Tucker Carlson of Fox News recently interviewed Shankar Singam, a campaigner for CalExit, the move to get California to secede from the United States. It seemed like a joke, but Singam was serious. Carlson asked a number of obvious questions and Singam had no plausible answers.
Carlson: Would you grant citizenship to illegals?
Singam: We would have a much faster path to legalization. (No details given, no denial that citizenship would be granted.)
Carlson: What about all the land the Federal government owns in California, what about the military bases? Would you allow a foreign military in your country?
Singam: We would let them stay. We could lease the bases. (He’s proposing leasing land to the Federal government that the Federal government already owns!)
Carlson pointed out that thousands of middle class citizens have left and are leaving California for states with lower taxes and less onerous regulations. This was going to result in a state that looks like Mexico; a few very rich people, a large population of poor people, and no middle class. Singam thought that was good; it would make room for the next wave of immigrants. Also, Singam opined that those leaving California would take their California values with them to Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, wherever. He apparently didn’t realize that they’re leaving because they don’t like the California economic and regulatory environment. Carlson didn’t question him on how California, with a reduced tax base, would deal with its monumental welfare costs and grossly underfunded public employee and teacher pensions, underfunded by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Mr. Singam did not take into account that even if he gets 585,000 signatures on his petition, that doesn’t mean that the millions of Californians that live here want to secede. Liberals who live along the coast from Los Angeles to Marin County don’t represent the middle of the state, which is overwhelmingly conservative. Those are the people who raise our food and are highly likely to try to find a friendlier state. I personally found it ridiculous for a person to want all Californians to secede from the United States of America.
Mr. Singam has not considered who is going to defend us from other countries that could invade our small country. The United States would not have a responsibility to defend California from foreign invaders.
Mr. Singam said the economy of California is the fifth largest in the world. I do not think the wealthy would remain. With them gone, who is going to pay for anything? As it is, we aren’t able to meet our present debts. How are we going to manage without a robust tax base, which the wealthy provide?
Mr. Singam is happy that the upper middle class is leaving. He said this gave the poor an opportunity to come up. Who is going to teach these people skills to make up for the people who are leaving? Businesses and wealth do not grow instantly. Who is going to feed these people while they are learning a skill? Some will never learn a skill. In California we have a tremendously large population that depends on the government to feed them and house them. Who is going to feed and house these people if the leaders of the California communities are gone?
Mr. Singam gave as a reason for seceding from the union that we were a different culture, and not appreciated by other states. We are not that different in our values from the other states. The only difference, like in other states, is the fact that we are a beach state. Other beach states have the same values as we do. We are less formal. Like other states, we inherently show the cultural tapestry inherited from those who colonized the state, just as other states show the influence of the people who colonized those areas. I feel that when Mr. Singam made negative comments about California, comments that were supposedly being made by other people in other states, he was really talking about himself. Yes, people find people from other states different, and we all enjoy the differences that make us the United States of America.
I got the impression that Mr. Singam sees himself as President of The Peoples Republic of California, and he didn’t look very promising. He didn’t have any answers. To me, his answers sounded childishly thought out and irresponsible. The thing for Mr. Singam to remember is that we Californians will never be a banana republic with a dictator telling the rest of us what to do.
Probably due to a lack of time, if not the intelligence of his interviewee, Carlson didn’t address the constitutional issue. Under Federal constitutional law, the secession of any state is illegal. This was settled by the U. S. Supreme Court in Texas vs. White in 1869. “The union between Texas and the other states was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original states.” In short, SCOTUS said a state cannot secede.