The Corner

California’s Secession Movement Gains Traction after Trump’s Victory

Some Californians are unhappy about the coming Donald Trump presidency. Their solution? Revitalize a campaign to secede from the Union.

“Yes California,” a political action committee fighting for California’s independence from the union, is campaigning to qualify a secession initiative for the 2018 ballot, which in turn would force a special-election referendum on the question. The group had gained little traction since its founding in 2015, but received an outpouring of support for their movement in the aftermath of Trump’s victory.

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar vowed to fund California’s campaign “to become its own nation”; since then, others in the high-tech center have chimed in, including Anand Sharma, founder of the health-tracking system Gyroscope, and Dave Morin, founder of the social-media website Path. “It’s the most patriotic thing I can do,” Pishevar said. Yes, because patriotism means seceding from the country one supposedly loves.

On Twitter, other west-coasters echoed Pishevar’s sentiment. Democrats from California, Oregon, and Washington state created hashtags to promote the idea of a secession comprising all three states. While red states such as Texas are constantly mocked for their secession movements, it seems that Democrats in blue states are following an identical playbook. And it’s not just on the west coast. Vermont’s secession movement, the Second Vermont Republic, is one of the largest in the country; they’ve elected multiple officials to the state capital.

If California and the west coast were to actually secede, there’d be one major perk: Republicans would effortlessly win the White House every four years.

Austin Yack — Austin Yack is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute and a University of California, Santa Barbara alumnus.

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