I could probably make this a 100-page thesis type project but I'll try to limit myself to sixty lines.
The first time I ever made it into California was a western-US drive which I had mapped out in 1981. I had three weeks of leave from the Air Force and $3,000 in cash to splurge on this 'expedition'. I crossed over the border near Baker, California....about an hours drive west of Vegas. I made my way down to the Santa Monica area....got on Highway 1, and spent seven days traveling up the coastal highway.
The adjectives to use for Highway 1? Majestic, monumental, and grand.
Except for a side-trip to San Diego and Hollywood in the 1990s, I've never been back.
I worked with various characters who grew up in California or spent part of their lives there. The topic of conversation would come up and you tended to get four references to the state:
1. Most who were there in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s....all describe the state like some classical Hollywood movie. Almost 99-percent of these people would be considered die-hard fanatics of their version of California. In their mind, the state no longer exists.
2. The folks who grew up in the shadow of LA. These are mostly the people who grew up there in the 1980s or 1990s....saw the community go through negative periods, and would question why any idiot would stay there today.
3. The San Francisco crowd. This crowd will go and describe to almost the exact day where good and bad....met, and ended (November 1975). The mayors election that brought Moscone into power would be described for years as a politically rigged election and set into motion the tail-spin. To be honest though....Democratic mayors had been the trend since 1964.
4. The folks who grew up in northern California. This crowd will harp on clean air, great landscapes, and quiet solitude. They also will let you know that they are conservatives.
So here's the reality of what's happened in the past fifty-odd years. Urbanized LA has become a political machine with guaranteed votes for the Democratic Party. Urbanized San Francisco has become a political machine with guaranteed votes for the Democratic Party. The northern third of the state, and San Diego (leading east to the AZ border) is mostly Republican-type voters.
You hold a state election, and the bulk of the power (probably 65 to 70 percent) will stay in Democratic hands. That's the simple truth.
The state is in serious financial trouble, and can't find any solution. Adding to the pain is that the fact that people are leaving the state now....something that no one would have suggested back 25 years ago. Between crime, taxation, and dwindling resources....the state has no future to brag about.
So, some people would like to split it up.....a minimum of two states, to a maximum of six states. I've looked at the maps. Using the six-state formula, you can figure that four of the states will be conservative type states. Silicon Valley and West California would be extremely Democratic in nature.
The harm brought by this idea? The huge tax income from Silicon Valley and LA? It wouldn't be shared any longer with the rest of the state.
Nothing within the Constitution really allows for this, and you could sense that the Democratic Party itself doesn't want this to come up. But the bigger question is.....if you allow them to split up....why not allow Missouri or Michigan to do the same thing? Let's be honest.....NY City ought to be a state by itself.
All of this keeps people busy and talking about something.....that will never be allowed. That's the whole dynamic to this game. Course as each passes and financial woes escalate....you have to wonder.....where exactly will the solution be found?
The greatness of the state? Highway One. Even today.....you could spend a week going up the state and seeing all the fantastic landscape. It would be so easy to sell the state on just the landscape.