Wednesday, November 16, 2016

States' Rights

California overwhelmingly voted to reject Donald Trump.  As did New York. As did Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, New Mexico, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware.  By narrower margins, he was rejected in Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire.

There appears to be little we can do to stop the Autarch-in-waiting from initiating his dark vision for America.  We cannot prevent him from sending ICE agents into our state to round up undocumented immigrants, but we can, as Mayor Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck of Los Angeles have stated, refuse to direct our law enforcement personnel to assist in this effort.  We can likewise defend the rights of our fellow Californians who are Muslim by refusing to aid the federal government in oppressing them.  We can strengthen marriage equality by putting a proposition on the ballot in 2018, or sooner, to make marriage equality a state law in those states where it is not.  We can strengthen environmental protections at the state level.  We can resist efforts for federally owned lands to be placed into private hands, both in Congress and by civil protest.  We can protect the uninsured by following Massachusetts in passing an affordable healthcare law of our own.  We can try white supremacist groups accused of violent crimes under anti-gang ordinances, already existing in most cities.

What we cannot do is give in to pressure by the federal government to surrender our values - even if that means passing bond measures to maintain our own roads and highways.  What we cannot do is leave our environment to the whims of kleptocracy-driven executive policy.  what we cannot do is leave our most vulnerable citizens at the mercy of discriminatory federal policy. What we cannot do is leave our educational system to the whims of theocratically-minded bureaucrats in Washington DC. What we cannot allow is our law enforcement organizations to do federal policing in opposition to our own state, county and municipal mandates.

What we cannot do is secede.  Secession would give the Autarch cause to activate the armed forces and place us under martial law, at which point, the Autarch does with us as he pleases.  Put all romantic notions of "Calexit," "Cascadia" or whatever other aspiring regional republics are being floated right now, out of your head.  Such an enterprise will most assuredly end in bloodshed and loss of what little state autonomy we have left.  As states, we have the power to contest the Autarch in the courts, and at present, SCOTUS is inclined to favor states' rights.

All of the GOP emphasis on States' Rights gave them control in both Houses of Congress and perhaps even the Presidency.  What propelled them to national control has also enshrined our resistance in law.

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