend the principle of secession, that doesn’t mean they’re calling for secession. I think it’s that restraining element of secession that would keep the federal government from doing so much. In our early history, they accepted the principles of secession all along.
As far as I’m concerned the Declaration of Independence clearly set the precedent and Texas v White is an unjust ruling that no free people should abide by. While the outcome of the Civil War did rightfully end the greatest evil ever perpetrated on mankind, the practice of slavery, it does not end the precedent set forth by the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence.
Walter Williams, libertarian professor of economics at George Mason University wrote:
On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, “Any attempt to preserve the Union between the States of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty.”
The Northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace. Just about every major Northern newspaper editorialized in favor of the South’s right to secede. New York Tribune (Feb. 5, 1860): “If tyranny and despotism justified the Revolution of 1776, then we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861.” Detroit Free Press (Feb. 19, 1861): “An attempt to subjugate the seceded States, even if successful, could produce nothing but evil – evil unmitigated in character and appalling in content.” The New York Times (March 21, 1861): “There is growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go.”
There’s more evidence seen at the time our Constitution was ratified. The ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said that they held the right to resume powers delegated, should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought that they could not maintain their sovereignty.
With all that being said, as I have previously noted, while I believe in California’s right to leave the Union I seriously doubt that it will happen. Even if the #Calexit folks somehow manage to collect the required 585,407 valid signatures from registered voters over the next 180 days, they still face a long uphill battle in their movement.
However as long as the odds are, I do tend to agree with Marcus Ruiz Evans, one of the Founders of Yes California, who said “America already hates California, and America votes on emotions.”
The election of Donald Trump sure proved that.