While California has become the center of the resistance to Trump, a number of Northern Californians are waging a resistance of their own: against California itself.
The breakaway state of Jefferson is a decades-old idea, but it has been revived in earnest in recent years by residents who say they are fed up with their voices being drowned out in Sacramento, where outspoken urban Democrats hold a vise grip on the state Legislature.
California is well-known as a “liberal,” “progressive” hotbed (although the classical liberals and progressives of the past – think Teddy Roosevelt – would probably find little common ground with today’s political Left). What is not as well-known is that Northern California is a very different place than the big coastal metropolises that most people think of when they think California.
The proposed State of Jefferson, as the breakaway region would be called, is not a new idea, dating back to the 1930s, but it has taken on new relevance, and new urgency, as the rest of California has slipped further down the slope of intrusive regulation, draconian gun-control, and making itself a “sanctuary” for illegal immigration. With regard to the latter, organizer Sally Raposa asks,
“Why are we allowing illegal aliens to come into our country? I mean, that’s an invasion. … It feels like our rights are being diminished and their rights are being exploited, actually, because the Democrats want votes and the Republicans want cheap workers.”
[A good illustration of why I don’t support either statist Democrats or corporatist Republicans: neither Big Government nor Big Business has the interests of ordinary citizens art heart. But that’s an aside…]
While representing a relatively small segment of California’s population, this article notes that if Jefferson became a state, it would have 1.7 million residents, a population bigger than 13 other states. That is not inconsequential. Jefferson supporters have an uphill battle, against entrenched opposition, but they’re not letting the odds get them down. As another organizer, Janet Chandler, notes,
“When we first started … people would say, ‘What’s Jefferson? … Now, they’re saying, ‘When are you going to get this done?'”
Short and lighthearted video clip asserting that “even if Jefferson isn’t a real state, it’s certainly a state of mind.” And a longer and more detailed & serious discussion of the State of Jefferson: “There are many reasons why we need to form a new state. Here are some of the most important ones.”
See also this article on the “ghost state” of Jefferson/