Monday, November 28, 2016

California's Independence movement

1860 was not the first time states wanted so secede from the union.  The first such movement, while not successful, was what Henry Adams called a "conspiracy" in 1804.  Back then everyone, both Republicans and Federalists interpreted the constitution literally and many of the major thinkers and leaders in both parties believed that the Louisiana Purchase violated the constitution in that the constitution made no provision for the acquisition of new territory.  Pickering of the Federalist party attempted to get New England Federalist behind a move to leave the union (not for that reason but because the Virginian-led Republicans won the national election and had control of congress).  He argued that while secession was difficult under the constitution, the acquisition of Louisiana made that constitution null and void; therefore the New England states led by Massachusetts and New York should secede from the Union.   Jefferson and his Republicans (led by Virginia) had defeated the Federalists at every turn; so it was time to break away and form an independent nation.

Pickering and others involved in the secessionist "conspiracy" chose Aaron Burr as their champion.  Hamilton was also for secession but in the sense that Fukuyama has been for the success throughout the world of Liberal Democracy.  That is, Fukuyama believes it is going to happen but he refused to join an activist group (the Neocons) who tried to hasten that process.  Hamilton, perhaps as disgruntled as Fukuyama was while the activists were making hay, said and wrote some things Aaron Burr took offense at, a duel resulted, Hamilton was killed, Burr was discredited, and the Conspiracy of the New England secessionists was ended. 

The California secessionist movement seems from the little I know about it equally Quixotic.  This is from one of the Wikipedia article discussing how California might secede from the Union:

The first step to California (or any state for that matter) seceding from the Union is likely a ballot measure for voters. There is already a group called Yes California pushing for a referendum on Californian independence, noting that the state would be the sixth-largest economy in the world if it were its own country. 

Getting the referendum on the ballot and winning in an election might be the easiest part of this procedure. As Yes California notes, there are two possible next steps. First, a member of California’s congressional delegation could propose an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow California to leave. The Amendment needs to pass two-thirds of the House and senate and then be approved by at least 38 of 50 states. 

A second possible path after a referendum would be California calling for a states convention, where two-thirds of the delegates from 50 states approve it. If it passes, it would still need to be ratified by 38 of the 50 state legislatures. 

However, if I understand matters correctly, this movement originated because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote despite loosing the electoral college vote.  In looking at the vote count at  we see that Hillary Clinton's popular vote tally is 62,523,126, of which 5,589,936 came from California.  Donald Trump on the other hand had a popular vote tally of 61,201,031 of which 3,021,095 came from California.   If California had successfully seceded before this election took place Donald Trump would have won the popular vote as well as the electoral college vote.  If we subtract California's votes, Hillary Clinton would have 56,933,190 popular votes to Trump's 58,179,936 (assuming my math is sound).   Thus, it would seem to me, the Democratic states would have more reason for opposing California's secession than the Republican states. 

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