It’s easy to look at the results of this past election with a real and grim sense of foreboding. America has voted in the worst sort of incompetent to ever occupy the Oval Office. Any thinking person with moderate intelligence can realize there is no scenario where this could possibly end well.
But, for Californians at the very least, there is one scenario that works well.
Independence. True and unequivocal independence. Freedom for our millions of citizens. Once the citizens of California have seen the continual bombardment of our freedoms and civic culture from that man in Washington, they will recognize that the United States is nothing more than a shattered ghost of a democracy without future promise. Now that America has made its fateful and ultimately disastrous choice, let’s think of the possibilities for an independent California.
Imagine the Golden State becoming the Golden Country. A California where Sacramento (or perhaps, a new capitol city), and not Washington D.C—a dishonored city full of lobbyists and small-minded Senators from economically irresponsible states—calls the final shots.
Think of the billions of dollars that could be spent on schools, the environment, and industry, instead of global warfare and corporate cronyism. Think of a place where a government leads a humanitarian intervention to give food and medicine to a less fortunate land, instead of using the same term as a flimsy cover to occupy some oil fields with armed force. Think of a land that has a small and dedicated military that uses force as a very last resort, instead of a bloated defense bureaucracy that gives away trillions to a few firms, and leaves its own veterans on the streets, to forage through garbage for food and to beg for shelter and medical care.
Think of a place that keeps George Washington’s dream of a neutral and fair republic on the global scene, instead of one that is constantly using lives and money to maintain hegemony and a loose system of empire. Think of a nation state that trades with all with favor towards none, and who is so respected in the world that we live up to the ideal “city on a hill”, as referred to in the speeches of Kennedy and Reagan.
Think of a place that can end systemic police brutality, where law enforcement is seen as our guardian instead of our abuser, and where the war on drugs is a thoughtful exercise in helping the addicted instead of an exercise in corporate greed and the wholesale destruction of those in poverty. In fact, think of a country that wants to end true poverty.
Think of a country that has the best of American values, and who represents the virtues that so many Americans have died for in the past. Think of California as the new America, one that understands the American Revolution, the sacrifice of the Civil War, and the need to fight in the Second World War. Think of California as the lifeboat for everything the old America once represented.
Think of an independent California.