Call it six degrees of proposed separation.
Tim Draper, a megabucks Silicon Valley venture capitalist, thinks California is too big a state to be run effectively or responsive politically (kind of like a massive Silicon Valley tech company). So he’s been pushing for a voter initiative that would split California into six separate states. The secretary of state has cleared the petitions for circulation, so keep an eye open for techies with clipboards outside your local grocery store.
It’s a far-fetched idea, and lord knows it’s not the first time Californians have entertained the idea of a political divorce. Even if voters decide we’ve reached the point of irreconcilable differences, the Legislature would still have to approve dismembering the state, under Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Congress would have to approve it too, and we know what an impossibility is it to get it to agree on anything.
So this splintering of the Golden State into a handful of ingots is a long shot. Not to mention a bad idea and a waste of time, resources and energy. But it does let the imagination run free, kind of like buying lottery tickets.
Draper’s proposal already contains the names of the new states, but they lack for creativity. They are, from south to north, South California, West California, Central California, Silicon Valley (which would include San Francisco), North California and finally, and tied to a long-running dream of dissolution, Jefferson. (We should be grateful, I suppose, that he doesn’t propose Draper as the name for the Silicon Valley slice).
Boring. If we’re going to reinvent the place, let’s give it some names with pizazz. Silicon Valley, for instance, could be Restart Now. Or, since it includes San Francisco, Silicon Valley could be The Land of the Giants. Central Valley: Almondia. Or Cough, Cough. Jefferson, in the far north? Cannabis Island.
There’s lots of potential.
Same for the flags. Who gets to keep the bear? Would Silicon Valley adopt the Jolly Roger? Could South California go with a freeway overlay?
The comments section is open for suggestions.
Follow Scott Martelle on Twitter @smartelle