West Coast to Trump: It’s time for a divorce

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tags: secession, Trump, Calexit



Driving from Seattle to southern California, one is reminded of the ongoing tectonic shifts in the landscape that have shaped us — rippled hills, volcanoes and faults line the way. Such is life on the Pacific Coast. But it’s the reactivated political fault lines we should pay attention to.

Secession is in the air on the West Coast. In Washington, several legislators east of the Cascades this legislative session submitted their periodic, go-nowhere proposal to break the state in two, making the new state of Liberty.

In southern Oregon and Northern California, there is the longtime movement to create the so-called State of Jefferson, notably visible on a hay barn I-5 sign south of Yreka and on Oregon’s Jefferson Public Radio emanating from the car radio. Those are the kind of right-wing, leave-me-alone movements that have typically marked the secession efforts.

And in what could be the political equivalent of the seismic Big One, there have been multiple recent proposals for California to secede or break up, a movement known as Calexit. A so-called Yes California campaign — which carried some progressive overtones — had until this month been seeking a ballot measure to get voter approval in 2018 for a plebiscite the following spring on making California an independent country. Boosters of the measure even opened a California “embassy” in Moscow. However, their Moscow “ambassador” has dropped the effort to stay in Russia. Yes California’s vice president has told The New York Times that a new secession campaign — with a new petition and backed by a revamped pro-secession group called the California Freedom Coalition — will be unveiled early next month. Secession is never without bumps, but it is bouncing along.





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