Monday, November 26, 2018

The Orange County of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan Is No More: The Times They Are A-Changing

“The Times They Are A-Changing..” Bob Dylan. The Orange County of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan is no more. A blue tsunami struck California November 5. The Democrats swept all 8 state constitutional positions. They reaped a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, thereby no longer needing voter approval for tax increases – all the taxes they put on the political backburner earlier this year. They will raise taxes, more taxes, and even more taxes. Democrats held 39 of California’s Congressional seats going into the November election. Republicans had 14 seats. The Republicans will probably hold 7 seats after November 5. One district is still not determined, but the votes are swinging Democrat. Republicans are becoming an endangered species in California. Seven Congressional District include Orange County voters. Two of them are essentially in Los Angeles County, so five are mostly in Orange County. The first, representing heavily Hispanic Santa Ana and Little Saigon, flipped in 1996 when Loretta Sanchez defeated Congressman Robert “B-1 Bomber” Dornan by 984 votes. That district has remained Democratic. Congresswoman Sanchez had unsuccessfully run for the Anaheim City Council in 1994 as a Republican using her married name of Loretta Sanchez Brixey. Orange County had four Republican representatives. Now there are none from the O.C. Orange County was the heart and soul of the modern conservative movement. It had a national reputation as the bastion of conservatism. One metaphorically crossed “The Orange Curtain” from Los Angeles into Orange County. It was the lynchpin of Arizona’s Senator Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential Campaign. It was the birthplace and home of Richard Nixon. The County was critical to the election of Republicans Ronald Reagan, Pete Wilson, George Deukmejian, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as governors of California. It fueled Governor Reagan’s road the White House. Ronald Reagan referred to Orange County as “Republican Heaven.” It provided substantial funds to the campaigns of both Presidents Bush. The Times They Are A-Changing. Orange County is no longer the White, Republican conservative homogeneous county ofa few decades ago. The estimated population for 2017 in Orange County is 3,190,400, of which Caucasians comprised 42%, Hispanics 34.2%, Asians 19.1%, and African Americans 2.1%. Registered republicans slipped from 660,561 in 2000 to 541,665 in 2018, barely surpassing Democratic registration of 523,624. No Party Preference (Independent) rose to 429,675 from 190,950). The Times They Have A-Changed. Orange County was a post-War World II development. The pre-War county was primarily agricultural. Farmers are political conservatives. The post-war Orange County was built on the military-industrial complex of military bases and aerospace plants. Developers turned the orange groves and lima bean fields into tract homes. There is matter and anti-matter. There is LA and anti-LA. Orange County was the anti-LA. Orange County partially grew on white flight from LA. Several reasons exist for the change. The first is the change in demographics. A second reason is the anti-Trumpers, who would normally vote Republican. He received 32% of the California vote in 2016 and even lost Orange County to Hillary Clinton. The initial “R” has become anathema to most Californians. For example, Los Angeles Sheriff McDonnell was heading to reelection in the non-partisan election. However, Alex Villanueva, a retired Sheriff Lieutenant, tossed his hat in the ring, and is now heading to election with the absentee, early voting tally. His key to the election was emphasizing he is a Democrat and will kick the immigration agents out of the county jail. He would though deliver dangerous immigrants to immigration. He recognized the need to deport dangerous convicted felons, rapists and sexually violent predators. Republicans lost the Hispanic vote in 1994 when Governor Pete Wilson won reelection by supporting Prop 187, which denied benefits and services, such as education, to illegal immigrants. The courts threw out the measure, but it damaged the Republican label with the growing Hispanic population in California. The fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the collapse of the Southern California aerospace industry. Military bases and factories closed. Thousands were laid off. 1990 saw a recession in California. About a million left the state. The emigres tended to be conservative Republicans. The Republicans had a 22% registration advantage over Democrats. Its been shrinking ever since. Businesses continue to flee California. Carl Jr.’s just announced a move to Tennessee. Texas is very attractive to California businesses. Sacramento sees the economy, and tax revenues, booming with Hollywood and Silicon Valley leading the boom. Sacramento is blind to businesses leaving the state. Once again, Californians leaving California exceeds Americans moving in from other states. Conservatives are fleeing the state. Another reason for the Orange County wipeout was the money pouring into Democratic campaign coffers. For example, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg threw $9 million into two Orange County races, those of Harley Rouda and Katie Porter. $4 million went into Harley Rouda’s campaign. Gil Cisneros won the lottery a few years ago. He poured $8 million of his own money in defeating the Republican candidate Young Kim, who only raised $1.9 million. Both Harley Rouda and Gil Cisneros had opportunistically switched from Republican to Democrat. Democrats Harley Rouda and Katie Porter in Orange County, and Katie Hill in Los Angeles dominated the airways with ads. The Republicans lacked the resources to compete. Orange County voted for Hillary Clinton two years ago. The signs were on the wall. The O.C. was changing. The O.C. suburbs voted Democratic this time, as they did nationally. The younger voters have turned away from the Republican Party. The Vietnamese and Persian refugees were conservative, but their children have been fully assimilated into the American culture, which entails many of them adopting the liberalism of their peers. The Times in the O.C. They Have A-Changed.

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