SpaceX Executive Quits To Fight Trump As A Grassroots Activist

"The only reason to leave my dream job was to go and fight a nightmare."

Donald Trump becoming president-elect of the United States last week brought many people back down to Earth in a figurative sense. Dex Torricke-Barton has been grounded a bit more literally.

The SpaceX communications director announced Tuesday that he’s leaving the company to focus on grassroots activism and advocacy for social change, which he fears the country will need more than ever under President Trump.

“As an immigrant and the son of a refugee, and as someone dedicated to advancing the interests of humanity, I don’t want to watch while the world slips backwards,” Torricke-Barton explained in a blog post. “So I’m choosing to go and make whatever contribution I can ― no matter how small ― toward making the change we need: standing up for openness, compassion and sound global leadership.”

Torricke-Barton, who previously held positions at Facebook and Google, is in good company: Senior leadership across Silicon Valley voiced grave concerns about Trump throughout the election. 

“What happened on Tuesday is not just about campaigning deficiencies or media failures,” he said. “There is a growing gulf in understanding, empathy and policy; between coastal elites and communities left behind by globalization, between those who seek greater diversity and those who are fearful of it, between the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in a changing world.”

Torricke-Barton’s new initiative will be called Onwards.

“The only reason to leave my dream job was to go and fight a nightmare ― a future where the world is less open, less compassionate, more closed,” he told CNN Money. “Going to focus on grassroots change is how I feel I can make the biggest difference right now.”

Torricke-Barton told CNN the initial stage of Onwards will include a “listening tour,” intended to develop a better understanding of communities that support Trump. He hopes to distill those lessons into a set of more concrete, actionable reports that grassroots programs can use to combat the president-elect’s more harmful policies. 


Read his entire blog, here: