(ANTIMEDIA) As millions of Americans mourn Donald Trump’s victory last night — and millions celebrate it — divisions within American society are growing increasingly glaring. While some are rioting and others are vowing to move the Canada (while still others are heralding the birth of a renewed nation), some Californians are eager to secede from the rest of the country.
Twitter is ablaze with Californians posting about the potential secession, dubbing it #Calexit:
But it’s not just angry Twitter users who are eager to leave the U.S. now that Trump is the president-elect. Members of Silicon Valley’s tech industry are also expressing disbelief and desires for secession. Unsurprisingly, the tech industry was heavily in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Regardless, the real question is whether or not secession is a viable option to avoid the impending reign of the Republican presidential victor, as some Twitter users expressed:
According to Yes California, an organization that has been advocating a California secession far longer than Trump has been the president-elect, a break is possible. They explain:
“In 1869, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White that states cannot unilaterally secede from the Union, not that it could not be done altogether [emphasis added]. Indeed, there is no specific ban on state secession in the U.S. Constitution, even though that document does discuss states in Article IV.”
Yes California explains that Article IV permits states to be added to the nation through Congress and declares that no states may be created within an existing state. Further, states may not merge without the consent of their respective legislatures and Congress.
“Clearly missing from that paragraph is something to the effect of, ‘nor shall any State be expelled, or be permitted to withdraw from this Union.’ What we have instead is the intent of the founders to allow Congress to handle the matters of statehood which explains why in Texas v. White the Supreme Court put the matter of state secession into their hands.”
They use Texas’ terms of entry into the union as an example:
“When Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.
“Yes California highlights this last part because it is often left out of the discussion. Indeed, California cannot unilaterally declare itself independent of the United States even though the original 13 colonies unilaterally declared their independence from England.”
They note that in order for secession to actually happen, the people of California would have to consent to it. “If there is no mandate from the people to secede, there is no reason for us to embark on this long and difficult legal journey to achieve that goal,” they note. That’s why they are working on a 2020 referendum to achieve that goal, though that might be too late if Trump serves only one term.
On one hand, California could likely survive on its own as it arguably has the sixth largest economy in the world. Between the film industry, Silicon Valley, the agricultural industry in the center of the state, and the newly legal cannabis industry — weed is already the state’s biggest cash crop — it appears California is economically positioned to succeed as its own country.
But whether or not this will actually happen is up for debate and cannot be determined by the angry tweets of bitter voters nor the inclinations of some members of a powerful industry.
More important is the underlying sentiment these desires denote: that the United States is highly diverse and its population’s ideologies vary greatly from region to region.
(According to author Colin Woodward, the map above illustrates American nations today — separated by demographic, political, cultural, and other factors)
People are rioting and protesting over Trump’s win throughout California but celebrating in Alabama, and against the backdrop of an ever-encroaching federal government, it appears these differences are growing difficult to reconcile.
This election put the deep societal rifts between left, right, and those in between on stark display, and the degree of hate and animosity is palpable. According to multiple studies and polls, the most powerful factor in determining a person’s vote was not the merits of their party or candidate, but rather, the degree of disdain they held for the opposing party or candidate.
Considering it’s unlikely Donald Trump will be able to address the concerns of all 319 million American citizens, secession and increased localization are emerging as apparently viable options. Citizens in Washington, Oregon, and Nevada are also calling for secession.
It remains to be seen whether the widespread discontent with Trump’s victory will inspire prolonged dissent or will fade into apathy as often happens following the fervor and circuses of presidential elections. Either way, it appears the divisions will remain.
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