Within living memory, the words “Orange County” were synonymous with Ronald Reagan and his brand of conservatism. Reagan pivoted his governorship of the state into two historic terms as president, but it now seems hard to imagine a “Reagan Republican” running the most leftwing state in the union now.
(No, Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t count — despite his tough talk, he was a liberal at heart.)
Think about it: Most of Hillary Clinton’s highly touted “popular vote” totals came in from California. How could Donald Trump’s election possibly alter the state’s electoral makeup?
The LA Times reports that some believe they have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do so:
“If we can get Donald J. Trump to be president of the United States, certainly we can get Californians registered to be Republicans,” longtime conservative activist Johnnie Morgan said to applause. “With the energy we have now, with the momentum we have now, with the inspiration we have now, with the committed people we have now, we can do this. It will spread like wildfire.” (…)
Despite California’s overwhelmingly Democratic tilt, the president-elect does have significant support in the state. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won California nearly 2-to-1, but because of the state’s enormous population, Trump still received nearly 4.5 million votes. That’s more than he received in every other state except Texas and Florida. Hundreds of thousands of those supporters volunteered to help Trump win critical battlegrounds, making phone calls and traveling to knock on doors. (…)
The California group’s goals would be twofold: supporting Trump’s policy efforts and trying to change the political leadership in California or in liberal enclaves such as Long Beach or Los Angeles.
This effort is indeed a tall order. California is increasingly split, and in an ominous way: Wealthy liberal white elites on one side, and their non-white, often illegal employees on the other. The latter can’t afford to live in the same glamorous cities as their bosses, and don’t speak the same language.
What these two groups have in common is that they tend to vote Democrat. So if this group’s efforts succeeds, who will embrace the Trump message? Those Hollywood/Silicon Valley “progressives” — or their lower caste servants and workmen?
The former may just be craven enough to turn GOP, because they want to be on the “winning” side as long as it lasts. The latter may turn out to be the “natural conservatives” that the Republican elite kept insisting they were. Regardless, it will be fascinating to watch.
Source: Los Angeles Times