Donald Trump has been president of the United States for a week and already a third of Californians hate him so much they want to leave the country and take the rest of the state with them.
California authorities agreed to let Calexit backers start collecting the more than 500,000 signatures needed to put a secessionist measure on the ballot Thursday paving the way for a free and independent Golden State.
Marcus Evans and his group YesCalifornia agree secession will be difficult, but they argue it would be worth it if Golden State residents don’t have to pay to support the U.S. government, according to their website.
“Being a U.S. state is no longer serving California’s best interests. On issues ranging from peace and security to natural resources and the environment, it has become increasingly true that California would be better off as an independent country.”
President Trump’s actions during his first week in office, everything from gagging federal agencies to threatening to impose a 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods, have only fueled the Calexit secessionist movement.
A new poll shows one-in-three Californians, 32 percent, now support Calexit, a plan to peacefully withdraw from the United States, up from 20 percent of residents who favored secession in 2014, political consultant Steve Maviglio told Reuters.
“There’s such hostility towards Trump that many citizens believe it would be smarter to leave than fight.”
If the Calexit measure wins a place on the state ballot and gains the support of a majority of Golden State voters it would eliminate certain phrases in the California constitution that keep it in the union. The sentence that makes the U.S. Constitution the “supreme law of the land” would be removed along with the phrase declaring California an “inseparable part of the United States.”
Then, in 2019, another referendum would ask Golden State voters if they would like to have their own country and if 55 percent agree to secede from the union, it would be treated as California’s declaration of independence. The ballot measure would direct the governor to ask the United Nations to admit California.
Drawing on the logic of the recent Brexit vote, Calexit backers argue California residents would be better off paying for their own infrastructure projects than passing the money on to Washington and waiting for a federal handout, according to their website.
“As the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states.”
A similar secessionist movement popped up in Texas after Barack Obama was re-elected to the White House in 2012, and then again in 2016 after the Brexit vote, Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement told the Huffington Post at the time.
“This cake has been baking for a long time, it’s the Obama administration that put the candles on the cake and lit it for us.”
During Obama’s presidency more than 40 states filed secession petitions with the White House’s “We the People” program, but none drew as many signatures as Texas with 81,000 signatures.
Such secessionist arguments have largely fallen flat in the United States, but California voters who supported Hillary Clinton during the election are distinctly unhappy with Trump’s first week in office. In November, Californians supported Clinton nearly two-to-one, and now that Trump is making good on his promises to curb immigration and repeal Obamacare, some Golden State residents have had enough.
Last week, Calexit activists rallied in Los Angeles and San Francisco carrying signs that read “California out of the United States” and “U.S. out of California.”
San Francisco is leading the fight against Trump’s attack on sanctuary cities and state lawmakers are considering legislation that would essentially make California a sanctuary state.
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[Featured Image by Sunflower/Shutterstock]