This year it’s en vogue to assume that the success of California rests on its destruction. Tim Draper’s foolish Cal3 initiative claimed that California has become too unwieldy to be successfully governed. While surely large in terms of population and economy, one wonders how Draper believes nations greater in both, like Germany and Japan, manage not to collapse into chaos. However, to ask the question about these nations is to answer it.

Recently, the sadly all too often cartoon-ish public face of the California Independence Movement has unilaterally declared that the solution to the California Question is an “autonomous Native American nation” made up of all land currently controlled by the federal government. Since the voters in these regions tend to be more conservative than coastal and urban areas—although there is also a fair amount of federal land in places like the Bay Area and Los Angeles county—it is claimed this will act as a “buffer zone” between the United States and an independent California. By their own admission, historically ill-treated First Nations become pawns in a geopolitical game. Whether this organization bothered to solicit support or even comments from any members of the diverse 110 federally recognized tribes within California, or from other residents of these areas, I don’t know. But one can guess.

Finally, the poisonous holy war of federal politics has turned Californians against each other. Instead of seeking compromise and cooperation—which become increasingly unimportant in our de facto one party state—we now all see ourselves as loyal foot soldiers to political parties, willing to sacrifice our interests to battles being waged 2500 miles away. California loses when the minds of voters become distracted by a political circus in which neither party truly cares about our home and our people, only their own power.

No one seems to believe in California as a whole anymore, and no one seems willing to fight for it. Supposed supporters of California argue that the only solution is separation. The Cal3 initiative points out the myriad of problems that face California in education, housing, transportation, and cost of living; without a modicum of evidence or argument, it claims that division will, like a magic wand, correct these problems. It is noble in its stated desires, flawed in its solution. The problem is not California; the problem is California politics.

What California needs and deserves is a party that will unreservedly and exclusively fight for our interests. What California needs is genuine government reform which will provide greater resources of power at the county and local level, away from Sacramento, while still safeguarding our shared resources, rights, and environment. What California needs is to recognize our unique culture and historical heritage, take pride in our accomplishments, acknowledge, and if possible correct, our injustices. What California needs is freedom, autonomy, and, yes, one day independence. What California needs is the California National Party.

Because the media has largely focused on the inane and absurd elements of the Independence movement, the CNP suffers when other groups vocally proclaim nonsense policies that make us all appear equally rash, uninformed, even dangerous. The Native Nation proposal is such a proclamation. Like the current Sacramento government, it dictates the lives of Californians without giving them a real voice; it divides us along political lines instead of uniting us; and perhaps worst of all, it uses suffering and historic injustice for cheap publicity.

The need for all of us to work for our home is too important for the California National Party to be buffaloed by other groups seeking to define the California narrative. We as a party call on every Californian to begin thinking of our land and people as united. If diversity is to be something more than a buzzword, it means all ethnicities, genders, and political orientations. We can recognize our mutual rights as citizens and neighbors while respecting our differences in world view and policy. Even those skeptical of independence can agree that our solutions begin here at home if we are willing to fight for them. This fight begins not by dividing us but by, in our thoughts and actions, keeping California one.

Michael Loebs
Chapter Coordinator – North