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What the 'six-state' plan shows about politics

POSTED March 11, 2014 9:20 p.m.

Have you ever heard the expression “cheat to win”? Certainly we all have been presented with situations throughout our lives where cheating might have been the easier route, while also ensuring us a guaranteed win.  But if you’re someone who enjoys that feeling of accomplishment you get when it was your own blood, sweat and tears which ultimately resulted in a “win,” then you’re also most likely an individual who wouldn’t resort to changing the rules of the game after several failed attempts to get to home plate. If you did that, you’d be just as childish as multi-millionaire Tim Draper.

If you haven’t heard of Tim Draper by now, he’s the Silicon Valley venture capitalist who has been receiving national attention for a proposal he submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office that would see our vast State of California broken up into six smaller states. San Diego and Orange County would become South California, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara would now be West California, the Sacramento area would make up North California, the Bay Area and San Jose would become a state known as Silicon Valley, while Eureka and Redding would form the state of Jefferson. As for Turlock? We’d be part of the new state Central California, primarily including the Bakersfield, Fresno, and Stockton areas.

Now, I know that this isn’t the first time a discussion has arose on whether or not California could be better governed if perhaps broken into two or three smaller states, but six? Is this guy really receiving petition signatures to have this six-state proposal put to vote? Oddly enough, yes. With thousands of Californians jumping on board with Draper, the proposal went viral online and across national media outlets in a matter of days.

While most individuals who understand the workings of American government will clearly see that Draper’s six-state proposal couldn’t possibly lead anywhere, (not without first passing state voters, and then being authorized by Congress) there are still thousands who are hopeful it will, gathering support for the proposal in localized grass root campaigns. As I began looking into who these supporters were, and why they desire such drastic change, I began to see a common theme behind many of their messages: “We’re tired of being on the losing end.”

Many of Draper’s supporters see the six-state proposal as a way for them to become part of a state that would more accurately reflect the political ideals or beliefs that are within their localized region. Although California is consistently blue on the national map, many areas throughout the state itself are synonymous with red. Just look at House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. He might be from the “liberal state of California,” but considering he grew up in Bakersfield, it’s no surprise that he ended up with political beliefs more consistent with the likes of John Boehner.

But anyone who grew up in California knows that various regions have various beliefs, and that many times, it is the beliefs of the larger cities and business centers that more accurately align with the liberal stereotype that other states across the nation have blanketed California with. That being said, I can understand the frustration that many of these smaller, more conservative regions must feel when they believe they are being misrepresented on a national stage, and why a proposal to now become their own state which could accurately portray their political beliefs would seem like an appealing offer.

The problem is, to change the way our state is assembled for the purpose of gaining political power or influence is all too similar to gerrymandering – or in other words, “When you continually can’t win elections, it’s time to change the rules.” Redistricting, or in this case creating six states, is just another example of trying to change the rules of the game to ensure that you’re guaranteed a win.

Sure, any political party which has lost control or majority wants to get back on top. That’s just one of the continual battles of politics. But if you have to do that through the means of changing the rules, and not by creating effective strategies/campaigns on the issues that are important to voters, then it’s not really a “win” that you should be proud of. Simply put, it’s cheating.

 

 

 

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