California will try to separate

"Calexit" : Sunny separatists: Caliphons strive for independence

Everything is better in California: the weather, the wine, the ocean. California has Hollywood, Silicon Valley, more billionaires than any other US state and, as an independent state, would be the sixth largest economy in the world. And California is fed up with the rest of the US - at least if you can believe the various groups that advocate separating the West Coast state from the rest of America. Brexit, but even more so the entry of right-wing populist Donald Trump into the White House is fueling the longing of the liberal Californians for the "Calexit". California, the sunny separatists believe, is the better America. And would be better off without the rest of the US.

The "National Party of California" (CNP) is one of the groups that campaigns for the independence of the state with its almost 40 million people. "Donald Trump's election victory made it clear to millions of Californians how fundamentally we differ politically and socially from the vast majority of Americans," said the party's website. This weekend, the separatists invite you to their party conference in Santa Monica, where CNP boss Theo Slater wants to explain his strategy, which is based on the peaceful separatist movements in Scotland and Catalonia.

According to opinion polls, around a third of all Californians are currently in favor of the split. This is far from a majority, but much more than the 20 percent support that was registered a year ago. The reason for this has a name, as columnist Thomas Elias recently wrote in the newspaper "Napa Valley Register": "President Trump." In the election last November, Hillary Clinton received more than 61 percent of the vote in California, while Trump supported a good 31 percent had to be satisfied. The state's 55 electors went to Clinton, but that didn't do her any good in the end.

"Yes California"

The electoral system is one of the reasons for California's displeasure. Although California has more residents than all of Canada, a handful of conservative southern states have as much power in determining the president as the sun state on the west coast. The financial burden sharing between rich and poor states is also causing displeasure. As an economic giant, California is a net contributor that has to feed smaller and much more conservative states - at least that's how the separatists see it. Why should California tax dollars be spent on the construction of Trump's wall on the border with Mexico, the CNP asks.

Yes California is another group advocating a divorce between California and the rest of the US. The initiative wants to call a referendum on the detachment next year and has to collect almost 600,000 signatures by the end of July if it wants to implement its project. A diplomatic mission for the future new state has already been opened: “Yes California” boss Louis Marinelli opened an “Embassy of the Independent Republic of California” in Moscow in December.

In California itself, 8,000 volunteers are meanwhile doing “Yes California” to convince their fellow citizens, but whether the target can be achieved is uncertain. There have been many attempts to make California a state of its own. All failed.

An indissoluble connection between the states

Even if “Yes California” is successful and the Californians vote for independence in the coming year, it is by no means certain that the way to state independence will then be free. Not only memories of the bloody civil war from 1861 to 1865 make separatism a taboo for many Americans. Even the possibility of a peaceful detachment of a state from the Union is hotly disputed. The US Constitutional Court ruled in 1869 that the United States was an inextricable bond between the states - but "Calexit" supporters argue that the ruling merely prohibits separation by military means.

In any case, the Californians are not alone with their thoughts of migration. In Texas, the state where the 1869 ruling was concerned, conservative groups are calling for secession because they do not want to accept homosexual rights. There is also rumbling in the small state of Vermont in Northeast America and in Hawaii.

The California nationalists are not deterred by their company's poor prospects of success. An independent, liberal California no longer has to be bossed around by right-wing "tyrants", wrote CNP spokesman Jay Rooney in an article for the news portal "Berkeleyside".

Any new outrage about Trump is grist to the separatists' mill. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently told the New York Times that he was grateful that the separation of individual states was so legally difficult - because a California republic would attract immigrants from the rest of the US: "If California became independent, it would stand up to immediately 280 million people at the door and wanted visas. "

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