Secession talk is not new for California. There have been at least 200 secession proposals since the state’s founding in the 1850s. There are ongoing movements to break California into as many as six states because some believe the state’s size makes it ungovernable and because many believe Sacramento has lost touch with the reality under which most Californians live, much like many people believe Washington, D.C. has lost touch with middle America.
California legislative leaders issued a statement from Sacramento on Wednesday saying, “Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land.” Some Californians and many of us outside of California have long viewed California as “a foreign land.”
I am an advocate for secession, a concept which is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. It is a legitimate remedy for when an established government becomes destructive to life, liberty and happiness, and when it begins to derive its powers from places other than the consent of the governed.
Secession was considered a viable remedy – and often discussed — for disagreements over the War of 1812 and by abolitionists prior to the Civil War. In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson discussed the issue of secession which had been brought up by Federalists concerned after Jefferson’s election that Virginia held too much sway over the nation. He said, “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”
It took the tyrant Abraham Lincoln — and his murder of some 850,000 people through his total war to “save the union” — to destroy state’s rights and make secession “illegal.” Nothing in the Constitution does so.
To those people who would like to leave the union I ask, “What can we do to help you?”
And to blue staters who are now denigrating red states that voted overwhelming for Trump I ask, “Don’t you wish Lincoln had left us alone?”