California is not a state. It is a nation lacking only the recognition from the international community that would make it a country. This campaign is about seeking that international recognition for our future country of California. Inspired by the people of Catalonia and other independence-seekers around the world, we intend to achieve our independence from the United States through honest referendum on the California ballot. The United States for decades has supported the right of self-determination for people around the world and we intend to hold them to their word here in California.
California was militarily annexed in 1846 and forced to join the Union in 1850. Since then California has grown significantly and has become the seventh largest economy in the world and the home of nearly forty million people. Additionally, California is a global center of innovation and technology, and a global leader in the fight against climate change. California has got what it takes to be the world's newest independent republic.
Beyond that we citizens of the United States are living in a post-constitutional era. The United States government is spying on its own people and militarizing our local police forces. We have seen presidents from both political parties use executive orders to circumvent the law, we have seen the Supreme Court rule that corporations can buy our elections, and we have seen the Congress capitulate its authority to the ever-growing imperial presidency. We have seen the Internal Revenue Service politicize the tax code, the National Parks Service mismanage our forests, the Environmental Protection Agency deny us access to our own water, and a justice system that continues to mass incarcerate our people, particularly the poor who cannot afford adequate legal representation. At the same time, our national debt has surpassed $18 trillion dollars even though the federal government is receiving record tax revenues, and our Nation's credit rating has been reduced for the first time in our history.
Where is all the money going? Not to our homeless, nor our sick. Not to our poor, nor our students. Not to our roads, nor our drought. Yet there are more than 100,000 homeless in California today, our country can't afford to provide universal health care like most other countries, there are people working forty hours a week and living in poverty, students are graduating under a mountain of debt, our roads are deteriorating, and our drought persists. At least the rich are getting richer and we might get to pick between the Clinton and Bush families for the next president. America is a mess and in decline.
Californians cannot trust the President, the Congress, or the Supreme Court to solve our problems. We cannot trust our financial institutions to engage in fair and ethical market practices. We cannot trust corporations to allow fair competition in the free market. We cannot even trust our own federal delegates to Washington to represent our needs. It is time to turn the page and write a new chapter in the story of California.
This new story is based upon the principle of the right of self-determination: that the people have the right to determine their own destiny. California's destiny lies in a future independent of the turmoil facing the United States. California's destiny lies in a future as a country that leads the world as it does today. The world looks to California for its leadership and California now looks to the world for recognition of its independence.