Next Tuesday, something will happen in California we haven’t seen in a very long time. Our presidential primary vote will matter.
We’re the eighth largest economy in the world, but when it comes to selecting presidential nominees, tiny New Hampshire might as well bestride the world like a giant. Iowa? In 2015, they ranked 30 in the list of Gross State Product. New Hampshire rated a measly 39. And which state ranked first?
You guessed it, the one whose governor was once derided as Governor Moonbeam, but is now being held up as a model for successful Democrats.
But I’m not writing to brag, honest. I’m just thrilled that our primary will actually matter this time. We’re an 800 pound gorilla who is habitually treated like an organ grinder’s monkey. Typically, politicians touch down in our state just long enough to snarl traffic on their way to fundraisers, then wave goodbye on the tarmac.
I wish we could do that with Donald Trump, but we’ll have to wait until the general election. I’m sure the state’s dwindling Republican Party is glad to know that Trump won’t be stopping by until the general election is underway. Former Governor Pete Wilson did enough damage to their standing with the ascendant Hispanic population of our diverse state.
The California Democratic Party owes a debt of gratitude to Pete Wilson’s Trumpian Prop 187, which, among other basic services, denied illegal aliens all but emergency healthcare.
You mean your limb is still attached? Nope, not an emergency. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
You would almost think Wilson was a mole for the Democrats. The backlash engendered by Prop 187 and two other anti-immigrant propositions is so notorious in the political science field that it has it’s now called the Prop 187 effect. It was the main reason that the state that brought the country Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is now painted solid blue.
You would think that Tricky Dick and and Bonzo’s co-star would’ve been enough to turn the tide away from the Republican Party, but no. We owe this switchover to a last gasp of white privilege in this former Spanish colony. It was tyranny of the once and future minority.
Of course, Trump is doing his best to ensure that the growing Hispanic population nationwide will follow those in California out the door of the GOP.
But I think it’s too soon to panic. What they’re really worried about is that it’s not a landslide victory at this early stage before the cage match begins. Though Hillary Clinton is far from an ideal candidate, I think everyone should take a deep breath and remember all the reasons Republicans have been tearing their hair out.
The general electorate is far more diverse than the Republican primary voters. Yes, the Donald has seemed to have weathered countless controversies that would’ve sunk candidates in the past. But the hits keep on on coming, as Trump tries to find new voter groups he hasn’t offended yet.
In the meantime, he’s likely doing lasting damage to the Republican Party. The demographic clock was already running down for the party, as their fervent supporters continue to jump on board the Titanic of losing battles such as blocking LGBT rights and immigration reform.
When the burgeoning Hispanic population in the US hears cries of hordes of Mexican murderers and rapists streaming over the border–an image Pete Wilson also used–they don’t think, “Deep down inside, the Republicans really like us.”
Though I’m a loyal Democrat, I don’t want to see one-party rule. A healthy democracy requires a robust opposition. What I would like to see is a more moderate Republican Party that edges off the precipice of extremism.
They’ll have no choice because otherwise there’s nowhere to go but down.
So pour yourself a glass of wine, put up your feet, and relax. The hatemongers are on the losing side of history. I hope the GOP survivors will emerge from their lifeboat to board a ship steered on a more rational course.