• author
    • Tom McMasters-Stone

    • January 28, 2017 in Columnists

    CalExit — the People’s Republic (Democracy?) of California?

    There is a move afoot, yet again, for one of our states to leave the Union.

    Texas has gotten much attention in the previous eight years, threatening to secede because of the First Black Guy. Not much of a threat, methinks — good riddance!

    However, with the new Administration, the focus is now on California, the 6th largest economy in the world. In this case, the impetus is internal, brought about as we watched Trumpty Dumpty during the campaign, and now observing his first week — it is also external, as other states look at us, and seem to be willing to let us go.

    In all seriousness, I support it!

    Article V of the Constitution spells out the processes by which constitutional amendments can be proposed and ratified.

    To Propose Amendments

    In the Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate approve by a two-thirds Super majority, a joint resolution amending the Constitution. Amendments so approved do not require the signature of the POTUS and are sent directly to the states for ratification.


    Two-thirds of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments — although this method has never been used.

    To Ratify Amendments

    Three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it,


    Ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approve it. This method has been used only once — to ratify the 21st Amendment — repealing Prohibition.

    The SCOTUS has stated that ratification must be within “some reasonable time after the proposal.” Beginning with the 18th Amendment granting women the right to vote, it has been customary for Congress to set a definite period for ratification.

    Politically, what are the odds? Let’s take a look.

    We can assume that Oregon, Nevada and Arizona will vote no, because of the common borders. Let’s throw Washington in as well, and Hawaii. We can lose seven more states.

    The most likely no votes are in the Northeast, and/or among the original 13 colonies, out of a sense of history.

    The question is will the famous independent streak of New England come into play? Let’s hope so.

    Maine: yes. Vermont: yes. Massachusetts: yes. Connecticut: yes. New Hampshire: yes. Rhode Island: yes. New Jersey: yes

    New York: no. Too many corporate interests.

    Maryland: no. Virginia: no. Too much of a military and federal worker influence.

    Alaska: no. Illinois? Probably no.

    Everybody else? Yes.

    Russia/Putin? I think yes, of course — another Russian coup — but I am not sure.

    So, with those totals, it passes with a two-vote margin.

    At this point, we have the opportunity to improve on our former Constitution, which, of course, was framed with the Magna Carta in mind — from 1215 all the way to 1780!

    We also have a batch of elected officials in place with extensive experience, situated and qualified to shepherd us through the process successfully.

    Beware the military/industrial complex, Ike said. We already have term limits in place, and the Citizens United decision by SCOTUS will be cast aside.

    We have a better EPA in place, better worker safeguards, better veteran’s healthcare, Franchise Tax Board — and a clear path to a flat tax.

    The National Parks, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas? We keep them in exchange for deeding the military installations to the U.S.

    Our two U.S. senators become ambassadors to our former country and to Mexico. Canada, and the other countries, TBA. Probably our former representatives are the most likely source for them.

    Defense? Negotiable, but probably the most difficult obstacle to success, but I would presume that our anchor position on the west coast of the U.S. would drive a mutual-benefit defense treaty.

    It can be done, and it’s more within our grasp than ever, if I am allowed to let my prejudices show through.

    Prejudices? That may be inaccurate, since they are based on observation and experience.

    All the efforts to stifle Planned Parenthood, to stifle voting rights and voter registration. All the fear-mongering: the Muslims, the Hispanics — both the modern-day versions of the Jews and the Irish of days gone by. All the measuring of penis size through the possession of guns — and I say that as a liberal with almost a dozen guns. No AKs, though, or Mini-Macs.

    The denial of climate change, the prevalence of religion in politics, people wanting to shoot peaceful protestors.

    And, frankly, even the police officers are being viewed and treated unfairly. Most cops are good, conscientious people, and they are being tarred with the brush that should only be painting the few.

    Well, we’ll see. It can’t hurt, as long as it is done thoughtfully and carefully.

    E Unum Pluribi.

      • Maya Spier Stiles North

      • January 29, 2017 at 11:03 pm
      • Reply

      Cascadia. Just sayin’.

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