Whither California?

15252554_10211469045111916_230177607446553015_oYesterday as we wrapped up Thanksgiving weekend, I was channeling my Dad and doing the most My Dad thing I could think of, we bundled up two of the kids and we headed up to the mountains. Most of you know that I was raised in Colorado and Utah. While I am and will always be a sailor and have a love for the ocean that rivals that of any human relationship I have, there is something still special about the mountains in my heart.

Especially during the winter. I love the snow. The muted quiet and the cold. It brings back so many wonderful memories of times and places and people. And it makes new ones with my son and my wife and my new family.

California is such a beautiful State. I have travelled to forty-seven of the fifty, lacking only Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (don’t worry, plans are under consideration). In no other State is there the beauty and diversity of activity that there is here. In just a couple of hours I can go from the top of the Sierra’s to the shores of the Pacific. In a few more I can go from the Redwoods to Malibu.

There is every sport imaginable, every leisure activity anyone could ever want.

And over the past few days, I have spoken with at least three different people who are leaving the State.

There are any number of reasons why people are leaving. High taxes, the death of the California Middle Class, gunpocalypse, attacks on free speech and religion, even #Calexit. The list goes on and on. Many California expats find their way to Texas, which complains that even California conservatives are turning their State blue.

I came here eighteen years ago, literally arriving on my birthday. And I quickly found myself adapting and adopting this place. When people ask me where I am from, I say, with pride, California. And yet, we too are leaving.

In our case, it’s not losing the fight that is driving us out, it’s family and the need to be closer to the next generation of our family. So by the end of the summer, we too will have left the Golden State for the soggy PACNORWEST, where I spent nearly a decade when I was in the Navy.

What happened? Why did California, once a bastion of the political right, become so politically left which didn’t just win the battle, but start to literally drive out those who don’t support the ideals of the left? The answer is actually surprisingly simple, immigration. And not just racial demographics, by the by, although that is certainly a major factor. But it’s more along the lines of ideological immigration. There is a lesson here about both balance and practicality, but that time for that lesson is long past. With the birth of the Peoples Demokratick Republick of Kalifornia, the hope for a truer representation of what a republican form of government is supposed to be on a State level fades faster than a sunset over Venice Beach.

When did it start? That is also surprising easy to pinpoint. The date was late November, 1941. A the nation lurched towards World War II, California was a much different place. Of course, so was the entire country and the world, but for the moment, California itself had some unique things going for it.

First of all, it was in late November of 1941 that the OFFICIAL beginning of the State of Jefferson folks announced their plan to secede from California and Oregon and form their own State. Frankly, they had a better chance of success then than they do today in which they have precisely zero chance of success. But even then there were those for whom the freedoms and opportunity of California were still being interfered with and who felt that there was a lack of representation in Sacramento. Lack enough that they wanted and held a real desire to break away.

On that same day in late November 1941, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a California law which strongly limited domestic immigration into the State. That’s correct, domestic immigration. Until 1941, unless you lacked means or if you were what California classified as “indigent,” you could not come to California. This applied even to family members. So, for example, if your brother in law in Texas was flat broke, busted and without means of supporting himself, and your wife convinced you to drive to Texas, pick him up and bring him to live with you in California, you could be, and in this case were charged with, the crime of bringing in an indigent person into California and you could be sentenced to six months in the local jail. It was a reactionary law, often referred to as an “Anti-Okie” law, which tried to “protect” California from an influx of poor Americans who thought that California could offer them a better life and a better chance.

The Supreme Court – rightly so – struck down the laws as violation of the Constitution, specifically the Commerce Clause, meaning that only Congress could theoretically limit such migration. The Court never really addressed the Constitutionality of that idea, but most observers hold that would also be found un-Constitutional. In any case, California’s law was down, and a second flood of domestic immigration began, no longer limited by means and money. Of course the War would bring in hundreds of thousands if not millions of workers and military personnel, many of whom stayed when the war ended.

And over the years, the immigration of ideas which found “tolerance” and acceptance in the larger metropolitan areas of the State took root. With the change in representation to favor larger population centers rather than pure voters, the balance of power shifted to the urban mercantile elite, exactly as has happened throughout our history across the nation. The biggest single divide in the entire country – and in California – isn’t race or even money, it’s urban versus “country” although even that term isn’t exactly accurate. This fight has gone on for more than two hundred years and was the surprise of the century when the urban side forgot it in the 2016 Presidential election.

But I can assure you that just as California has done to insure that the country folk never regain any influence or power, on the national level moves and plans are afoot to Californiaize the nation.

So where we will all go then? There isn’t going to be a State of Jefferson, but will there still be a State where the ideals of republican government will hold sway? Or will the entire nation go the way of California?



Posted on November 28, 2016, in 2016 Presidential, American, Article I, Constitution, Economy, Elections, History, Jobs, Supreme Court, WWII and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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