Fred LaSor: ‘Let ‘em go,’ they said
December 23, 2016
The same people who were lecturing American voters just before the election about how we must respect the results of the vote and accept Hillary as our President, (which they were sure would be the case) have now changed their mind. Not only have they changed their mind, they're calling for re-writing election law so the popular vote — not the Electoral College — decides the election and Hillary is declared the winner.
Hillary's heaviest vote turnout came from the southern quarter of California, including formerly conservative San Bernardino and Orange Counties, and a thin strip of coastal counties extending north from that southern wedge almost to the Oregon border. Looking at the demographics of the Hillary win, we can infer a large number of immigrants in the southern part of the state are voting as if they live in the former Alta California, while the coastal strip from there north represents the wealthy elite of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Marin County. Hillary country is essentially everything west of the San Andreas Fault, plus San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Imperial Counties. It certainly contains much of California's wealth, and most of her liberal voters.
Since the election, political activists in California are said to be contemplating an effort for that state to secede from the Union, according to a Nov. 29 Los Angeles Times' article written by Michael Hiltzik. (Several friends at lunch this week said "let 'em go!" when I reported this news).
In his LA Times article, Hiltzik points out the Golden State's gross domestic product (GDP) would rank it No. 6 in the world, right between Great Britain and France, while the outcome of the November 8 election shows how politically divergent the state is from the other 49 states. All of Hillary's approximately two million vote plurality — all of it and more — can be accounted for from our neighbor to the west. Let that sink in for a moment.
This is not, of course, the first time one or more states has tried to break away from our republic. The Civil War was the biggest example, and that cost the nation 620,000 dead and resulted in a philosophical rift that's still not entirely healed more than 150 years later.
Nor is it the first time Californians have talked about changing their boundaries, dividing their state into two or more parts, or leaving the Union. Golden Staters who think about such things proudly believe their state is at the cutting edge of intellectual, cultural and technological developments in the nation. And it's indisputable residents of that state stand out in the development of ingenious information technology, the most amazing aviation and space developments, enormous richness and variety of agricultural harvests, a thriving film and entertainment industry, and progressive social and political agendas.
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Calling it progressive, though isn't to say it's predictive of the future path of humankind or even of America. In fact the recent election demonstrates just how large a portion of our nation rejects California's vision.
But if they really believe they're the wave of the future, California should stop talking secession and try to show us their influence by changing the way America votes. That would be the real measure of their influence, first of all to accept the Electoral College outcome, then ultimately to influence the rest of the country to elect Democrats to state and national office. Picking up your marbles and walking away is for losers. Staying in the game is the true measure of your confidence in the correctness of your position.
Fred LaSor lives in Minden, where he follows domestic and international political developments.