Saturday, July 8, 2017

California Made Trump Great

Politico was not thrilled to write or print this article.

California took Trump from side-show to front-runner, and now President of the United States.

How California Gave Us Trumpism

It's an honor to know that even though California got bluer, so much so that Orange County went blue for the first time in 70 years--that California played a featured necessary role ensuring that Trump would become the Republican nominee and the next President.

Politico published an extended review of California's role in Trump's rise.

I will focus on key features from the article:

A little over a month after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist and the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, sat triumphantly onstage at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington and described his vision of the “deconstruction of the administrative state”—a dismantling of the supposedly left-leaning, meddlesome government bureaucracy.

Great idea. This undermining of the bureaucracy, which leans left, against limited government and toward totalitarian expansionism, has been the key reason why Republicans cannot shift and impose a new ultimate culture in Washington DC.

The swamp shifts from one side to the next under most GOP administrations, but it never goes away. Thomas Sowell has routinely point out that the bureaucracy has to be cleaned out. Trump is already focusing on this.

[U]nder the hood, the state has been the ideological engine of the more heterodox strain of Trumpism now driving much of the president’s policy. Bannon, though raised in Virginia, honed his political identity in Los Angeles, where he spent more than a decade pumping out right-wing documentaries before taking over Breitbart News. White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, an immigration hard-liner who may be the next-most influential thinker in Trumpland, is a product of the decidedly liberal enclave of Santa Monica. Michael Anton, an erudite high-level National Security Council aide, was raised in Northern California, including ultra-liberal Santa Cruz. Julia Hahn, Bannon’s bomb-throwing fellow Breitbart alum who is now an aide in the West Wing, grew up in Los Angeles, where she attended the prestigious Harvard-Westlake School—also the alma mater of Alex Marlow, the editor of Breitbart, the website that has become the primary media vehicle for Trump’s nationalist agenda.

The conservative intelligentsia who powered the Trump campaign and then his victorious administartion, is all a backlash against the abject, destructive liberalism that has been eating away at the once Golden State. Many friends of mine in activist groups throughout Southern California were bent to complete devotion to ensure that Trump became President. If Hillary won, the entire country would have turned into the topsy-turvy, progressive leftist dystopia which has become California.

Because we live in the belly of the Left-wing beast, we know what dangers faced the rest of the country under a prospective Clinton Presidency. We would not allow it, and the intellects who formed the conservative coalition for the Trump presidency worked hard--and won!

Then came a history lesson about conservatives in California:

A half-century ago, conservatives in California were not the rare breed they are today. Republicans held steady at about 40 percent of registered voters from World War II until 1990. Richard Nixon was born in Orange County, came of age in California, attending Whittier College in Southern California, and first won election as a congressman in 1946 representing parts of Los Angeles. There was also Ronald Reagan, the second-rate Hollywood actor who served as governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

How about that? Of course, the article neglects to point out that Governor Reagan had a liberal-leaning strain. He would become more conservative in his bids for President. He would run three times for the Presidency, in fact, but would first distinguish himself emphatically from the New Deal-ism of the Democratic Party, then support Barry Goldwater's clear, pro-American, pro-liberty campaign.

Both of these future presidents established a political template for California conservatives that lasted until the dawn of the 21st century, built on limited government, low taxes and traditional cultural values. And for decades, conservative politicians in California could win, or at least stay competitive, by espousing those tenets. Between the two of them, Republicans George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson held the governor’s office from 1983 to 1999. As late as 1988, Republican presidential candidates carried California, too. “I do think there was a time where a softer version of a Republican could build a coalition in California,” says Marlow, the Breitbart editor.

Notice that word "softer" - but what does that mean? Why the clash of contour in California's version of conservatism?

As California has played host to some of America’s bitterest debates over immigration—from the furor over Chinese railroad workers in the late 1800s to the backlash over the influx of Mexican farm laborers that began in the 1930s—Republicans often gained ground by playing to white voters’ discomfort. Deukmejian spoke of how America had “lost control of our borders.” In 1994, Wilson won reelection on his support of Proposition 187, which prohibited undocumented immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education and other services (courts blocked it before it went into effect), as well as his opposition to affirmative action in higher education.

YES! California was the vanguard and the avant-garde on fighting illegal immigration. This contentious issue defined Trump's campaign, and his bold stance on securing our borders, establishing the final definition of our country's culture and heritage. The argument of playing to "white fears" is unfounded, however. The reporter has obviously overlooked that Deukmejian was Armenian, of Middle eastern descent.

How could they miss that?

But as the state’s demographics shifted, this appeal to white identity politics lost its hold on the electorate. 

The demographics did not simply "shift." Let's talk about the negative impacts of illegal immigration. Let's not forget the growing international crimes that have overtaken key urban enclaves.

Other issues have turned California into a blackened hue of blue:

1. Voter fraud
2. Public sector unionism
3. Media bias and fraud
4. Voter "Reforms" which have shut out choice for voters.

According to Thad Kousser, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, many blue-collar defense industry factory workers lost their jobs after the Cold War and decamped for Las Vegas or Phoenix—to be replaced, increasingly, by Latino and Asian-American immigrants. 

