California. It’s a state that always seems to march to the beat of its own drum. In fact, one political hopeful (Louis J. Marinelli) believes California is so different from the rest of the country that he is proposing a 2020 state ballot measure calling for California to become it’s very own nation. Granted, his plan isn’t likely to ever see the light of day. But it’s fun to imagine what the “Republic of California” might actually look like…
First thing’s first: who would be the President of California? It’s going to be hard to top the Governator, after all. Luckily, Hollywood has plenty of well-suited presidential hopefuls. Bill Pullman is a natural choice, given the fact that he played Thomas J. Whitmore in “Independence Day” (he’s also reprising the role in the upcoming sequel) and he successfully led a nation defending itself from an alien invasion. Martin Sheen, who played Josiah “Jed” Bartlet in “The West Wing,” is another great option, given his intelligence, economics background and knack for knowing random factoids (i.e. the origins of the term “red tape”) — although, at 76, he may be considered a bit old for a presidency. Given the Golden State’s liberal leanings, perhaps we should be looking to women and minorities to fill the seat. Geena Davis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover and Chris Rock are ideal candidates. Then again, we can always look back to Arnold. “The Presidenator” has a nice ring to it.
As much as we love Sacramento (go Kings and affordable real estate!), it might be time to look at other cities. We could always go back to our roots and nominate San Jose, which was California’s first State capital (and hosted the first and second sessions of the California Legislature in 1850–1851). The third-largest California city is also the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley, the tech center of the world. Personally, though, we’re throwing our vote to good ol’ San Francisco. For starters, it’s where the California Supreme Court and federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal meets, and it is pretty much the de facto judicial capital of the state. It’s also where people leave their hearts, where sweeping vistas top nearly every hill, where year-round outdoor activities and renowned cultural institutions make its residents some of the nation’s fittest (and smartest), where amazing food, beaches and sky-high real estate—like this $28 million Pacific Heights jewel —go hand-in-hand. Yeah. S.F. beats D.C. any day.
Republic of California…it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Luckily the name also has historical significance. Believe it or not, “The California Republic” was “a short-lived, unrecognized state that, for a few weeks in 1846,” according to Wikipedia. Coincidentally, the old republic got its start in the north of the San Francisco Bay — where our proposed capital will be.
Our current state motto is “Eureka! I have found it!” Clearly it’s an historical reference to the gold discovered in our state. (Eureka is a Greek word that actually means, “I have found it.” Fun factoid: the famed Greek mathematician Archimedes is said to have exclaimed “Eureka!” when he finally discovered a method for determining the purity of gold.) We could update this motto to “We’re golden,” just to take it into this century—or just hit people with a dose of reality. How about “It’s expensive to live here because it’s awesome” or “Our Mexican food is better than your Mexican food” or “We love flip flops”?
Of course, we’ll take a vote. Should we keep the grizzly bear? Should we ditch him in favor of another Cali symbol? Sunshine? Grapes? A half-full glass wine, because we’re a super optimistic about life? Or we could move in a totally modern direction, as graphic designer Ed Mitchell did a few years back. “This is the only flag with curves,” he told Wired magazine in 2013, “because I wanted to convey the feeling of driving along the coastline.” Well played, Mitchell. Well played. After all, us Californians tend to do a lot of driving.
One word: Friday. Literally, every Friday on the calendar should be a national holiday. Otherwise, what good is our West Coast sunshine? It’s a crime to be anywhere but the outdoors on a warm, sunny afternoon. That’s why we hope the new government will pass a unanimous amendment to the California Constitution declaring every Friday a national holiday with free beach parking for all.
We’ll follow Canada’s lead by declaring the official languages of the Republic of California as English and Spanish. This is only meant to be a utility, given the fact that 44 percent of the California population speaks a language other than English at home, according to the U.S. Census. Also, we’d be going back to our roots, since California’s first constitution recognized Spanish language rights. However, it should be noted that Southern Californians have their own regional dialect, which revolves around their obsession with driving à la SNL’s “The Californians.” (Stewart: “I said go home! Get back on San Vicente, take it to the 10 then switch over to the 405 north and let it dump you out to Mulholland where you belong!”)
Oh, it’s great fun to imagine the possibilities of what an independent nation of California would look like! But alas, it’s doubtful it will ever become a reality. In 2015, the group backing the secessionist movement only raised $10,000. Thus far, only 300 people have signed their petition.
What do you think a nation of California would look like? Let us know in the comments!