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The Madera Tribune

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Calexit folly on full display at Oroville

February 18, 2017

With signatures being gathered for the Yes California, or “Calexit” initiative, the idea of California becoming an independent nation of its own in 2019 has started to gain some traction. In the most recent Reuters/Ipsos pol, 32 percent of those surveyed, or nearly one in three people, supported California’s withdrawal from the United States.


“In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with California values,” Yescalifornia.org, the official website of the campaign reads. “And our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children.”


It is the opinion of the Calexit campaign, therefore, that the United States is holding the Golden State behind, when by itself, it has the sixth-largest economy in the world, and more people than any other state. The federal government, and the country at large, is holding us back, so why shouldn’t we pursue our best interests as a republic of our own?


The counterargument to Calexit was made this week, not by an activist or a pundit, but by Mother Nature.


As the spillway to the Oroville Dam’s takes damage structural damage by the heavy rainfall that came early this month, the evacuations of more than 180,000 people have been made necessary. The lives and the livelihoods of thousands of Californians are now at stake, and in the crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown has turned to the Trump Administration for federal aid in fixing the dam and battling an all-out failure of the tallest dam in America.


As it turns out, California did not have the money needed to fix the dam’s spillways. Being more than $450 billion in debt can have that effect. In this crisis, however, we have seen the hypocrisy of the Calexit movement in full display.


As much as Yes California wishes to espouse the size of its economy, and say that America holds California back, and it detrimental, California still very much needs the United States. And just like a college freshman who says he’s independent, but hits up his parents for money when he blows his budget, California’s secessionists believe they’re fine on their own, but aren’t too proud to beg for FEMA’s assistance when their rainy day funds dry up.


California’s differences with the United States may be drastic, even irreconcilable, but until this state can fix its own problems, and work on its own infrastructure, a divorce from the nation is nothing but folly.

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