This point is significant. The decline of manufacturing jobs, especially the aerospace industry, pushed out many working and middle-income voters--Republican voters, and brought in more Democratic leaning constituents.

In 1990, California had 17 million non-Latino whites and 7.7 million Latinos; in 2014, the number of Latinos surpassed the number of whites. Politically, the state shifted decisively to the left as Wilson’s terms in office drew to a close. In 1990, 40 percent of registered voters in the state were Republicans; in 2017, only 26 percent were. While half of California’s House delegation was Republican in 1994, just over a quarter is today. The state has not had a Republican U.S. senator for a quarter-century.

This analysis does not make any sense. What exactly did Pete Wilson have to do with the tilt of GOP registration from 40% to 26%? The decline is measured over a long period of time within the above passage, from 1998 to 2017.

Those changes left California’s conservatives increasingly isolated. Today, Republicans tend to cluster geographically in the Southland—in communities across Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties—as well as the farm-heavy Central Valley. Republicans in California are also more homogeneous than Democrats. Seven in 10 likely Republican voters in California described themselves as conservative in 2016, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan think tank, while only 57 percent of likely Democratic voters described themselves as liberal. Seventy-seven percent of likely Republican voters were white; 50 percent of likely Democratic voters were. (The state is 43 percent white as a whole.)

This dispersal of political views within the Democratic Party is a crucial element. Democrats have large numbers in the Central Valley. They tend to vote Republican, even though they outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. For this reason, Andy Vidak won the special election and then trounced the opposition in 2014.

Since the 1990s, when California Republicans’ numbers really began to dwindle, many of them have come to see the official embrace of a multicultural, multilingual California with porous borders and generous social services for immigrants, legal or not, as a mistake. And they have fought against it with ballot measures like Proposition 187 in 1994, which denied public services to illegal immigrants; Proposition 209 in 1996, which ended affirmative action in higher education; and Proposition 227 in 1998, which halted bilingual education in public schools. Each of them passed.

They all passed but Prop 187 was never enforced. That was a big problem. One arrogant federal judge blocked the enforcement of the law, and Governor Wilson did nothing to stop that abitrary arrogance from one lawyer in a bad dress.

If those sound something like Trumpian policies, the echoes get even more specific: You could also say the Wall was born in California. Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego, who served in the House from 1981 to 2009, was one of the first members of Congress to push for the construction of a border wall along the state’s southwest corner, before proposing in 2005 that a wall be built all the way across the border between the United States and Mexico. 

Duncan Hunter's son serves in Congress currently. Thank God for the Hunters, and Daddy Hunter even launched a long-shot bid for President in 2008.

With little room for them in California politics—even the most successful recent Republican candidates, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, have been more moderate, Kousser points out—conservatives in the state began to take their ideas to the national level.

That's so cool!

After skipping over the biographies of the conservative all-stars who would form the national movement to Make America Great Again, I come to this passage below:

After attending graduate school at Claremont and serving as a speechwriter for Governor Wilson and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Anton published an irregular series of essays in the Claremont Review of Books, the Institute’s print quarterly and website, that covered a range of topics so wide it seems almost random: novelist Tom Wolfe, nuclear terrorism, construction in Napa Valley, the Beach Boys’ uncompleted album Smile. But indeed, running through them is a single thread—liberal California as a fallen civilization.

Yes, I could not agree more. What happened to Calif

“It used to be the paradise for the common man,” Anton explained to me. “It was cheap, safe, clean. It had space. It couldn’t last the way it was.”

Anton has several theories about what he describes as not just a cultural but an economic backsliding: the closure of many of the state’s military bases, which stopped drawing conservatives to settle in California; overregulation that pushed out small-business owners to states like Texas; the demographic consequences of large-scale Latino immigration; the “de-diversification” of the state’s economy toward the tech sector; and what he calls the rule of a “Borg Collective” of bureaucrats and politicians trained at the state’s leading—and liberal—schools. In Anton’s mind, the result is a California in which “if you’re poor enough, we’ll help you; if you’re rich enough we’ll worship you”—but in which the middle class has evaporated. (There’s some truth to that: In 1980, 60 percent of California families were in the middle class. In 2010, just less than half were, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.)

The paragraph above is a perfect constellation of problems that describe why California is no longer golden.

Another set of paragraphs in the Politico piece discusses Breitbart's rise to conservative prime and prominence including his efforts to create a journalism site to scale the walls of Big Media. One section discusses his attendance at a hard-core, intensive week-long session at the Claremont institute on American, Western, and Judeo-Christian values.

Wow! I wish I could have been there. What it would have been like to be a fly on the wall watching all of these learned, active conservatives researching and preparing for the fight to take back California.

Breitbart styled himself as more of a provocateur than an intellectual—and his site, even after his death from heart failure in 2012, was in the same mold. Breitbart—who once videotaped donors at a Santa Monica fundraiser for Governor Jerry Brown while gliding around on roller skates—built the site on the thesis that culture drives politics, not the other way around. “Andrew understood that showmanship was essential,” Marlow says, noting that the site’s first vertical was “Big Hollywood.”

