California really has what it takes to secede

Without doubt, California’s many minority Republicans — assuming they didn’t all flock to Texas — would push at once to formally institutionalize decentralized government. A quick look at November’s county-level electoral map underscores how strong resistance remains in the far north and Central Valley to Democratic policies. Even many conservatives and libertarians in counties that voted for Hillary Clinton, such as traditionally Republican Orange County, would find it hard to endure life under direct rule from Sacramento.

Indeed, California liberals, as soon as they’re unshackled from Washington, could conceivably take a sharp turn toward illiberal left progressivism, pushing for draconian limitations on guns, smoking, speech, and traditional private property rights. Yet doing so would aggravate regional factionalism and stoke reactionary politics on the right. (California gun sales have already gone through the roof.) It’s easy to envision the reasonable middle of politics clearing out as Golden Staters, not always immune to the appeal of cults and fantasies, rushed toward militant extremes.

With no blueprint to borrow from the United States for making states entirely from scratch, Californians would likely have to resort to the initiative process, where their judgment is notoriously questionable, to hammer out how many states, if any, the Second Bear Republic would include and where exactly their borders would be drawn.

In the alternative, of course, they could fight a civil war.