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Op-Ed: Is California turning dark purple?

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”California is a tragic country, like Palestine, like every Promised Land.”
– Christopher Isherwood
The remake of the former Gold Coast state from purple into the deepest shade of blue is one of the most misreported chapters in our political history. In the 1980s and 1990s, Republicans dominated state elections. They gave us one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history. He reworked a failed economy into the best since the end of World War II. He won 46 states running on faith in capitalism and religion. He led the nation back to greatness and set the benchmark for new conservative thinking.
President Ronald Reagan is remembered for his ability to attract disaffected Democrats, aka the “Reagan Democrats.” He handily defeated popular incumbent Democrat Gov. Pat Brown in the 1966 governor’s race. Democrats gave him two presidential victories in 1980 and 1984. More Hispanic voters voted for Ronald Reagan than any other Republican running for the presidency.
But as quickly as Reagan turned California red, according to liberal intellects, the GOP brand was irrevocably damaged in 1994 by Gov Pete Wilson, running for a second term, who supported Proposition 187. It eliminated most public payouts for illegal immigrants. Wilson secured a landslide victory and the GOP made major political gains across the state, which included taking control of the State Assembly.
Prop 187 was approved by 61% of voters, and this angered Democrats who relied on illegal immigrants as future voters. Democrats made this a national issue to discredit the GOP. Their goal was to forever bury the GOP in California. They poured thousands into the state and had prop 187 overturned.
The next election, the state tuned dark blue. While Democrats claim Prop 187 doomed the GOP on the left coast, it was not the major event that forever tarnished the Gold Coast state; it was Ronald Reagan ending the Cold War. This opened the door for Democrats to finish their job.
“I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.”
– Ronald Reagan
While Prop 187 helped upend the GOP, the end of the Cold War resulted in dramatic cuts in the defense industry. Thousands of workers fled California, and took their conservative values with them. And the Democrats replaced them with cottage industries that hired undocumented laborers.
The political effect shifted Los Angeles County, which has a quarter of the population, from politically neutral to the left, which had a domino effect throughout the state. The suburbs, which had been a haven for conservatives, turned to the left. This empowered the far left to replace conservative values with a liberal manifesto that nurtured abortion, globalism, gun control, and LBGT empowerment.
“It’s a scientific fact if you stay in California you lose one point of your IQ every year.”
– Truman Capote
Voter registration data for the last election reflected California changed from “Reagan country” into the capital of the anti-Donald Trump movement. With Democrats 43% of the state’s registered voters and Republicans 36% and Independent 12.5%, they figured they could pass most anything on their progressive wish list. Polling data from the Public Policy Institute revealed that 70% of independents vote Democrat. That put the Democratic voter base at well over 50% across this dark blue state.
Just when the nation thought California was in total lockstep with progressives, last election has made the far left think twice? Left coasters vetoed affirmative action, abandoned rent control laws, supported technology giants over organized labor and refused to allow 17 year olds to vote. And they jettisoned a large progressive business tax increase that had been on the union wish list for years.
Just as the state’s 1996 affirmative action ban touched off laws across the U.S., California’s recent vote could make other states think twice about trying to pass racial or gender preference laws. One University of Southern California professor, Mindy Romero, agrees. “We think of ourselves as such a progressive state. But I’ve always said we are a blue state and we are many shades of blue.”
The left thought 2020 would make California ripe for total progressive submission. The home of Trump haters tantalized progressives as a high-water mark for turnout to make every progressive scheme a reality. They were wrong! Voters fed up with Gov. Gavin Newsom rebelled.
“There’s nothing wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn’t cure.”
– Ross MacDonald
Californians proved it is still home to millions of Republicans, and the ever-growing Democratic tent includes plenty of moderates. And the state’s Hispanic majority still lags far behind in voter turn out.
If either of the two petitions circulating to recall Newsom makes it, don’t count all Republicans out.
In his final State of the City speech last year, former Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer hinted his political career might not be over. He could be persuaded to run for office again. Results from this election are encouraging for Republicans looking to develop an alternative view of some national policy ideology. Initiatives to undo Prop 13, rent-control and others on the progressive wish list failed miserably. Also, three incumbent Democrats lost congressional seats to the Republicans.
In a city where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by 13%, Kevin Faulconer had remarkable support in San Diego. He addressed San Diego’s housing crisis and homeless issues and helped to expand economic opportunities for small business. But on the flip side, he is pro-choice, pro-liberal immigration reform, embraces liberal gun control and other very liberal tenets.
“California can and does furnish the best bad things obtainable in America.”
– Hinton R. Helper
Cormac McCarthy wrote, “Best way to live in California is to be from somewhere else.” Businesses and workers across the state have been leaving the left coast for other places because of their far left progressive movement for years. It increased dramatically under Newsom’s leadership. People are unhappy with his unrelenting attacks on Prop 13, tax increases, and dumb legislation he signs into law, like his recent ethnic “Reparations Act.” They’ve had enough of his ideocracies.
Electing anyone from the GOP as the next left coast governor, might help the liberal left see that the GOP has some good ideas on how to return the state to responsible management. With his very liberal social beliefs that coincide with the majority of the electorate, Faulconer could have an excellent chance of winning the grand prize. And since he is a fiscal hawk, Californians might be elated with someone who is willing to address repairing the state’s failed budget accountability.
It might be time to present an argument against the status quo to left coast voters. Faulconer is probably the only Republican with a chance to win an election in the most progressive U.S. state. It’s an idea the national GOP should consider if they ever desire a voice in politics on the left coast again. Who ever thought that left coasters would elect Hollywood’s Terminator?
“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.”
– Edward Abbey
“We have seen the Democrat solution to an energy crisis; it’s called California.”
– J. C. Watts
”California is a tragic country, like Palestine, like every Promised Land.”
– Christopher Isherwood

By William Haupt III | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission

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