It’s lonely being a conservative in Los Angeles- so lonely that we have to create secret clubs and attend password-protected gatherings to be able to speak freely. But you’d never know it by the way the state’s progressives are reacting to the election.
Statewide, things went swimmingly for the Dems. Thanks to having two Democrats on the ballot, they retained retiring Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat, picked up some seats in the legislature, and may end up with a supermajority in both houses after all of the votes are counted. And, Hillary Clinton carried the state by a large margin. But progressives are incensed that Donald Trump was elected, and early on election night the #Calexit hashtag started trending on Twitter.
Because they can’t impose their will on the rest of the country the way they do their fellow Californians, progressive Californians want to teach the rest of the country a lesson and secede. They figure that since California has the sixth largest economy in the world, and they’ve already implemented a progressive’s fantasy list of policies in the state, they don’t need the rest of the country.
In reality, if #Calexit happened, it’s the progressives’ own pet projects which would be decimated without federal funding. Covered California would sink. And from where would the state’s college students receive student aid/loans?
Even if a secession vote passed, the state couldn’t defend its newfound independence. A UC San Diego political science professor warned:
Speaking of fights, is secession really the best idea for a state that just passed some of the strictest gun-control laws in the nation? Ever notice how many people in Arizona and Nevada are packing? Civil wars tend to follow secessions, and I don’t like our chances.
A few days of sobriety has left progressives saying, “Whoops. They have guns, and we want their money. What now?”
State Senate President Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, both from Los Angeles, said “enough” to #Calexit. They’re committed to staying right here and fighting Trump. The two issued a statement that read:
“Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.”
Feeling like strangers in a foreign land…that you own? Nothing becomes law in California without either of your names. In any of the state’s urban areas, your viewpoints are the socially acceptable ones. Your angst is laughable. California conservatives have felt like strangers in a foreign land for close to three decades. Ask them how it really feels.
And you’ll lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our Constitution? That’s funny. “Ghost Gun” de Leon was the driving force behind the state’s “Gunpocalypse” package of laws which, well, shredded the Second Amendment. You’re against an effort that would shred our social fabric? Yet you allow illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses and offer them in-state tuition rates, and protect people eligible for deportation (11,000 from Jan. 2014 to June 2015) from federal authorities?
With any luck, their decision to declare war over control of a state they rule with an iron fist will wake up the state GOP. The Republicans held on to their Congressional seats, but in two areas of Southern California that are usually reliably red incumbents had to battle to retain them. In statewide races, most GOP candidates are really sacrificial lambs. Bright young conservative strategists and campaign workers are leaving the state in droves since there aren’t many job prospects on the side that keeps losing.
Conservatives have had successes in parts of the state which haven’t translated to the party as a whole. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for how the state GOP can effectively fight the Dems for control of the state.
Recruit candidates who fit the district. State Senator Andy Vidak is a prime example of the success of this principle. He’s a conservative who won in a district where Democrats have a 20% voter registration advantage, because voters saw him as Andy, not as some faceless Republican guy who didn’t care about them.
Lay off social issues. Gay Republicans gravitated to Donald Trump early in the process, and the Los Angeles chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans formally endorsed him. Why? Because Ted Cruz’s stance on LGBTQ issues scared them to death.
Focus on individual liberties, especially with millennials. No further elaboration should be needed here.
Assure families that GOP policies will fix what’s ailing California. Corporations (= jobs) are leaving California in droves. The middle class has essentially been decimated. Proposition 47 and AB 109, which gave early release to thousands of “non-dangerous” criminals, have resulted in a rise in crime and no cost savings.
Actually reach out to minorities. This means you actually care about their community, create partnerships, and are seen there more frequently than 60 days prior to each election. It also means no pandering. I have heard GOP candidates seriously say things along the lines of, “I don’t know why I did so poorly with Latinos. I mean, I did Taco Tuesday in that neighborhood for months before the election.” Ummm… wow.
When you address the issues, stay positive. Trump empathized with the struggles working class voters faced, but also convinced them he would Make America Great Again. Let it be known that you’re going to Make California Great Again.