As the firmly Democrat-voting state of California comes to terms with Donald Trump’s election victory, a group of campaigners are gaining traction in their fight to have the state secede from the union.
Anger and disappointment among those who voted for Clinton (61.5 per cent of Californian voters, against 32.3 per cent for Trump) has seen a marked increase in attention for the Yes California campaign, with supporters making Calexit a trending topic on social media. The Yes California website states: “We advocate for peaceful secession from the United States by use of an independence referendum to establish a mandate, followed by a nationwide campaign to advocate in support of a constitutional exit from the Union.” Generally characterised as a fringe campaign, it nevertheless has some high profile backers, including Silicon Valley luminaries such as Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop, who yesterday announced on Twitter that he planned to fund a “legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation”.
Speaking to CNBC, he described his backing for Calexit as “the most patriotic thing I can do,” adding: “We can re-enter the union after California becomes a nation. As the sixth largest economy in the world, the economic engine of the nation and provider of a large percentage of the federal budget, California carries a lot of weight.”