It's a movement "full of a bunch of Bible-thumpin’, gun-totin’, wild-eyed pistol wavers," as one supporter describes it, and it's nothing new.
But the NY Daily News reports that the push for the creation of the 51st State of Jefferson is being revived as rural communities in the northern reaches of California get increasingly upset with the politics of Sacramento and urban centers like Los Angeles and the Bay Area interfering with their libertarian way of life.
This is not the first time these communities wanted to split from California — an earlier effort gained national attention before World War II drew the focus elsewhere — but the movement has now seen a revival over water rights, wolf introductions, environmental regulations, and increasing restrictions on logging and mining, which have led to high unemployment.
Criticism is loud too for the federal government, especially when it comes to gun control in a region that is fairly conservative and self-reliant but also has a contingent of left-leaning Libertarians who advocate for homosexual lifestyles.
Although the likelihood of the State of California and U.S. Congress legally approving the secession is highly unlikely, supporters still want the message to get out.
Ray Haupt, a county official, sees Jefferson's fight for statehood as a bigger, national issue, saying, “I think in the United States in general, there’s a disconnect between folks who live in a city and the people who live in the rural communities. I don’t think a lot of folks understand where their food comes from, where the raw products come from that support their lives. All they see when they come to the rural counties is what they consider backward people who are doing something on the land that they don’t like to see.”