Guest contributors run the gamut, but they all pretty much rock.
Chupacabras. Terrifying blood-sucking creatures that keep many kids in line and following the rules in order to keep safe. As a Californian, I grew up hearing much more about Chupacabras than about the boogeyman. I also recognize a good Chupacabra story when I hear one. For those of you who don’t know, the mythological (or is it?!?!) creature is typically a dog-like, vampiric beast that sucks the blood out of goats. Most of the country sees California as a Chupacabra. Why did I not use boogeyman and just get on with it? The draining of life force is important to note. Most of the other states see California as a drain due to its massive entitlement programs, oppressive laws and regulations, and uniformly Democratic representatives such as Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, and new darling Kamala Harris. Events of late in Berkeley aren’t helping moderate this narrative either.
“We together can fight liberal agendas and stop our state from becoming California… just click here for a one-time donation to” and so on and so forth. California is fantastic for fundraising, throughout the state and all over the country. In my inbox I have invitations to swanky fundraisers for candidates from the primaries that were held in Southern California. California ranks in the top five states for Republican fundraising. Last I heard, there are more registered Republicans in California than in Texas. We have a lot of people in our state. This is where the ‘rule following’ thing comes in. For Californians, our fundraising letters and emails talk about fighting specific battles within the state that are rarely actually fought. An example of this would be restrictions on firearms above and beyond the federal regulations. If you are out of state, I am sure you’ve heard plenty about us. Not the blonde babes on the beach, the produce for much of the country, or the craft beer. Instead, we have the reputation for siphoning off federal resources. Chupacabras are quite hungry creatures.
I didn’t vote for Trump in the 2016 general election, and it is not a surprise to anyone that California went for Hillary in November. In fact, the lack of organization and funds from the GOP really reinforce both the results and my ease of leaving the top of the ticket blank. This is where the ‘purple’ part comes in: As a state, we have not voted Republican in a presidential election since 1988 with George H. W. Bush, the same year Pennsylvania also voted red. However, every other governor in California for the past 3 decades has been Republican. What? California is solid blue, no way it oscillates consistently! It does. What shapes this? Name recognition and organized investment into the state. I will admit, name recognition matters more as of recent elections and one could argue this is true nationwide after Donald Trump became our 45th president. Why? The RNC and GOP don’t care about California enough to invest resources into the state. If you look at district maps, most of the state is actually quite red. In fact, the House Majority Leader is Kevin McCarthy, Representative of California’s 23rd Congressional district. The same recipe could be used for any conservative candidate or party.
I am not a Republican Party loyalist. I care about the Constitution, freedom, and reducing the oppression of government on the people here and nationwide. I couldn’t care less if we turn red if we aren’t doing good by the people here. The point I’m making is that California is not solely a solid blue block. It appears the reason is because the past 30 years the RNC (and the GOP in general), have capitalized on demonizing a state. Yes, it is very expensive to run a competitive campaign in the Golden State. What is incredibly doable is building and maintaining an organizational machine with volunteers to gain seats in districts including mayoral races and city council seats. From there, you build up to statewide races like the U.S. Senate and Governors’ mansions.
The infrastructure I’m speaking of could flip California red. I know I’m not the only one who personally couldn’t stomach a Trump vote in November and used the Electoral College as an out for a difficult choice. What would November 2016 have looked like had California had a great conservative political infrastructure? Our Senate race in November was a run off of the two top primary finishers. Harris had all the endorsements and full support of the DNC political machine and she received the lion’s share of votes with 40.2% The second-place candidate finished with 19% of the vote. My ballot had over 10 official candidates running as Republicans and many more running as independent candidates. The Senate section took nearly an entire page. This crowded field of many hopefuls split the vote. I have no doubt that a non-Democrat could have easily gotten at least 20% of the vote and gone to the run off in November. Could the candidate win the seat? Absolutely. However, that person can’t be a bad candidate; they need that infrastructure and name recognition. It comes down to money, time, and effort. All would be doable and attainable with the resources the RNC has. Sadly, the RNC has been more than happy to use California as a tale of woe to keep the rest of the country in line.