A California secession movement is afoot: Californians, disappointed with the prospect of living in a United States of America in which Donald Trump is President, are talking about separating from the U.S. and creating their own country, the Metro is reporting.
Using the social media hashtag #CalExit (a portmanteau of the words “California” and “exit,” and itself a homage to the word “Brexit,” which referred to Britain’s vote to exit the European Union), California residents, and those who support them, are seriously talking about breaking away from the Republic and starting their own country.
Just saying if #calexit is for real I am completely on board. I am more proud to be Californian, than American
— Señor Abe (@El_Wesoh) November 9, 2016
Other Californians are talking about adding some other states — namely Oregon, Washington, and Nevada, four Western states that went solidly for Hillary Tuesday night — to the secession movement.
— Frosty Elation (@VaguelyGrim) November 9, 2016
So is all of this talk of California secession just a bunch of social media users blowing off steam in the aftermath of a bitterly disappointing election result, or is there anything real to the idea? According to Mashable, this movement extends beyond just joking about it on social media. There’s a group, the Yes California Independence Campaign, that has been angling for California secession for years. Emboldened by Tuesday night’s election results, they’re holding an event in Sacramento on Wednesday night to make their case for breaking away from the U.S. and forming their own country.
“In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children.”
As just about any Californian will tell you, all the pieces are in place for the Golden State to be its own country. With a population of around 39 million, it’s about the same size as Poland, population-wise. And California itself, apart from the rest of the country, is the sixth-largest economy in the world. California can get by without the U.S., secession supporters say.
And California is not the first state to talk about secession in the last few decades. A movement to have Texas secede from the U.S. has been around for some time now, according to the Texas Tribune, and this summer they were energized by the Brexit. Of course, as of this writing, Texas is still a part of the U.S., so clearly nothing came of it. Similarly, Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd Palin, has been associated with an Alaska secessionist movement, the Alaska Independence Party, according to the New York Times.
Needless to say, secession movements that have carried on for years under the radar seem to pop up from time to time, but never go anywhere.
So, can California (or Texas or Alaska or any other state, or group of states), secede from the Union? In a word, no. Eric McDaniel, associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, put it rather succinctly.
“The legality of seceding is problematic.”
“Problematic” is an understatement. There is no process in the Constitution that allows for secession. And the last time a U.S. state tried to secede, well, let’s just say that it didn’t go well for them.
Needless to say, California’s talk of secession is unlikely to amount to much, but until Tuesday night the idea of Donald Trump being elected President was all but unthinkable, so maybe the #CalExit might actually happen.
[Featured Image by Ksanawo/Shutterstock]