Calexit Misguided Response to Trump

Annette Ungermann, Staff Writer

The “Yes California Independence Campaign” is attempting to qualify a measure for California’s secession from the United States on the 2018 ballot. If successful, Californians would vote for or against their state’s independence from the union in the spring of 2019, according to the campaign’s website.

The measure will potentially be decided by referendum, (much like the historic decision of “Brexit”, made this summer). Fittingly, it’s been dubbed “Calexit”.

The idea of secession started to gain a lot of traction after the result of the presidential election, but this campaign formed before Trump’s unexpected victory.

Severing ties with a country which, in the heat of the moment, seems to be catapulting backwards, may be appealing to many liberals of the golden state. It’s just as enticing as the idea of packing one’s bags and buying a one-way ticket to Canada, where one could watch America fall apart from a distance. It’s an idea that’s likely more fantasy than reality, though.

1860 was the last time a state seceded –South Carolina– which subsequently inspired several more states to secede, and sparked a civil war.

Texas has not yet pulled a “Texit”, though the state has repeatedly threatened to do so throughout its history; as recently as last March, Texans passed a resolution to call for a vote on the matter. The Constitution does have protocols for how a state can enter the Union, but not how to exit. Meaning, a state technically does not have the right to leave the United States –which is why Texas has been turned down in the past. Of course, amending the US Constitution is possible.

In California’s case, if the measure passes, it would be a long road to secession, and likely not completed until after Trump’s presidential term expired. 38 states would have to support this movement to ratify a constitutional amendment, and Calexit would eventually require congressional approval, if it’s actually taken seriously –congress is currently controlled by Republicans, having 54 members compared to 44 Democrats.

It’s a long shot. But hey, a Trump presidency was once considered a total joke, and look where we are today. Secession is a legitimate option that could be open to vote.

But it’s worth considering how California leaving the Union would negatively affect the rest of the country as well, if the main reason of leaving is to save our own skins. Secession or moving to Canada is an incredibly privileged way to duck out of a country that desperately needs the help of everyone.

Plotting an exit strategy, considering how important our state is to the rest of the country, doesn’t make any sense –it ignores the fact that we’d be able to do a lot more damage control as a part of America, not divorced from it.

With all that “Yes California” promises, as Californians, it would be much more constructive to show solidarity. It’s true that by putting this referendum to bed we will be susceptible to all of Trump’s promises of future legislation that go against most of our state’s values, but it is bigger than just California. The country needs all of its states to combat what’s going on at a federal level, and California is a vital chunk of liberal America.

California is an asset to the rest of the country –with its economy and its agriculture. Though the probability of a Calexit is incredibly slim, we should still keep in mind that now is not the time to withdraw. It is the time to exercise our influence over the rest of the country of which we are a significant part.