Is California Too Exceptional to Be Part of the U.S.?

We're a Progressive Check on Red-State Power—but We Unbalance the Constitutional System

America is terribly polarized.

And it’s all on account of California.

The trouble is not merely that California itself is such a politically polarized place. Or that California contributes to the many causes of polarization: partisan media, ideological movements, cultural atomization, big-money politics, technological change, economic anxiety, and income inequality.

No, the artichoke heart of the matter is that California is simply too big, too exceptional, and too 21st-century to fit an America governed by 18th-century rules and mid-20th-century nostalgia.

The way in which California fuels the polarization of national politics is paradoxical: …

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