RR has posted on the national movements to break bigger states into smaller ones as part of the impetus to achieve some form of America’s Great Divide (here). These movements are birthed by the realization by large cohorts of conservatives in the several states that they are no longer represented in their states’ legislatures, and the movements are fueled by the growing irreconcilable polarization of America’s Right and Left socio-political ideologies. For some time now the distance has grown so large that no one can any longer suggest a plausible middle ground acceptable to sufficient numbers in both camps.
Two distinct yet related movements are stirring in California in which many of its mostly rural counties, located in the north and in the Sierra, have formed citizens groups to explore the feasibility and form of such a break-up. The bigger and older movement – Six Californias - was founded by venture capitalist Tim Draper in 2013, and has gathered enough signatures for an initiative to be placed on the 2016 ballot. The passed initiative will launch a process that then must successfully proceed through California’s legislature and then through Congress.
The other is the State of Jefferson (SoJ) movement that intends for a group of northern California counties to secede from the state and become a new state. A number of northern counties have passed resolutions of support for SoJ, and more are in the offing. SoJ is spearheaded by Mark Baird and others of the Jefferson Declaration. Mark Baird will be one of the featured speakers at this Saturday’s SoJ townhall gathering in Nevada County's Western Gateway Park.
I invite everyone who is interested in knowing more about the motivation for and means of achieving a viable State of Jefferson to bring their lawn chairs to the park this Saturday afternoon. You don’t have to have made up your mind about SoJ or any of the national partition movements, just come and find out what all the fuss is about so you can speak a bit more knowledgeably when you talk to your friends and neighbors.
[update] In today’s (30jul14) Union we have ‘State splitters secede from reality’ by local resident Jerry Henderson. From his article it is a safe bet that the man is of liberal leanings by just looking at how he reasons. His message is summarized - People who have no voice in their state legislatures should not seek to constitutionally separate from their current states because that is a complicated process unlikely to succeed, because the majority party will oppose such moves in order to maintain its ideological monopoly. Instead, such discontents should just “play by the rules” and “do something positive that will make (their) community and region a better place to live.”
So there you have it. IMHO, if for nothing else, a split is warranted to just be out from under the electoral thumb of thinkers like Mr Henderson; my scrap lumber pile reasons better. But the question that all such pooh-poohers should answer is, ‘How real is it to expect an aggrieved minority to remain compliant indefinitely, people who have been repressed for years by a government blind and deaf, nay, inimical to their just needs (liberty, security, property)?’
The reply of the majority Hendersons to the minority conservatives is to hunker down, accept the current order of things, and do your best. It was the same perpetual advice that King George III gave the colonists.
[3aug14 update] It was a fine gathering yesterday at the Western Gateway Park with good speakers making a cogent case for SoJ and the state splitting movement that is gaining momentum across the land. The main grievance fueling discontent is that with growing national polarization that has now put permanent super-majorities into many state houses, the minorities have lost any effective representation in their states' legislatures. For a complete report of the Nevada County SoJ townhall meeting, visit Russ Steele's Sierra Foothills Commentary here.
[4aug14 update] George Boardman, columnist for The Union and RR reader, wrote a thoughtful piece in today’s edition of the paper – ‘‘Power to the People’ isn’t what it should be in California’. There he advises conservatives to not “waste their energy on dead-propositions like the State of Jefferson, constitutional sheriffs, overturning Common Core, and taking control of federal forests …”. Instead he proposes that it is the establishment of another state elected office (and supporting bureaucracy) that will “defend the will of the people all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary” that will get conservatives’ juices flowing productively and beneficially.
IMHO that approach asks us to piss into much stronger winds than the ones now buffeting the specific and focused objectives he dismisses. Such an initiative defending ombudsman (IDO?) will itself require an initiative to launch which has no more chance of being implemented than the other initiatives that have been overturned by activist progressive judges. The IDO will immediately be seen as a conservative cause to be squashed by the states’ liberal super-majorities that today exist at all jurisdictional and bureaucratic levels. The other problem is that an IDO office without an immediate cause celebre will be an abstraction that is harder to sell to the electorate than regaining representation of ideological minorities or opposing specific government overreach. In short, given that the state's Attorney General will remain dysfunctional (biased), I like the notion of an aggressive IDO, but in addition to the established conservative objectives, not as their replacement.