I live in California, and let me tell you, the state has not reacted well to President Trump’s election. In fact, it may try to leave the union. Didn’t we already fight a war over that?
As you’re reading this, people are out gathering signatures for the California Autonomy From Federal Government initiative. It’s got a decent chance of being on the ballot next year.
The ballot measure would ask Californians if they want the state to negotiate for more freedom from Washington, and could lead to the state becoming a “sovereign and autonomous nation.” If California went whole hog, it could become an entity unto itself, following its own laws (and not the federal government’s) and paying taxes to itself (and not the federal government).
That’s how democracy works. When it doesn’t go your way, you don’t take your ball and go home.
Those behind the initiative admit President Trump’s election has greatly helped their cause. But even though it’s mainly anti-Trumpers who support “Calexit,” if the movement picks up steam I can imagine Republicans across the country might want to send in donations.
After all, the Golden State is the biggest prize in any national election, with 55 electoral votes. Imagine if that were gone. The road to the White House for the GOP suddenly becomes a lot smoother.
In 2016, California voted 2-1 for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, with a more than 4 million-vote edge. Take California out of the equation and Trump even wins the popular vote.
For that matter, remove the two Democratic senators from Congress and the GOP would have enough votes to replace ObamaCare.
Republicans would also have an easier time passing other legislation in both the Senate and House of Representatives if California was no longer part of the United States. California has 53 House members, and 39 of them – including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – are Democrats. Only 14 are Republicans.
What’s not to like for the GOP?
More importantly, if Republicans got behind the initiative, perhaps Californians would wake up and realize a few things.
For one thing, the GOP at present holds the White House and runs Congress. California may not like it, but then, plenty of states that voted Republican didn’t like it eight years ago when Democrats ran everything.
We still have laws the Democrats passed and judges they confirmed, even though conservatives believe many of those judges are hurting the country to this day.
But that’s how democracy works. When it doesn’t go your way, you don’t take your ball and go home. If you feel you’re not getting a fair shake, try to convince others to join your side. If you can’t, you can try to work with opponents and see where that gets you.
If nothing else works, wait around, it may be your turn again before you know it. And if that happens, we’ll see how many GOP-run states want to secede.
Secession (even partial secession, whatever that means) is a childish answer. Run your state however you want, but also understand that the federal government has authority you can’t choose to ignore whenever you feel like it.
I can’t imagine California citizens would be so blinkered as to vote themselves out of one of the best deals around. But if they do, I have one request to the federal government. Please don’t build a wall to keep Californians out of the U.S., because I’d want to go east of the border and rejoin America.
Steve Kurtz is a producer for the Fox News Channel, and author of "Steve’s America (the perfect gift for people named Steve)".