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Will California Secede from the US?

No place is more upset about Trump becoming president than Silicon Valley, which has thrived under a state that is heavily Democratic. So after the upset election, a movement dubbed “Calexit” to get California to secede from the US has sprung up.

It is not as crazy as it sounds. All by itself, California would be the sixth largest economy in the world. And if the UK can leave the EU, why couldn’t California leave the US? As a tweet for the “Yes California” movement put it:

They said Donald Trump wouldn’t happen. They said #Brexit wouldn’t happen. What’re you going to say if they tell you #Calexit won’t happen?

I generally think small is better, so I’m not at all against allowing individual states and regions from going their own way. Personally, I think it would be better to split off the entire west coast, with Oregon and Washington either joining California or forming their own country.

What do you think?



  1. Hassan wrote:


    These are same people (not sure where you stood before) who make fun of Red states when they try to leave, like Texas. Not only that, they write long articles in dailykos how it is illegal to secede based on court rulings and civil war etc.

    Personally I was fine with any states leaving for whatever reason, but that is not how courts ruled.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink
  2. il-08 wrote:

    I agree with Hassan, file that one in hypocrisy.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink
  3. Hassan wrote:

    BTW, you have just made very strong conservative argument (which I agree) of weak central government and more rights of states. I am sure your new West Coast Republic will want to join the Union with limited impact on it, with just shared defence and currency. Welcome to right side… 🙂

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink
  4. Hassan wrote:

    “Glenn Greenwald: Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.”

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink
  5. Yudith wrote:

    For the people asking why UK could Brexit, it’s because UK is actually a country and never adopted the Euro, while California is just part of a country. It would need to adopt a currency, a parliament, an official language. By the way, would they become a bilingual country like India (English and Hindi with a spattering of other unofficial languages), a country with official languages separated by region like Belgium and Switzerland or just make the official language Spanish?

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink
  6. Roy wrote:

    A successful California exit would depend on assurance southern California could continue drawing its water allotment from the Colorado River, just to get through the early years of independence. A similar situation may apply to energy, at least initially.
    Maybe we all would be better united, even if the way forward seems gloomy right now.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    The whole situation reminds me of when my sons were toddlers and I’d say no you can’t have your way. They’d fall on the floor wailing and flopping around and I’d say suit yourself. In about an hour they’d calm down and come to their senses.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  8. Wildwood wrote:

    I was all for Texas leaving, after thinking about their not wanting other states with disasters to get help from the federal government, but were the biggest takers of that same aid. So I wouldn’t miss Texas. But California, no way. Truth be that I really don’t think any state should be allowed to leave. We are who we are.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  9. westomoon wrote:

    This is not new. California, Oregon, and Washington have had this issue simmering at a low boil for many years now. One perennial notion is the nation of Cascadia — OR, WA, and Northern CA.

    Right now, Oregon is also working on the issue — they envision a 3-State departure, with British Columbia welcome to join in too.

    And, of course, since we are not Southerners, we’ve done our research. There is a legal path to secession, though it’s a very difficult one. As I recall, the rest of the country has to agree. But if the rest of the country continues down the path it is currently on, who knows? They might be happy to purge themselves of this persistent nest of liberals. I’m just sorry we wouldn’t be able to take Vermont with us — God knows they’ve earned the right.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  10. Hassan wrote:

    WESTOMOON, other than guilt, how the extreme blue states harmed from rest of America or Federal government? Are there any laws that you want to pass in your states that you cannot?

    The only thing I can think of is foreign policy and wars. In terms of immigration, there are cities in violation of federal laws already being sanctuary cities.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
  11. James wrote:

    I’ve always felt that talk of secession was a catharsis for powerlessness, and that the ability to openly discuss / argue for it an attribute of healthy democracy.

    Is anything different now? Not yet. However, I’m fearful that what lies ahead will make the lawlessness and abuses of the George W Bush regime seem like piddling trifles with the very worst of the worst far right authoritarians set to take the reins.

    We face a very real possibility of watching the national economy follow the same path as Kansas, backed by propaganda the like of which we’ve only seen hints of. Want to protest and resist? I’m sure Mr. Putin will have a few handy tips for our new government.

    Given this potential, western secession may become a far more pressing cause.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  12. Max wrote:

    I guess the “Stronger Together” message really didn’t resonate, huh?

