Silicon Valley is divided on whether California should secede from the US in a 'Calexit'
Steve Jennings/Getty Images
Most techies seem wholly opposed to a Brexit-style California exit, though one tech tycoon, Shervin Pishevar, has loudly voiced his support.
A sessionist group out of California "hit it big" on Election Day 2016, according to a spokesperson in a statement, when Donald Trump won the race to the White House. The Yes California Independence Campaign aims to hold a referendum in 2018 that, if passed, would bring California one step closer to becoming an independent nation.
The group assembled long before Trump's surprising victory, but is gaining new followers on Facebook and Twitter as California's reliably-blue voters come out in protest of the president-elect. Full disclosure: A state has not seceded from the union since the 1860s, and those 11 southern states rejoined after the American Civil War. A Calexit is still incredibly unlikely, and we have no idea what the impact of California seceding from the union might have.
Still, the movement as a whole won its first major backer on election night when Pishevar, a well-known angel investor and cofounder of Hyperloop One, said on Twitter that he would bankroll a campaign to make California its own nation if Trump won. In an interview with CNBC earlier this week, Pishevar described the effort as "the most patriotic thing I can do."
It looks like Pishevar is now giving Yes California some competition. On November 9th, a new Twitter account called New California cropped up. Its bio lists Pishevar as founder. A tweet clarifies that the group is separate from Yes California.
More Silicon Valley innovators are hopping on the bandwagon, at least on Twitter, in the wake of a Trump presidency.
Marc Hemeon, a former Googler and founder of Design Inc., showed his support in a tweet.
@shervin I support you in this effort let me know what I can do to help- Marc Hemeon (@hemeon) November 9, 2016
Dave Morin offered his assistance in a tweet to Pishevar, saying, "I was literally just going to tweet this. I'm in and will partner with you on it." He has since deleted the tweet.
1/ Just so we are clear, I accept the results of the election. This is democracy. Will do all I can to bridge the divide. I am an optimist.- DAVE MORIN (@davemorin) November 9, 2016
2/ There has been some miscommunication around tweets I sent in the heat of the moment prior to the end of the election last night.- DAVE MORIN (@davemorin) November 9, 2016
Other Silicon Valley tech executives want to distance themselves from Calexit. John Lilly, a general partner at top venture firm Greylock, reminded his followers on Twitter that secessionists make up a tiny portion of the valley. Yes California has fewer than 30,000 subcribers on Facebook.
Just in case anyone cares, I think "Calexit" is beyond dumb. America matters more. It is a very small group, not the POV of "tech."- John Lilly (@johnolilly) November 10, 2016
Actually, more than that, proposing Calexit will just appear to confirm others they were right to believe the coasts don't give a damn. Dumb- John Lilly (@johnolilly) November 10, 2016
Brit Morin, CEO of online DIY and e-commerce site Brit + Co, offered a suggestion for who should become president of an independent California.
Here's what else Twitter had to say:
@johnolilly California should lead, not abandon. Bigger, more inclusive.- Adam Nash (@adamnash) November 10, 2016
@johnolilly jumping to this shows no understanding of (or learning from) what just happened- Harjeet (@Harjeet) November 10, 2016
- I took a new job in a remote location after my divorce. There aren't many people to date, but I'm happy staying single.
- Elon Musk hits out at viral videos of DINK couples, saying there's an 'awful morality' to those who choose not to have children
- Married couples often share high blood pressure, study shows
- 8 Irresistible seasonal snacks to warm your winter days
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma says 'Wed in India' is a good idea for its food options
- NCLAT stays CCI penalty on NTPC in Ratnagiri Gas & Power shares issue
- A Japanese Start-Up Is Testing a Rocket Powered Entirely By Rocket Fuel Created From Cow Dung!
- Amazon sues scammers for stealing millions of dollars via fake returns