A leader for the CalExit movement told Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson that California is not part of the United States and it’s time to formalize that reality.
“This is California. We’re not the United States. Our values are different,” said Shankar Singram, vice president of the California Freedom Coalition. “We’re fundamentally different in how we act and speak and think about the world globally. Whether it has to do with war, the climate, the environment. We’re just a different state.”
He added, “We are going to do things that are beneficial for our state, and we disregard what the United States thinks or even their laws,” pointing to sanctuary cities and marijuana laws as examples where California is currently defying the feds.
As reported by Western Journalism, Californians may soon get the opportunity to vote to secede. The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, issued an official ballot measure title last week allowing CalExit supporters to start gathering the 585,000 signatures needed to place the matter before California voters in 2018.
“The initiative [titled ‘California Autonomy From Federal Government’] would form a commission to recommend avenues for California to pursue its independence and delete part of the state constitution that says it is an inseparable part of the U.S. The measure would also instruct the governor and California congressional delegation to negotiate more autonomy for the state,” according to the Associated Press.
“You’re breaking up the United States, that’s your goal.” Carlson said to Singram.
“We’re still here. We’re still trading with each other, communicating with each other. Families are still going to see each other. It’s not as if we’re moving millions of miles away,” Singram said.
Carlson pointed out that even if Californians vote for independence, it does not have the unilateral authority to leave the country. It must be approved by the other states through the amendment process.
“It’s not actually up to California. It’s up to the rest of the states whether California can really leave the union, and this could quite easily turn into conflict,” said the Fox News host. “It did in the 1860s when South Carolina tried it.”
Singram believes the other states would likely be happy to see California go.
“Do the rest of the states really love California? From what I’ve been hearing, we’re snowflakes and we’re hippies. We’re in huge debt crisis,” Singram said.
Marcus Ruiz Evans, a spokesman for the CalExit initiative, said in January that Donald Trump’s election has greatly fueled his group’s cause, which dates back more than two years.
“If California votes were taken away, Trump won the popular election,” said Evans. “So what kind of people elect a man like that? The answer: not Californians.”
“So we’re basically here to tell people that ‘I know that California officials are telling you that they’re going to protect you, but in fact in federalism, the federal government, overrules state law,” he added. “There is going to be a limit to what they can do.”
Evans told reporters the Supreme Court has already recognized the right of states to secede in Texas v. White (1869), though the justices actually held states do not have the right to secede unilaterally.
His group, Yes California, has 20,000 followers on Twitter and over 40,000 likes on Facebook.
Both Evans and Singram argue that California, as the 5th largest economy in the world, will do just fine on its own.
At $2.6 trillion, the Golden State’s economy dwarfs the GDP’s of its sister states. Its closest rival is Texas with a GDP of approximately $1.6 trillion.
California also has the largest population by far of any state with 39 million (or 12 percent of the United States), with Texas second at 28 million, followed by Florida and New York, each with approximately 20 million.
CalExit supporters have 180 days to collect the required 585,000 signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot in 2018.