If California’s Republican Counties Want to Secede, Let ‘Em

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In California, as a general rule, money, population and scenic beauty are accumulated along the coast — which, as it happens, is also where the liberals live. The vast inland areas are generally poorer, less desirable and, as it happens, predominantly Republican.

Now, a politician from the benighted red region has proposed seceding from the rest of the state:

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone is leading the push to form the new state of “South California.” Made up of 13 conservative-leaning counties, including Fresno, Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino, the 51st state would be the nation’s fifth-largest by population.

Stone told the New York Times he’s fed up with California’s dysfunctional state government, which routinely deadlocks over budget crises. “We have businesses leaving all the time, and we’re just driving down a cliff to become a third-world economy,” he said of a state whose economy is the eighth largest in the world.

“I am tired of California being the laughingstock of late-night jokes,” he added…

The unlikely effort is just the most recent in a long line of bids to split California since it became a state in 1850. The closest call came in 1941, when parts of Northern California and southern Oregon, citing poor infrastructure, pushed to create the new state of Jefferson.

A spokesman for California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, called the latest scheme “a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona.”

A cynical Angeleno might respond by noting that California’s blue counties contribute most of the state’s tax revenue, while the red counties drain more than their share in the form of social services. South California, were it ever to exist, might be fifth in population, but it would automatically become something like a Third World nation itself — likely placing near the top, along with Mississippi and Alabama, among the poorest of the 51 states.

The fact that this new secession push comes from California’s inland agricultural and desert regions makes it unique. In the recent past, secession drives have all emanated from elites in Northern California who want to separate themselves from Los Angeles, which they view as a distasteful, smog-shrouded, water-thieving Sahara of the Bozart overrun with expat New York horn-honkers.

These efforts go nowhere because Angelenos tend to view San Francisco as a quaint spot for a weekend getaway and would druther it not secede, thanks — and they have the votes to kill secession if it were to appear on a ballot. Los Angeles County has about 12 million residents; San Francisco County has less than a million. The metro areas are 17 million and 7 million, respectively.

That said, it’s hard to imagine liberals in California’s coastal enclaves, north or south, mustering much energy to stop the inland Republican counties from leaving, if they were able to put a credible plan together. On the other hand, it might actually be cheaper and easier if all the disgruntled Republicans simply packed up and, as the governor’s spokesman suggested, moved next door to Arizona.

And yet, there is also another issue here that California intra-state secessionists never seem to take into consideration. What would the two-letter postal designation for the new states of North California and South California be?

Sorry, folks, as an expat Tar Heel, I have bad news: N.C. is taken.


7 thoughts on “If California’s Republican Counties Want to Secede, Let ‘Em”

  1. “New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state…”

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