Culture Clash

Is the United States at peace with the current political conditions in Washington? Who can argue that it is when only 31% of National Adults approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as President and only 17% approve of the GOP’s healthcare bill? But is it just about Trump and the GOP? Protests occur weekly in opposition of the Trump/Pence regime. Americans carry signs that say “Not my President”. Is this because schools teach children that their President is compatible with Hitler or because the media assassinates real news? Perhaps there’s other reasons for the current uprising and civil unrest.

So many responses have arisen from the Trump-Russia scandal. An emergence of disdain for the FBI and other federal law enforcement officials is advancing, particularly in the state of Texas among Republicans. Recently, in a mock exercise where high school youth create and run their own government, the Texas Boys State voted to secede from the union. It was the first time in 80 years that the Texas Boys State legislature voted in favor of seceding. What does that mean in relation to the greater socio-political demographic?

California Values

Many states such as Hawaii, Texas, Oregon and Washington, to name a few, have displayed growing sentiments supporting secession from “Trump’s” America. However, in California this is not merely a sentiment nor a simulation. The California Freedom Coalition (CFC) submitted an initiative on May 19th 2017, with the intention of gaining greater autonomy from the fragmented and undemocratic U.S. Federal Government. What is most fascinating about the initiative is that its intention is to gain autonomy with or without a continued association with the United States. In addition, it also seeks to do so legally, peacefully and democratically by gaining 550, 000 signatures from California residents. Can it be done?

To say that it can’t is undeniably a ploy of shallow thought and lack of perspective. California is in every right capable of emerging as the world’s premier sovereign nation and democracy. California has shown the greatest resistance to… well everything that the US government has exacerbated with regards to war, immigration policy, reproductive/women’s and LGBTQ rights.

The measure, with few exceptions, prevents state and local law enforcement agencies and officers from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

It is home to the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, a non-profit research and educational organization developing medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. In contrast, the US government has spent one trillion to date in taxpayer dollars in support of the war on drugs, yet drug use is higher than ever and the violence associated with this war has cost thousands of lives, many of them innocent.

As the sixth largest economy in the world, California has deep economic and environmental interest in the development of international agreements to reduce carbon emissions. President Trump signed an executive order which retracts all federal agencies from acting on climate change, not to mention his withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Ireland’s former president, Mary Robinson, declared the decision made the US “a rogue state on the international stage.” In light of California being the most attractive place on Earth for Foreign Direct Investment, how can California’s association with the US continue to be mutually beneficial? If it ever was?

The Chief Economist of First Trust Advisors L.P., Brian Wesbury in his presentation at TEDx points out, the growth in the economy following the economic crisis of 2008 is a result of something fascinating: entrepreneurship. With that in mind, could California propel its economy forward despite marginal issues like immigration, health care, etc., by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in conjunction with autonomy? My response is, in a sound and principled democracy, where resources are managed intelligently…anything’s possible!

Global problems tackled in California

California loses billions of dollars every year to the Federal Government, approximately 100 billion according to point 18 of the CFC’s initiative. An additional 100 billion dollars utilized to reflect California values upon gaining autonomy…what would that look like? Personally, I can’t help but imagine the people and the environment thriving, nothing less. I envision a happier society with less political strife. A place where humanitarian action is not deprived of the people, rather, it is a cultural norm. A California with more Universities than prisons and less student debt…if any. No person deprived of healthcare services and no person deprived of sanctuary from the horrors of war or homelessness. That’s the future I hope for. That’s a free California.

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