Proponents of splitting the State of California into two separate entities – California and New California – have declared independence, contending that the Golden State as it now exists is “ungovernable.”
According to USA Today, the state would be divided between rural and urban coastal California counties. It is the latter area, and the smaller, that dominates the state’s politics. It is not unlike a movement in Washington State to divide it into two states with the boundary being roughly along the crest of the Cascade Mountain range.
But the New California group is much farther along. In their declaration of independence the activists stated:
“The current state of California has become governed by a tyranny, which rivals those expressed in the above documents. Therefore the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, the Constitution as adapted in 1783 by the Congress of the United States of America, the Alta California Declaration of Independence of 1836, the Sonoma Proclamation of 1846, and the California State Constitution of 1848 Mandate the Right, the Responsibility, the Duty of the People who are suffering the long train of abuses and usurpations at the hands of a tyrannical government to abolish and make New a Government by the People and for the People under GOD.”
It is a sentiment that echoes similar conservative views all along the entire West Coast. The feeling is especially strong among gun owners, who are alarmed at the increasingly restrictive legislative proposals typically spearheaded by urban liberals in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Coastal state gun owners argue that all three state legislatures, controlled by Democrats, view the Second Amendment with contempt and want the right to keep and bear arms regulated like a government-granted privilege.
There is far more to the New California movement than gun rights. Taxation and land use are also major issues. Speaking to the CBS affiliate in Sacramento, New California movement vice chairman Robert Paul Preston explained, “Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California.”
According to USA Today, New California proponent acknowledge that their effort is “a long shot.” But it does illustrate the growing frustration that rural residents of West Coast states feel about the way their state governments have seemingly become increasingly distant in philosophy and dominated by a single party.