That whole secession thing isn’t going very well for Catalonia or the Kurds in Iraq at the moment, but what about back here in the United States? Perhaps disaffected liberals should take their ball and go home, so to speak. That’s the point being made in an only partly humorous fashion by author Bill Mckibben at the Boston Globe this week. And if they do, Bill knows one thing for sure… it will be all Trump’s fault.
The author has a book coming out shortly which is fictional and deals with the idea of Vermont seceding from the nation. But in the real world, he’s once again raising the specter of California putting up a wall of their own and declaring their independence.
California is a long way from Washington — it points toward the Pacific, increasingly the planet’s center of gravity. It has the world’s fifth-largest economy — it’s essentially Germany, with a specialty in the fastest-growing industries and services on earth. Even before Trump, a third of Californians were secession-curious, and with good reason: Those 40 million people have the same number of senators as the 600,000 people in Vermont. They pay far more money to the federal government than they get back. And they get even less respect: Not only has the president not visited his most populous state, even his hyperactive Twitter account has barely acknowledged the most disastrous fires in its history. The problems California faces — climate change, perhaps above all — aren’t being addressed by Washington in any meaningful way; its ethnicities are increasingly the subject of scorn. Why would it put up with this forever?
Mckibben goes on to suggest that Vermont probably wouldn’t try it because its aging population wouldn’t give up their Social Security, but how about New York? Speaking as one of the residents of upstate, allow me to second this idea, provided we just split off New York City and leave the northern and western sections in the union.
The author then ups the ante and suggests that all of New England might want to split off as a group. I suppose they could just drop the “New” from the name and rejoin the old empire. I’d be sad to lose Maine, but we could probably get by without the rest of them.
All joking aside, Mckibben isn’t the first despondent liberal I’ve heard batting these ideas around. In fact, it’s becoming a rather popular theme in some corners on the left. But the idea of blaming Trump for a Calexit is humorous at best since the movement has been grinding along for many years now. This subject also serves as a reminder of the double standard we run into on the left whenever this idea comes up. You’ve no doubt noticed that liberals really hate the Confederacy and will go to any lengths to tear down statues and wipe that part of our history from the books. Their first complaint has to do with slavery of course, but that’s generally followed by a reminder that the South was attempting to illegally break up the nation. So the Confederacy was bad, okay? But if you remind these same people that Trump is the President and there’s nothing they can do about it, they seem to have no problem talking about splitting off some blue states so they can hide from the red, conservative tide.
We shouldn’t hold that against them, however. Think of the possibilities! We could stop shipping those huge quantities of water to California and New York City from the mountains. The new nation of California could return to its natural desert conditions and the Big Apple could start paying us a flat rate of a dollar a gallon. (I’m sure they can afford it.) The more I think about Mckibben’s idea, the better it’s sounding.