I could not agree more. Surprisingly, Politico did not uote Breitbart's famous phrase: "Politics is downwind from culture."

We are finally taking on the culture and winning!

What was a key catalyst which empowered conservatives to fight back and ensure a national movement to stop the Californization of the United States?

The signal California moment for the marriage of Claremont constitutionalism and Breitbart spectacle came in July 2015, not long after Trump had launched his presidential campaign. On that day, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who had been deported five times, allegedly fired three shots from a handgun while walking along the waterfront in San Francisco. One of those bullets ricocheted off the pavement and struck a 32-year-old passerby named Kathryn Steinle in the back. She died two hours later in a nearby hospital.

Her last words? "Daddy, help me!"

But Papa Steinle could do nothing to save his daughter.

Breitbart feasted on the story, which it depicted as the ultimate proof of California’s decline and, more broadly, the grievous consequences of unconstitutional immigration run amok. 

This story hit the headlines and affected national lawmakers on an unprecedented level. It was not just Breitbart, folks.

San Francisco’s city leaders were criticized for prioritizing sanctuary city policies in a play for Latino votes, rather than carrying out their basic public safety functions. Mass immigration, the erosion of constitutional norms and weak-spined liberal politicians all played a role in Steinle’s death, Breitbart argued. From “Unchecked Immigration: A Greater Threat to The USA Than ISIS” and “SF Supervisors Refuse to Answer Questions About Steinle’s Death,” the site published more than 100 news and opinion articles about Steinle’s death.

Thank God for Breitbart!

On the campaign trail, Trump quickly held up the incident as the epitome of a broken immigration system. “My heartfelt condolences to the family of Kathryn Steinle. Very, very sad!” the candidate tweeted days after the killing, adding “We need a wall!” Less than a week later, Breitbart News reported that Trump had surged in a poll of its readers, climbing to second place in the GOP primary field, behind Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. “Trump’s message about illegal immigration may resonate even more” after the shooting, the site reported, presciently.

It’s like that moment in the grunge movement when everybody was from Seattle,” Breitbart’s California editor says of the prominence of Californians in the era of Trump.

“It’s like that moment in the grunge movement when everybody was from Seattle,” Breitbart’s California editor, Joel Pollak, says of the unexpected prominence of Californians in the era of Trump.


It remains to be seen how much Trump—with help from Bannon, Miller, Anton, Hahn and Marlow—will truly be able to dismantle the administrative state or restrict immigration. 

He's already winning, folks. The bigger problem resides not with Trump and his executive team, but with Congress, where the Swamp is still as strong as ever. Career politicians are not keen on draining the swamp or ending the lobbyist cult, since they will be looking for lucrative jobs once they retire from elected office.

California itself, meanwhile, is drifting ever further away from the version of America that Trump promises to restore.

It's called liberal desperation. No one should be surprised.

Now, America’s future—whether it’s inclusive or nationalistic, big government or small—could amount to a battle between the right-wing Californians in exile and the Democrats who govern the state they left. 

The California Democratic leadership, plus the more polarized left-wing Bernie-crat grassroots, are determined to be The Resistance. Their blind determination to get rid of Trump, and to stop his agenda at all costs within their own bounds, have pushed them to target as many Republican Congressional seats as possible.

But at least while they can, the Antons and Millers of the Trump administration are expected to keep fighting against their home state and the unrelenting liberalism they believe it represents.

Yes, California is not just unrelenting, but unrepentant it its abhorrent apathy to the truth about life and the laws of Nature and Nature's God.

“For the nation as a whole is, California is a vanguard, in this as so many other things,” says the Claremont Institute’s Charles Kesler. “A lot of us don’t want America to become California writ large.”

I could not agree more.

California needs to look more like America, not the other way around. With the sheer economic and cultural fallout overtaking the state, California is going to look more like Venezuela. Perhaps it's time for the Second American Revolution, this time with a California flair.

Final Reflection

This articles go to great lengths to make it seem that California conservative bloggers and reporters like Andrew Breitbart made all the difference int turning Trump's campaign into the unstoppable movement that became the new Presidency.

Their fixation on the Kate Steinle account is too limited. They seem to forget that Trump ended up winning in states which the Republican National Committee had all but written off.

I do appreciate their attention to the decline of manufacturing and working-class careers. The decline of industry and competitive building and infrastructure jobs played a large role in diminishing the blue-collar conservatism which brought Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to national power and prominence.

Politico's stance basically rests on the argument that California's conservative intelligentsia tapped into the baser, populist concerns of the American populace. The thin veneer of smug elitism permeates the article, as though the right-leaning politicos, columnists, and journo-activists are desperately trying to stem the tide of inevitable progressivism.

The truth is that leading lights like Andrew Breitbart and Steve Bannon have understood that true political restoration rests on cultural renaissance. The long march through the institutions conducted by the cultural Marxist Left had slithered into every aspect of our lives. It needed to be confronted, called out, and conuered.

Breitbart did it, and had fun doing so, and there was not better place to break away from these defeated,

1 comment:

  1. Didn't Wilson, Deukmejian, and Reagan all jack up taxes and spending when they were Governor?