After the intensely close race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the United States gained its 45th President in the form of the Republican businessman. Many people are not happy with it, least of all California. The state is now threatening to secede from the U.S. following the announcement that Trump won over Clinton.
California is one of a few states that is basically guaranteed to go Democrat in any given election. When the polls closed at 11pm, CNN had called its 55 electoral votes to go to Clinton by 11:01pm. The final numbers were 61.4% towards Clinton to Trump’s 33.3%. Obviously, the rest of the country had different results because, despite California’s large number of votes, the Democrat candidate didn’t win. Speaking as a Californian myself, there was much shock and confusion throughout the state as we watched the other states turn red. By the time Clinton lost the election, that had turned into anger.
Thus, the idea of a Californian secession began. The idea is picking up speed on social media with the hashtags #calexit or #califrexit which are now trending on Twitter. The state has one of the largest economies, and can produce enough food to sustain itself, unlike most other places on Earth. So it has the potential to be feasible. Many Californians are supportive of the idea as a form of protest, similar to Britain’s Brexit movement from the U.K.
The Yes California Independence Campaign is even hosting an event in Sacramento today, the day after the election, in the hopes of gaining support for the idea. Their manifesto, written before Trump’s victory, explains, “In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children.”
However, for every one supporter of the state’s independence, there are a dozen people who either believe it’s stupid and idealistic. They don’t see how seceding would help the country, or point out problems California already has, such as its long-standing drought. There are also those who support it as a means of getting rid of a hugely Democratic state for the next election. Although the idea of opting out of Trump’s presidency sounds great, it would mean taking out an enormous state that has huge influence on political matters.
As unlikely as secession is, the Golden State is definitely making its voice heard in protests all around. Many universities have experienced sit-in, non-violent protests from their students, including University of California, Berkeley and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. There are also many general protests across the state, including a march in Oakland that involved hundreds of citizens that are against Trump’s presidency.
What do you think about the possible secession? Comment below!