It has been an interesting few days here along Wanderer’s Way. In response to an engineer of the still-not-dead California secession push appearing on Tucker Carlson to basically demonstrate why California leftists really have no idea what they’re doing, I relinked my silly Califexit song to Twitchy–and overnight it caught fire. I mean, I’m not exactly going viral, but when your traffic jumps from 7 or 8 visitors on a good day to nearly 300 views you sit up and take notice. I’m guessing someone took the link and reposted it, to which I can only say, thank you thank you thank you SO much. Not bad for a bad parody riff on a Disney song everyone’s heard way too many times.
Anyway, I’ve gotten into a couple of discussions with people who are more than skeptical of the idea of California’s secession. Most are okay with a little joking but when the rubber hits the road they think that even if it happens it won’t be a good thing. Given the lighthearted nature of some of my past posts about the subject I wanted to be clear, I am not joking. I am convinced that California’s departure (or at least its southern half) from the United States would be the greatest moment in the nation’s history since winning World War II. So I will explain why in context of responding to the points made by people who have no love for California’s leftist tendencies but nonetheless don’t believe their departure would be good.
One big argument Califexit opponents bring up is that they’re a huge chunk of our economy, and this is true. If California were its own nation, they’d have something like the sixth highest GDP in the world, clocking in at over two trillion dollars according to a quick Google search. I’ll admit up front that this is a hard argument to get around, because it would have massive economic repercussions if California left. However, we’re not the Congressional Budget Office here, and we’re not just going to measure in terms of what we know will happen (i.e. 2 trillion bucks suddenly gets taken out of the nation’s economy) but we’re also going to look at what’s likely to take place and those effects. The fact is that exiting or not, California’s businesses have already been migrating to less-economically-stifling states such as Texas for years now. There’s no reason to believe this trend would do anything but accelerate if California were to announce it’s on the way out the door. It’s also important to note that despite this massive gross domestic product, California is flat broke. And the fact is that California is a tremendous taker in terms of federal spending while at the same time they blow their state’s money on ridiculous regulations and pipe-dream projects like high-speed rail. California’s burden on the rest of the country is augmented by the fact that their Congressional delegation and electoral college clout are so enormous. Regulations, taxes, trade agreements, treaties, and basically anything having to do with the economy in any way that has to get through Congress has to contend with California. Yes, I know that they have red districts that send Republicans to Congress but no one’s going to argue that California’s influence on national politics is anything but decisively blue, and of course that means their effect on the economy is to put as many nonsensical drags taxes and and regulations on as their little messed-up hearts can conjure up. Finally, this says nothing about where that GDP comes from, how much of it is Hollywood fluff and how much is from illegal aliens, and how much of it is legit and respectable business. I think that if the exit ever did happen, there’d be a brief economic tremor followed by a boom created by both relocated big-ticket businesses and the virtually universal relaxation of economy-crushing regulations, plus you’d have to account for all the federal dollars we’re not flushing down the San Andreas fault anymore. You can’t capture that in a CBO score.
Another argument that gets brought up is what I call the pride argument. This usually takes the form of talking about not wanting to cede this ground to the leftists and the hippies and not being willing to let them win and have their own little country they can drive into the ground. Tangential to this are often arguments about how much federal land there is in California and how they’d never be able to pay that off, and how beautiful the land is and so forth. I’ve never been to California, I’ve been right next door in Nevada though, and it is pretty, but so are thousands of other places nationwide. And really, I don’t see letting California go as “letting the hippies win” so much as it is letting them have our way. If we could get rid of a massive chunk of the nation’s leftists and break their electoral vote floor, and all it would take is setting the entire state of California free, I think that’s a win for us, not them. It’s also the deal of a lifetime. It’s like an appendectomy in this regard–it’ll probably sting a little but if you don’t remove it the damage is going to be far worse and it won’t be long before you don’t miss it at all. The lunatic left has been kind enough to centralize themselves in this area, I think it would be downright foolhardy not to take advantage of the opportunity to chisel that plot of land off the rest and cut out the cancer while we have the chance. And really, if I had a nickel for every time I saw someone comment or heard someone wail “I live in California, my vote doesn’t count,” I’d be able to fund construction of the wall and a weekend at Disney World for all the guys who build it. We’re not conceding anything that it’s apparent that California Republicans haven’t already conceded.
Some have pointed out that California would be responsible for its own defense if they were to undertake this, while others remind us that some Californians have said that they would “rent” the United States’ military and naval bases back to us should the separation occur. Both of these points are more or less absurd. We already provide cover for most of Europe and good chunks of the Middle East (the sole reason Sweden can afford to be a “socialist utopia” where it still doesn’t work is that they don’t have to spend money on military defense, because the USA has their back). It’s kind of ridiculous to think we would not watch over our wayward child. If nothing else, we’d have an interest in making sure the Norks or the ChiComms or anyone else didn’t manage to set up a beachhead by walking over the hippies. But it’s also absurd to think that the United States would be obligated to pay for the privilege of keeping California safe. We’d keep the bases just like we keep Guantanamo Bay.
I’ve seen a few folks come at this from the angle that their great-great-grandfather came over from whatever impoverished dirt-farmer country generations ago and settled in California and by gosh we’re not gonna leave our land. My first reaction to this is one of utmost sympathy and understanding–I get it, I really do. I didn’t choose the name Wanderer for no reason and no, I wasn’t even thinking about Gandalf’s poem. I understand the strong and irrational pull towards home. So it is with all that in mind that I tell these people: grow up. Sorry to be cold but there it is. It hurts to have to make a choice between the home you know and love and the rational understanding of what these twits have done to it, but that’s the kind of hard choice that life is just chock-full of. And as I said when addressing the pride argument, if you loved it so much why in God’s name did you just sit back and let the left overrun it? I mean, I even get that too, we’re conservatives and we don’t want to do politics 24/7/365. But then you have to live with the consequences of your actions or lack thereof. The rest of us do not.
All of these are rational and reasonable concerns and the last thing I want to do is belittle or dismiss them. The issue that tears it for me, however, is much more serious. I have said for years that we are in a cold civil war and many commenters have noted that the rift between red and blue is widening and hardening more and more with each passing year. If we are not already at the point where reconciliation is impossible, we are approaching it very quickly. We had eight years of a president and a dominant media/political culture that did everything they could to widen and shore up those divides as a means of growing their political power, and in the wake of them being resoundingly ejected from power they have only doubled down on the irrational hate. Just look at the harpies’ response to the mere suggestion that the Democratic party be open to supporting otherwise-acceptable pro-life candidates for office. “Unhinged” is generous. We have the opportunity, however silly it may seem and however infinitesimal the chance might be, to make this an amicable divorce. We can keep this cold civil war from going any hotter than it already has (God bless Steve Scalise). All we have to do is cut off this little deep-blue island and set them adrift in their own little fantasy world. I still maintain that they will be sneaking back across the border inside of a generation.
Please note, I do not believe that setting them up as a socialist paradise will teach the committed socialists anything. I’m confident they will join the list of countries and societies who “didn’t do it right” to the twerps and fools who still think socialism is just a swell idea, despite starting off with literal tons of other people’s money to spend. This is not about teaching them, or even about giving more rational people yet another example of socialist failure. It is simply about getting rid of them before it’s too late to do so without someone getting hurt.
I would honestly be happy to discuss this with anyone who feels strongly that Califexit is a bad idea, but my position is an unequivocal LET THEM GO.