Surprisingly enough not everyone has heard of the Six Californias initiative. It is especially shocking because it stands a very good chance of making it to the ballot this fall. The idea which was created in Silicon Valley by Tim Draper, a noted technology venture capitalist, is gaining momentum throughout the state. The proposal would split California up into six new states. Jefferson (far North), North California (Sacramento region), Silicon Valley, Central California, West California, and South California would be the new states in this proposal.
The idea behind the initiative is simple. California is currently failing miserably and if it were its own Nation it would be the 8th largest economy in the world. That means the 8th largest economy in the world is failing and doing so in grand fashion. Let that sink in a bit. This proposal seeks to create smaller states with more localized governments that can better respond to the needs of their regions.
It’s an idea that is very attractive, especially to those in the new states of Silicon Valley, Central California, Jefferson, and South California. Some people however have been caught off guard by the idea of six states rather than just two or three, but the numbers make good sense at six. For example if you extracted Central California and compared it to the current 50 states it would rank 27th in total population, 30th in total income and 29th in Median Household Income. It would also continue to be the Nation’s agricultural leader.
What reason then can any American use to say that they have less right to be a state than do the people of Oklahoma, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kansas, West Virginia, or the remaining 40% of states they out rank?
The truth is that there is no legitimate reason for anyone to oppose this proposition, except that it might change everything. Six new states could cause the dawn of a new political age in the US. Here are four reasons why it might do just that.
A shift in the Electoral vote: Currently California has 55 electoral votes, all of which go almost automatically to the democratic presidential nominee in each election. With the split the new states of Central California, Jefferson, and South California would all be in play for the Republican candidates. That could be roughly 30 electoral votes, which is an election changer.
A foothold for a third party: The US has long been a two political party Nation. Yes, there are and have been other parties, but until the recent strengthening of the Libertarian movement none have been taken seriously. The six new states would provide the Libertarian party with two prime targets. It is no surprise that the people of Jefferson could find a great relationship with Libertarian leaders. They simply want as little government as possible. They don’t want to pay taxes or have government involved in their businesses or personal lives.
The unknown factor though would be the state of Silicon Valley. In their perfect world they would blend conservative financial principals with liberal social and environmental ones. The answer for that is Libertarianism. The only exception to this otherwise near perfect marriage would be gun rights. The strong democratic base in Silicon Valley would like to eliminate guns and the libertarian party would like to see them readily available to law abiding citizens. It would take some compromise but far less than either the Republicans or Democrats would be willing to offer. It would none the less provide a very good foothold for the growth of a legitimate third party in the United States.
A case study for political philosophies: We would all find out what happens when you allow people of similar ideologies to run with them. For example West California, the greater Los Angeles area, is very liberal. They would be free from the intrusions of other their former conservative counterparts to operate their new state in the most liberal fashion they can construct. Likewise Central California is very conservative and it would become a proving ground for conservative economic and social principals. Could that new state turn around its troubled economy with the freedom to run with a conservative ideology? Ask them and they will give you an emphatic Yes! We would likely see measurable results in a short amount of time because many of these new states are far less politically divided than other states in our Nation.
A test of our democracy: The United States prides itself on a government by the people and for the people. So what will happen when our people vote for a change of this scale? In order for California to be split it must be approved by the House and Senate. The question is will the democrats be willing to listen to the voice of the people and approve it knowing it will shift the electoral vote? Will the Republicans be willing to add 10 new members to the Senate knowing that at least 6 of them will likely be liberals? Will both of the two major parties scoff at the proposal because it could shift the political power of our country and give a foothold to a third party?
There is no question if this proposal is good for the people of the respective new states. California is on the road to bankruptcy and social unrest – something has to give. There is no denying that the residents of the new states have the same right to representation as do the rest of our nation’s citizens. To this point there has not even been a legitimate or logical counter to the proposal. The only thing being said is that the “powers that be” will never let this happen. What a sad reflection this would be on the state of our nation if that is the winning argument.
So then, why isn’t this being taken seriously?