With Donald Trump walking into the Oval Office, liberal Democrats in California don’t have much to cheer about. Some of them are turning to the movement for Calexit, for California Exit. I’ve detailed before on Fox & Hounds why their initiative, if it makes it to the ballot, will be rejected by state voters.

But what of their reasons? Why do they want a divorce from the US of A? Are they tired of winning?

On its front page, the Yes California Independence campaign lists nine reasons for splitting from the other “Free and Independent States,” as the Declaration of Independence reads. I’m on their email list and they recently sent out a plea, “Register to vote with Yes California’s ‘Californian National Party’!” (Full text below.)

It summarizes their reasons for splitting: “A progressive group at heart, we also support universal healthcaretuition-free education opportunities for all, green energy production, solutions for affordable housing and homelessness, closing the income gapwomen’s reproductive rights, the protection of LGBT rights, and we espouse peace as a priority” (emphasis in original).

But except for the last one, peace, all these already are achieved, or could be achieved by remaining in the Union. Let’s look at them:

1– “Universal health care.” Massachusetts universal care system was a model for Obamacare. And Hawaii, before Obamacare, already had a different universal health care system. Former state Sen. Mark Leno pushed a universal medical care plan for California, but it was rejected by his fellow Democrats. With 2/3 majorities in the Legislature, Democrats could pass a version tomorrow.

But what kind of “universal” system would it be? Canada’s? Then you would just have severely rationed care. Canadians drive to Michigan or Washington State for quicker and better treatment. Under a Canadian system in California, Golden Staters would slip across the border to Nevada or Arizona (or Mexico) and pay cash. So the USA still would provide much of the care for Californians.

2– “Tuition-free education opportunities for all.” Since 1879, the California Constitution has guaranteed the right to a K-12 education However, the recent Vergara case was decided, by the state court system, against guaranteeing a certain quality of education. The case was a victory for the California Teachers Association. Can’t blame that on the Feds.

Nor can we blame the Feds for California’s rock-bottom test scores. Why are the other states doing so much better? Why not imitate them?

As to college, community colleges remain cheap. The state could guarantee free tuition, as it once did, at Cal State and the University of California, and raise taxes to pay for it. Or pay for it by cutting state spending, for example on the exorbitant pensions for state workers. Or pay for it by slicing the number of university administrators, who have doubled in two decades and now outnumber professors, while getting massive raises.

3– “Green energy production.” California is going its own way on this no matter what the rest of the country does, or if it stays in the country. SB350 now mandates 50% of electricity must be produced by renewable resources by 2030. But a Forbes article last April was titled, “California’s Growing Imported Electricity Problem.” So the state, of its own accord, is becoming more dependent on the rest of the country Calexit wants to leave.

4– “Solutions for affordable housing and homelessness.” Is Yes California kidding? Given that these problems are worse in California than in any of the other 49 states, as well as the state suffering the highest poverty rate, it’s obvious the rest of the nation is not at fault, but California. The main culprits are the restrictions imposed by the state’s own policies, especially the dictatorial California Coastal Commission and local NIMBY policies (Not In My Back Yard), while welcoming unlimited immigration. Increased demand and limited supply spells rising prices.

If it wanted to, tomorrow California could solve its affordable housing problem, and greatly reduce the homelessness and poverty problems, by adopting Houston-style no-zoning policies.

5– “Closing the income gap.” Socialism hasn’t worked anywhere, as North Korea and Cuba still testify. And “income gaps” are inevitable. The gap from those with the gold at the top to those without it at the bottom is even higher in the Golden State because we have more billionaires than anywhere, especially in Silicon Valley. The top 1% also pay almost half the income taxes in the state.

If California became independent and started charging the 90% income tax rate the IRS imposed for the whole USA back in the 1950s, the billionaires would just leave for golder pastures.

Moreover, by cutting taxes and regulations, Trump will be booming the economy, giving all of us more opportunity to thrive. Leaving America to create a Castroite California would reverse all that, and worse.

6– “Women’s reproductive rights.” I’m a pro-lifer, so I don’t think this is a “good.” But here’s what happened: It was Gov. Ronald Reagan who legalized abortion way back in 1967, six years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. In 2002, Gov. Gray Davis signed into law SB1301, which effectively codified Roe, regardless of what happens at the federal level.

Ironically, if California had not been a part of the Union in recent decades, Californian Anthony Kennedy would not have been on the court as the swing vote in numerous abortion decisions upholding Roe, such as Casey v. Planned Parenthood. So abortion might be outlawed in many states right now (under that scenario).