    Maybe the next Democrat will run on the more popular banner of “Revenge! Revenge! Bwahahahaha!”

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink
  13. Hassan wrote:

    BTW, I think looking at electoral map, democrats should not have wished for Trump. Infact I now strongly believe, only an unorthodox person (like Trump) can beat democrats in general election for President. No other mainstream republican or republican-libertarian (like Rand Paul) would have beaten Hillary and nor in future they will be able to beat democrats.

    Other than Trump, the closest that Republicans could have come up with was either John Kasich or Jeb Bush. They would have won Ohio and Florida, that’s it. They would not have won Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. And there is no other states that they can play for to get to 270.

    So while it is shame Democrats lost, but they should not fear for future. More importantly even if they go hard left (Bernie), they are not going to lose a state because of it. Yes perhaps loss in red states may be bigger, but they will be comfortably 270+.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  14. David Freeman wrote:

    Without the sane citizens of Washington, Oregon and Northern California to balance the sociopathic inclinations of red states, the continued survival of mankind would be unlikely.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink
  15. John wrote:

    Succession? Really? Which part of ‘democracy’ does the left not understand? I considered myself on the left side of politics until the last 3 days. What a bunch of whinging, self pitying, petulant children. Guess what folks, Donald Trump IS your president. Time to drink a large bucket of cement and harden up. The left was so caught up in its own smugness it forgot to vote. Hubris comes to mind. You have now ceeded the high moral ground to the opposition. Every president starts day one on the job with an equal chance of being the best, or the worst, president in history. Most end up somewhere in the middle. Trumps presidency, I believe, will rest on his response next time an unarmed black man is gunned down by a white police officer.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 11:05 pm | Permalink
  16. Dee from NYC wrote:

    The “America” that voted for Trump is the part of America that has greater allegiance to the Confederate flag than the national one, that crippled our government for days, that violated the Logan Act by writing a letter to Iran in 2008 to undermine the president, that encouraged Putin to hack into our servers, that welcomes enemies of the state like Julian Assange to influence and undermine our election, and elected a Manchurian candidate that will answer to Russia’s every whim and let Putin have his way in Europe.

    In other words, this is an “America” that no longer stands for America and any of the principles that it was founded on. I applaud California for starting this movement and should it succeed, hope that those of us in the Northeast will also break away from what used to be called the United States.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 12:47 am | Permalink
  17. PatriotSGT wrote:

    DEE from NYC: Wow. Take a xanax and call me in the morning. No, on second thought please don’t call me, ever.
    Somebody please send Dee a box of tissues and a note for her school to get back in class. Wow.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink
  18. Max wrote:

    Let’s not get carried away. Some Trump supporters are, I assume, good people.

    (Yeah, I know, it’s horrible to ape Trump even for laughs. Just couldn’t resist.)

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink
  19. Hassan wrote:

    I must say, conservatives/republicans take defeat much better than liberals/democrats. The amount of mourning in late night comedy shows (and SNL yesterday) was astounding. Obama won two elections, nobody came to streets to protest, nor was there any mourning on their comedy channel (Fox News).

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink
  20. Wildwood wrote:

    I have been on sites similar to this for several decades now and the “right” has more vitriol and hatred for the left than any I have seen from the “left”. In fact I was recently told I was stupid and hated by a very “sweet” woman on another site.

    Forgive us if we don’t want all the things we have achieved to be destroyed. I live on my Social Security so forgive me if I’m worried about that disappearing. I depend on Medicare, so forgive me if I’m alarmed that it will be dismantled. I’m a women, so forgive me if I am tired of the sexism that is cropping back up as acceptable behavior, that Roe V Wade is in danger, that the president elected is facing charges of groping and child rape. This is a major disaster for one main reason. The Supreme Court. I hope those old farts can hold on a few more years. Prop them in the corner and let them take their naps, but do not let them retire.

    I will take as long as I like to absorb, what might possibly be the worst choice in history by the voters of this country. Forgive me if I’m mad that this is the second time we have been cheated out of the president we chose. The Supreme Court picked one and the FBI, Putin, and the media, picked the other.

