CalExit leader leaves movement with bizarre statement

Scott Shackford of Reason reports that current California succession efforts have been suspended because one of its key proponents has decided to live permanently…in Russia.

One notably bizarre, disorganized push to turn California into its own country is dead—at least for now. Its leader, Louis J. Marinelli, announced that he is canceling the petition and pulling up stakes. While he said he believed in the struggle for California’s independence “from the United States so we could build the kind of country that reflects our progressive values,” he has decided on a new path.

He’s decided he’d rather live in Russia, which is not exactly famous for its progressiveness.

In a missive released yesterday afternoon he said that life in Russia would offer him “a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed [his] entire life.”

Marinelli’s statement is particularly telling not only about why he wanted California to secede, but the progressive mindset in general.

Marinelli claims that a key motivation for being involved with the CalExit movement was the US government’s handling of the immigration status of his wife.

Throughout this campaign, I have been primarily motivated by a personal struggle I have had with the United States government since 2012. That personal struggle revolved around the immigration status of my wife, a foreign national who I brought to the United States to live believing at the time that it was the best country in the world. For years, our marriage suffered as politicians in Washington argued and bickered about immigration reform while the American people expressed their anti-immigrant xenophobia.

For years, our family, like so many other families in California, suffered without the relief of comprehensive immigration reform. Unable to work, study, or travel internationally, and forced to live each day with the possibility of deportation, my wife was forced to live in the shadows. At times, it was difficult for me to even look at her, ashamed for what I had done, putting her in that situation, simply by bringing her to this country.

These paragraphs raise a fundamental question: what was it about Marinelli’s marriage with a non-American that made it so difficult for him to get his wife a green card? After all, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services appears to provide clear instructions on what Americans can do to bring their spouses into the country as permanent residents.

While USCIS’s process for evaluating such applications are designed to evaluate whether a marriage is genuine, Marinelli doesn’t bring that up as an impediment. Rather, he’s bleating about Washington’s supposed failure to bring about “immigration reform” and the supposed xenophobia of Americans. However, neither the lack of immigration reform nor American xenophobia should have prevented his wife from getting a green card. The premise that his wife “was forced to live in the shadows” is simply ridiculous.

What makes his cries against xenophobia that much more ridiculous is that in 2015, Marinelli opened a “California embassy” in Russia, all while trying to get a green card for his wife. However, that doesn’t stop Marinelli from comparing American xenophobia to the love that can’t help but pour out of the hearts of progressive Californians.

While Washington refused to act and the Americans continued to spew their hatred towards immigrants, Sacramento actively worked to protect our immigrants. And the people of California embraced our immigrants with open arms and with love and with respect.

It’s really easy for California politicians to proclaim the love of immigrants when national and state taxpayers pay for the welfare state at both levels. But I digress.

It was this contrast between Washington and Sacramento and between the American people and Californian people which shifted my allegiance from the United States to California. It was this contrast which motivated me to start this campaign for independence.

And so, thirty-six months ago, I started the Calexit campaign in order to establish a country where my wife would not need to live in the shadows and where my family would feel welcome. And I wanted a country to be proud of again… and California, unlike the United States, is a great source of pride for me. But three weeks ago, my wife finally received her green card and now my personal struggle against the United States government has ended.

He can’t pretend that he’s fighting the evil U.S. government anymore. The pretext is gone.

However, once a drama queen, always a drama queen.

His sense of victimhood does not prevent him leaving the movement with flair, stage left.

As I have stated in the past, I do not wish to live under the American flag. I do not wish to live under the American political system or within the American economic system. Regardless, I had long planned to eventually return to occupied California [if you only knew, buddy. Mr. Fool] and struggle for her independence from the United States so we could build the kind of country that reflects our progressive values. However, while my frustration, disappointment and disillusionment with the United States remains, these feelings now point me in a different direction. I have found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life.

Consequently, if the people of Russia would be so kind as to welcome me here on a permanent basis, I intend to make Russia my new home.

Let’s follow the bouncing ball of Marinelli’s decision-making process, shall we?

The dude marries a Russian. She files for a green card, which takes a while for her to receive. Marinelli conflates American bureaucracy with xenophobia. He uses California’s cheap love of immigrants as a pretext for CalExit. Meanwhile, he opens a “California embassy” to Russia, where his wife is from. Once she gets her green card, he not only announces that he’s leaving the CalExit movement, but proclaims his desire to live in the progressive utopia of Russia for the rest of his life.

This is your mind on progressivism. Any questions?

A discussion about personal sovereignty, federalism, and yes, secession in the United States is long overdue. However, the CalExit movement will most likely die on the vine because of its feckless leaders.

Perhaps truer federalist and secession efforts will arise in its place?

Only time will tell.



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