7– “The protection of LGBT rights.” Another irony involving Californian Anthony Kennedy. In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8, “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marriage.” But in the 2015 Obergefell decision, which went 5-4, Kennedy provided the key vote for the majority and wrote the case’s majority opinion, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. (I realize legally it’s more complicated than that; but that was the result.) If he had not been on the court, likely a conservative would have been, and the court would have gone the other way. So Prop. 8 still would be the law in California!

This is why living in California always seems a scene from “The Big Lebowski.” In this case, it would be the First Amendment discussion in the coffee shop. “This affects all of us, man. Our basic freedoms!”

8– “And we espouse peace as a priority.” Well, the recent wars have been brought to us, or continued, by President Obama, whom the state voted for two times. By House Majority/Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has backed Obama (but did oppose Bush’s Iraq War at its start). And by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who voted for the Authorization for Use of Military ForceAgainst Iraq Resolution of 2002 (although then-Sen. Boxer opposed it). Indeed, after the Jeffords Defection to their party, Democrats controlled the U.S. Senate for that vote.

Moreover, we have an all-voluntary military now. So if California seceded, its young men and women still could join the U.S. Armed Forces, much as immigrants and non-citizens always have.

In the recent election, which boosted interest in Calexit because of Trump’s victory, it was Trump who was the peace candidate. Hillary Clinton, the war candidate, won in California 62%-32%.

There’s also no guarantee California would stay out of the wars, like Costa Rica. Instead, due to longstanding ties and defense contractors’ influence, it might be like Great Britain and send troops and money to America’s wars, as was done even under under left-wing Labour Party Prime Minister Tony Blair – dubbed “America’s Poodle.” An independent California well could become “America’s Chihuahua.”

Conclusion: Despite my reservations, I’m all for Calexit going forward, with an initiative on the ballot. It would be great to give the feds a good scare. Maybe they would back off a little here and in the rest of the country. But Yes California Independence needs some better arguments. Mostly, they just want California more socialist than it already is.

Instead, how about making an independent California Republic a beacon of freedom, like the Cayman Islands, with no income tax? Now that would be a revolution.

29-year Orange County Register editorial writer now writes freelance. Email: writejohnseiler@gmail.com

Original email from Yes California:


John —

The cause of Californian independence requires us to adopt multiple lines of attack. Yes California is busy working to qualify a ballot measure that will give us the chance to hold a vote on independence on March 5, 2019. Register to volunteer to collect signatures if you haven’t already, or chip in a few bucks if you can’t.

Now there’s another way you can help the cause of independence and it will take just a few minutes. Yes California is reorganizing its political party, the Californian National Party, to begin running pro-independence candidates to local, county, and state offices. This is an opportunity for you to change your voter registration and join the only officially-sanctioned pro-independence #Calexit political party in California — and it’s progressive, too!

What does the Californian National Party believe? Our party is unique in California in that it is the only party that openly and actively supports California independence as a part of its party platform. A progressive group at heart, we also support universal healthcaretuition-free education opportunities for all, green energy production, solutions for affordable housing and homelessness, closing the income gapwomen’s reproductive rights, the protection of LGBT rights, and we espouse peace as a priority.

Here is how you register with the CALIFORNIAN NATIONAL PARTY:

Go to: registertovote.ca.gov

STEP 1: Click “Register to Vote Now”
STEP 2: Choose a Classification
STEP 3: Fill in Personal Information
STEP 4: Fill in Home and Mailing Address
STEP 5: Indicate your Political Party Preference.
Choose “Yes”, my political party preference is “OTHER”. Then write in “Californian National Party”.

That’s it!

You can also follow our political party on Twitter and Like our Page on Facebook! In the coming weeks, once our trademark application has been approved, we will be launching a massive advertising campaign to grow and qualify this officially-sanctioned #Calexit political party and we hope you’ll register to help us get qualified.

Thank you, and welcome to the party!

p.s. John, there are many trolls out there. They don’t represent the Calexit movement and they are just Facebook groups. The Californian National Party is relaunching now, with the right leadership and the purity of heart to make sure that the governing party of California will not lead us in the wrong direction, nor keep us beholden to Washington. We need people with pure hearts and the right intentions and that is why we must begin to organize a political revolution in Sacramento to replace the Democrats and Republicans with Californian Nationals!

Check out our website for more details (still under construction!)

Yes California