You've probably had a few of these conversations in the last week in which at least one Californian says, referring to states that went red this election, "Well, we could just stop sending them iPhones and shut off their Gmail and tell them to grow their own carrots and strawberries and almonds. See how they feel then." It is a gut reaction to the nausea and pain many of us are experiencing, and one I empathize with, but sadly the #CalExit movement is in all likelihood just going to be a symbolic one, because without a civil war or a constitutional amendment, it isn't actually possible to secede. Nevertheless, a group calling themselves the Yes California Independence Campaign has submitted a petition that they hope will result in a 2018 ballot measure to authorize a secession vote, which would then take place in 2019, as the Associated Press reports.
The group's vice-president and co-founder, Marcus Ruiz Evans, has been an advocate for secession for a while now, and wrote a self-published book laying out his arguments in 2012 titled California's Next Century. He suggests that because California receives less in federal funding than its taxpayers pay in to federal coffers it should become an independent nation-state that could serve as a global negotiations hub, like the Switzerland for a new century. (But as one reviewer points out, he may not be the sharpest student of history, at one point suggesting that President Obama granted statehood to West Virginia.)
Evans tells the LA Times that the group had been planning to wait for a later election to make their push, but "We’re doing it now because of all of the overwhelming attention" that #CalExit was getting in the wake of Trump's victory. He also tells the paper they already have 13,000 volunteers signed up to help gather signatures for their petition.
In order to successfully secede without a civil war, California would have to get the support of 38 states to ratify a constitutional amendment, and I think we can all acknowledge that will never happen. And don't we all think it seems childish and dumb every time someone in Alabama says they're going to secede, over gay marriage or whathaveyou? And you know Alabama declared secession ahead of the Civil War all because of the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln and the fear that freed slaves were going to rape "our wives and daughters"?
The other moonshot being talked about in the news today is the Hamilton Electors, a movement started by two Democratic electors in two blue states, Washington and Colorado, calling on their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to cast votes for someone other than Donald Trump on December 19 they're even pushing to allow for a Republican replacement, not Hillary Clinton, as a compromise in this "emergency." They will, however, need to convince 37 electors in red states to go along with this plan, and electors are bound by law in many of those states to vote the way of the popular vote, or face fines or other punishments, such as simply being replaced as an elector.
Previously: Trump's Election Inspires #Calexit Movement [LAist]