Well, San Diego and Imperial Counties, have you had enough? Has the lunacy in the rest of California finally gotten to you? Do you listen to the political drivel emanating from our “leaders” in Sacramento and wish for a divorce? Does the recent talk of a “Calexit,” California leaving the U.S., have you wishing that the rest of California would in fact go, just without our two counties?
When the periodic talk of breaking California into smaller states is revived, as it always is, wouldn’t you want to be separate from anything north of us, regardless of how the state might be divided? That talk may never go anywhere, but it will never go away, either. We should be prepared for a San Diexit, no, make that a San Diexit/Imperialexit.
After all, both counties were united until the early part of the 20th Century. We share far more in common with each other than with the rest of the state. Like being largely ignored by a state government that has historically shoveled a disproportionate share of revenues to the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.
Wouldn’t we miss out, though, if we weren’t part of the rest of the state? Yes, we would. We would miss Silicon Valley billionaires pontificating about how the rest of us should live, while churning out mostly useless internet products. And San Francisco’s perpetual political craziness. Los Angeles — you can keep your traffic, bad air, sprawl, shallow Hollywood people, and bad movies.
Then there is Sacramento. A veritable swamp of special interests, each crawling over the other to grab their piece of the muck. It is ruled by a one-party system that exists mainly to serve those interests that put them there.
Sacramento is a dystopian, dysfunctional world where legislators introduce thousands of new bills each year focused on such important topics as letting 16-year olds vote in some elections or subsidizing diapers. Instead of crucial infrastructure issues like fixing the crumbling Oroville dam or our failing transportation system, our legislative leaders would rather debate how to enforce more political correctness.
California no longer works, and hasn’t for a long time. It is too large, too fragmented, and far too mired in politics over people. The sooner we begin to plan for the inevitable break-up of this state, the better we will be.
We are already far better positioned to go it alone than most would imagine. On the big issues — water availability, electricity, transportation, and planning, we are either already largely independent of the rest of the state, or could be within a few years.
Water is always an issue in California, and the usual assumption locally is that we are dependent on Northern California and the state water project for ours. In reality, we receive only about 20% of our water from up north. The bulk of our water comes from the Colorado River or is locally produced through capture of rainwater in reservoirs or desalination. The city’s new Pure Water recycling program and increased desalination could uncouple us from the state water project completely, and within years, not decades.
Electricity is another opportunity to achieve independence. The large solar, geothermal, and wind projects already in Imperial and San Diego counties produce a huge portion of our demand. That capacity, coupled with existing or planned gas-fired power plants, means that we don’t need the state electrical grid at all. In fact, we’d be better off if we weren’t under the control of the state-controlled ISO, the grid operator, with it’s ability to switch our power off if they need it to the north.
On transportation and planning, we could unquestionably do a better job than the bureaucrats in Sacramento. Our counties know how to plan for growth and environmental preservation. We’re certainly capable of planning for a better transportation future than nonsense like the alleged high-speed rail project, going nowhere fast.
Imagine if our two counties formed a new state of South California, one with a constitution that celebrates individual liberty, not special interests. A state devoted to environmental and economic self-sustainability. It would contain some of the most productive agricultural land in the country, the most important naval base, the best zoo and amusement parks, world-class universities, spectacular scenery, and a fantastic climate. How special we could be.
When you think of what we get from the rest of the state — nothing — you realize that it’s time we begin thinking of separating. Way past time, actually.