California – Over the years, there have been several secession efforts in California aimed away at breaking away from the U.S. government, including one that gained steam following Donald Trump’s election in 2016. So far, none have been successful, but a new declaration from rural communities are now seeking independence not from the U.S., but from California itself.
The State of New California declared its independence from the Golden State this week, citing Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence. “The current state of California has become governed by a tyranny, which rivals those expressed in the above documents,” the movement writes.
The founders of the new proposed state are committed to following the government’s rules.
“We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” said founder Tom Reed.
According to the group’s press release, “After years of over taxation, regulation, and mono party politics the State of California and many of it’s [sic] 58 Counties have become ungovernable.” They cite a decline in the quality of essential services, including “education, law enforcement, fire protection, transportation, housing, health care, taxation, voter rights, banking, state pension systems, prisons, state parks, water resource management, home ownership, infrastructure and many more.”
“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” said founder Robert Paul Preston.
The group asserts it is the “Duty of the People who are suffering the long train of abuses and usurpations at the hands of a tyrannical government to abolish and make New a Government by the People and for the People under GOD.”
Despite the fact that many of their grievances also apply to the U.S. government, the New California effort is only concerned with separating from the coastal urban regions of the state.
To be sure, the California government is highly corrupt and inefficient. To name just a few examples, the state legislature is overwhelmed by special interests, the debt stands at $283.3 billion as of last year, the government has imposed massive taxes on cannabis amid legalization, and agencies throughout the state have failed to represent the people, often siding with corporations that have wreaked havoc on communities and the environment.
Nevertheless, if escaping tyranny is the goal, remaining under the rule of U.S. government may not solve the problem. The newest effort does, however, highlight growing divisions within American society, whether between broad regions of the United States or other segments, such as rural versus urban demographics. These growing divides suggest centralized authority and governance is increasingly difficult to maintain, impractical, and often sows internal contempt.
Regardless, the New California proposal is in its earliest stages, and its organizers told CBS-Sacramento they won’t be prepared to start engaging with the state legislature for another ten to eighteen months. They would need the approval of both the California and U.S. governments and are currently working to gain the interest of at least 40 counties.
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