    Trump might be the president, but I don’t have to acknowledge him as my president. I refuse to take responsibility for the possible dismantling of the EPA, the building of a wall, Social Security and Medicare going the way of the dodo bird, abortion rights being destroyed, and the country being turned over the religious right and to corporate America. I have never used marijuana and probably never will since my state is not enlightened enough to make it legal, but I think it would be a nice pleasant way to spend my final years in a haze of “I don’t give a damn.” But without it, I do give a damn and I’m furious, and it will take me some time to get over it. We all mourn on our own timetable and mine is evidently too long for some of you, but that’s just too damned bad.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  21. Hassan wrote:

    WILDWOOD, whining will not help, apparently if same number of people that voted Obama in 2012 had bothered to show up, you would have not ended in this situation.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  22. ebdoug wrote:

    My family goes back 400 years before the Pilgrims landed in the north. This man would not have been tolerated by anyone. Electoral vote has a reassuring paragraph about what it takes to Impeach someone. Apparently anything. After all they tried it with something ridiculous Bill Clinton did. Had nothing to do with his governing. I think that both side of the aisle are waiting for a mistake by the misogynist, he’ll be out and Pence will be in. Pence is experienced even if he has far out views. Kasich supposedly would not take the V.P. position as Trump said to him “you can handle the foreign and domestic policies.” Excuse me?

    The greatest threat to this country (and earth) is global warming. It only took 100 years of cars to destroy our climate. As mentioned no one brought this up in the election. Washington, Oregon, California better remember that succession is “much ado about nothing” because by 2040 if the temperature goes up two degrees, they are going under. East coast is going under earlier than 2040. (Sandy, N.C. during Matthew) Hollywood, Fl in nine years. Each gallon of fuel used causes 4 gallons of glacial melt. Take the heat from inside the earth, add it to the atmosphere, guess what folks? The states are all going to turn purple as people move inland. Might as well have popular vote as the electoral vote will mean nothing. Hawaii already having problems. Don’t forget the Bering strait used to be a walkway to/from Russia. The Alaskans will need to move uphill into the peaks.

    Obama might have increased secrecy As Hassan says, but he also increased our wind, water, and solar powers.

    I live where it is cool. I ran air conditioning all last summer adding to the heat of the atmosphere. I had Heat exhaustion at 80 degrees no less.

    Ironic that the global initiatives met in Paris where all flew in, adding to the heat of the planet when all could have been done by satellite meeting on-line.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink
  23. Jonah wrote:

    Regarding secession, i think its very silly for CA to even consider it and run away and hide from the 1st sign of trouble. I hope the idea gets squashed hard. That said, for those who say the dem’s behavior is worse than the republicans, keep in mind Texas wanted to secede in 2013 despite Obama winning both the popular vote and the electoral college

    I have some sympathy for the sentiment to secede or even protest given that it looks like HRC will win the popular vote by a reasonable margin.

    However the election is done with it and if democrats want a unified nation the next time a democrat wins they should pledge to support the president but at the same be determined to be ready to oppose policies that would worsen racism, climate change, education. And I hope that those who voted for Trump keep in mind exactly what he did during the campaign, sow hatred and racism, and make sure they do what they can to help those who are going to suffer from it. Or if they don’t care about it then they have no right to complain when others call them out.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  24. Wildwood wrote:

    Hassan, I’m not whining, I’m pissed. I’m allowed to feel whatever I need to get through this. Everyone processes things differently and and on their own schedule, so for me, someone telling me my feelings are invalid or have gone on too long makes me more angry.

    Anger is all I have right now. We just elected a man with no morals or ethics who was supported by both the military and the police, so who’s to say whether they will obey him or the laws of the land.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  25. Redjon wrote:

    I’m pretty sure California would have no more need of an official language than the U.S., which has none.

    Monday, November 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  26. Infidel753 wrote:

    Such an extreme measure should not be contemplated except in an extreme situation, but depending on how Trump’s Presidency unfolds, we may be moving in that direction.

    My feeling is that the liberal and conservative elements in the US are becoming so different in beliefs and culture that we are less and less one nation and more and more like two distinct people sharing the same territory, like Belgium.

    A few days ago, I also wrote about a related concept:

    Monday, November 14, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
  27. Catman wrote:

    It is certainly as crazy as it sounds. California’s size economically is meaningless. Can California raise an army that can defeat or, at the very least, hold out against the US army? No. Thus, this is silly.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

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