The New York Times has published an extensive look at California’s “far north,” the group of conservative counties in the high Sierra country whose residents often feel alienated from state government, and where a movement to form a new “State of Jefferson” remains strong.
The Times notes:
California’s Great Red North is … a vast, rural, mountainous tract of pine forests with a political ethos that bears more resemblance to Texas than to Los Angeles. Two-thirds of the north is white, the population is shrinking and the region struggles economically, with median household incomes at $45,000, less than half that of San Francisco.
The residents of this region argue that their political voice is drowned out in a system that has only one state senator for every million residents.
This sentiment resonates in other traditionally conservative parts of California, including large swaths of the Central Valley, which runs down the state, and it mirrors red and blue tensions felt in areas across the country. But perhaps nowhere else in California is the alienation felt more keenly than in the far north, an arresting panorama of fields filled with wildflowers and depopulated one-street towns that have never recovered from the gold rush.
Many liberals in California describe themselves as the resistance to Mr. Trump. Residents of the north say they are the resistance to the resistance, politically invisible to the Democratic governor and Legislature. California’s strict regulations on the environment, gun control and hunting impinge on a rural lifestyle, they say, that urban politicians do not understand.
The Times also notes: “Residents here have long backed a different proposal for a separate state, one that would be carved out of Northern California and the southern reaches of Oregon. Flags of the so-called State of Jefferson, which was first proposed in the 19th century, fly on farms and ranches around the region.”
Read the full New York Times piece, by Thomas Fuller, here.
As Breitbart News has noted, 17 of the 21 counties that would be part of “Jefferson” voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election — with the margin of victory wider than 10 percent in most cases.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.