The outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election may have come as a shock to many people, but none more so than those in Silicon Valley, where they are already formulating plans for California to secede from the Union with Calexit. If this sounds like idle talk, rest assured that some there are taking it very seriously indeed.
One of those people is Shervin Pishevar, an investor for companies such as AirBnB, Uber, and Slack, who has unreservedly announced that he is going to be funding a campaign for California to “become its own nation” and excitedly declared that it is probably the most patriotic thing that we can do.
Also on board with this idea is Dave Morin, a tech investor. Morin has decided to partner with Pishevar in a joint effort for California to secede.
@shervin I was literally just going to tweet this. I’m in and will partner with you on it.
— DAVE MORIN (@davemorin) November 9, 2016
Shervin points to this being a particularly frightening time for Americans and insinuates that being legitimately elected is no reason to necessarily accept the outcome of an election such as this one. He believes that if California adopts his Calexit strategy, the state will be the better for it.
“Everyone is in shock that we have a reality TV star that has said incredibly racist and sexist things as our next president. People say he was legitimately elected, but Hitler was also legitimately elected. This is a very dark and scary time in our country. I don’t buy into this idea that just because he was elected we have to fall in line.”
Even though California is the sixth largest economy in the world, some may question whether California seceding is even remotely possible. Some amongst the Silicon Valley elite certainly think so. In fact, one fan of the idea even went so far as to create a Slack channel to try and work out the details of this “New California” plan with Calexit and is inviting others to join them. However, for this secession to have legitimacy, a vote of this kind would probably need to be ratified by other states first. This thought doesn’t bother Pishevar.
“Trump voters might actually approve California becoming its own republic. That’s an interesting interplay that I don’t think could happen at any other time. And it should scare everyone.”
I strongly recommend everyone following me get organized into a private prog Slack group, or email group, or something controlled by invite.
— RedwoodGirl (@RedwoodGirl) November 9, 2016
For those who are curious about the motivations behind this idea of the California Calexit secession, Hillary Clinton received more votes in California than any other state in the country. Also upsetting many people is the fact that Bernie Sanders wasn’t running as their Democratic candidate of choice, but in the state of California Sanders was an officially qualified write-in candidate which still allowed many to vote their conscience.
Other issues that are bothering tech workers in Silicon Valley is that they have absolutely no idea what Donald Trump’s technology policy is going to be. Many remember his attack on Apple and call for consumers to boycott their products after their refusal to help the FBI unlock the iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. He has also said that he is personally not a very big believer in emails and asked whether we could possibly close “that internet up in some way.” His critics also say he doesn’t have a terribly balanced approach when it comes to encryption either.
How are others taking this idea of California seceding with Calexit? Pishevar certainly has his critics on Twitter, many of whom find his idea a simply foolhardy exercise in thought. Why should Silicon Valley abandon the rest of the country, they ask. But it’s not merely this thought alone that is upsetting people. Shervin would also like to withdraw support by Silicon Valley at the federal level.
Either way, California voters may just be able to have their say with the Calexit Independence Referendum. The Yes California Independence Campaign is aiming to hold a referendum in 2018 that would make California an independent country, strange as it may seem.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think California could really be successful in creating their own new country with Calexit?
[Featured Image by David McNew/Getty Images]