New California: The group which wants to rip up the Golden State and create Trumptopia

New California: The group claiming California is governed by a tyranny and English is dying

It seems New California wants to add another star to the US flag

Thursday, January 18, 2018

They're proposing their very own revolution, based on the most conservative of lines. They hate their state, but love their country. They talk of a bright new dawn, but with a dark undertone of bitterness and recrimination.

Welcome to the world of New California, a group of Californians who dream of giving America its 51st state, and even declared independence from the rest of California earlier this week - although you probably didn't notice.

The 'declaration of independence' was read out on Monday (January 15). But with all the kerfuffle about Brexit, Trump's latest indiscretions and the rapprochement in Korea (not to mention the Turpin torture case much closer to home) the news tended to get buried in the news agenda. Most outlets treated it as an 'and finally...' story, buried between the waterskiing squirrel and the robot which is programmed to Moonwalk.

But even though the revolution was barely televised, that won't deter those in the vanguard. Their website proudly proclaims they've got plenty more events planned, and they genuinely believe they're on the verge of something big.

At present, the territory claimed by the New California pioneers is a mash-mish of counties with no obvious geographical link. Those which have apparently pledged loyalty (at least according to the founders) are spread out all over the place. It's a bit like a UK separatist group proclaiming a 'New Britain' encompassing Lancashire, Sussex, Cornwall, Fife and Antrim. 

Over time, however, the group's aim is clearer: they want to hive off the east of California, leaving the coastline, with all its glitz and glamour, unchanged. This might seem perverse, given the fact that California's economic power stems from the coastal region, but its clear the revolution planned by the New California founders isn't your typical uprising.

The founder is a conservative commentator, Robert Paul Preston, and the group's aims are adumbrated across various documents on the New California website. They want low taxes and low regulation, and the revival of traditional industries like timbering. Their literature is suffused with religious rhetoric, and their 'Declaration of Independence' borrows heavily from the original American declaration - even though that document was inked over 70 years before California even entered the union.

It's clear that the group's vision is an atavistic one, and occasionally this spills into darker messages. One document claims Jerry Brown (a folk demon who is described as a "tyrant") is encouraging terrorists to come to California, and a video on the website laments the fact that "English is dying." One imagines that, were Donald Trump to take a look at the New California website while locked away with his cheesburgers and coca-cola, he'd nod his head in approval.


This isn't the first attempt to split California up. Far from it. In 2014 a man named Tim Draper collected signatures in an attempt to create six different states. More recently a group called Yes California demanded that California secede following the election of Donald Trump. The group, which promulgated a left-wing utopia, went dark in April 2017 when founder Louis Marinelli announced he was decamping to Russia, but has since resurfaced.

New California, as you'll have noticed, is diametrially opposed to Yes California. Ideologically speaking, it's like comparing Trump to Bernie Sanders. Will it be any more successful? Given the way its declaration of independence was largely ignored earlier this week, one assumes not.

But if Trump's election proved one thing, it's that a big chunk of America remains wedded to an atavistic view of the world and a deep-seated suspicion of modern globalism. If this movement can seize the centre of US political power in Washington, one can't rule out a revolution in its cultural epicentre as well.