In the Heart of ‘The Resistance,’ California Conservatives Are Invigorated

The state, a bright blue bulwark of anti-Trump politics, is also the source of many of the ideas and personalities that animate the right today.

Comments: 149

  1. I'll be honest, I struggle to comprehend the level of cognitive dissonance that makes a person of Asian origin decide to wear a MAGA-hat. I guess it's one of those mornings when it's really really hard to maintain an ounce of faith in humanity.

  2. it's only hard to comprehend if you have stereotypical views of Asians or any other minority groups. why does one not ask that it is hard to comprehend that Caucasians can be conservatives?

  3. The cognitive dissonance is on your part sir. If you only stop to think about the places "persons of Asian origin" or their ancestors escaped from looking for freedom and opportunity, not hand outs and patronizing racial coddling and then you would understand. They are taking a stand against what California has become. The article clearly mentions the reasons: political correctness, affirmative action, flight of blue-collar jobs, illegal immigration and government bloat." People are tired of it. -Person of Mexican origin

  4. That's probably what Hilary Clinton must have felt the morning after when she thought she had the election in the bag. You'll be surprised how may Asians, Blacks, Latinos, and women voted for Trump. They all don't think alike and march lockstep into the Democrat column just because he made some outrageous comments about them.

  5. Sure a lot of people and ideas of all stripes emanate from California. It does have 15% of the country's population and even higher numbers relating to economic output and advanced education. Now an article about modern liberal thinking in Mississippi would be more interesting, but likely more difficult to detect.

  6. Chuck--That's a tougher nut to crack. Slavery was still legal there in 2013. And there was opposition.

  7. Anytime you get 40 million people together, you will get a wide variety of types and ideas. Of course, as this article skirts around it -- the CA legislature has ensured that only the liberals and Dems now have a voice in CA politics. In time, this will backfire on them. BTW: it is incredibly ignorant to speak as if all Mississippians are the same (but all Californians diverse) -- Mississippi is smaller, sure. But they have liberals and academics and universities. And DID YOU KNOW? California is THE poorest state in the nation, with 24% of the population below the poverty live. Mississippi is a laggard with only 14% below the poverty line. Who knew?

  8. "It was only ten years ago that California had a centrist Republican governor in Arnold Schwarzenegger." If you are going to write this story, and add a line like that, and include quotes from Pete Wilson, then you have to tell at least briefly WHY Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor. After the Pete Wilson Prop 187 debacle, California elected a Democrat, Gray Davis. When the economy when bad in the late 90's, Enron (yes that Enron) bought up the grid space for electricity to flow, and then turned off the power. (remember the quote "let the old ladies die of heat, ha ha). Davis used up state emergency funds to maintain power (essentially paid ransom). Next he restored a fee on driver's licenses that had not been needed, because the state was in the black. Senator Darryl Issa, yes that Darryl Issa, started a recall campaign against Gov. Davis in hopes of becoming governor himself. The problem was the CA republican party wanted nothing to do with him being elected. Davis was recalled, and thus in comes Arnie, as the new governor. He was truly a RINO (which I hate that term, because it implies anyone who is moderate can not be an republican). He did not harm the state, but he also did not get much of his agenda done, esp. at first because he refused to collaborate and negotiate with the democratic state senate. Once he learned to listen and compromise (the key to governance and parenting) the system worked again. That is your history lesson for the day :)

  9. Ahnold had numerous problems with honesty, but his greatest failing is that he literally can't do the simple math required for a government budget. Look at his performances during his elections when presented with a budget question requiring a number - he never answered a single one but deflected all with jokes. Combine both of those characteristics and we ended up with a governor who unnecessarily cut $4.3 billion a year taxes as a reward for his friends in the car retail business and cut spending $4-5 billion a year on K-12 and college education. Lacking math skills, he couldn't calculate that reduced consumer interest rates offered far greater savings in the monthly payments for car buyers than the tax cuts. But the cuts to education had an effect that lasts for generations. We saw cutbacks to school funding that our community filled with parcel taxes, as well as significant shortage of classes available in state colleges frequently resulting in 85 students enrolled for classes with seats for 35. Ahnold also borrowed heavily to fund the state operating budget using bonds while making nonsensical claims he wasn't putting it "on the state credit card." He had a 4 foot wide credit card prop which he dramatically cut with oversized scissors for a PR event. He lied, but his friends and donors in the bond business did extremely well. Note that even with the above deceits Arnold was more honest than nearly every other GOP elected official in the state.

  10. Another thing: the photo is a good visual reminder that one-third of Asians voted for Trump. Same with Latinos. In an election that was supposed to see a surge of anti-Trump people of color voters. The inordinate focus on immigration and the undocumented was a rallying cry by identity politics activists. They’ve forced the Democratic establishment to make it a pillar of their platform at a time when xenophobia and anti-undocumented sentiment is higher than it has been in a long time. And remember all the way BLM interrupted all those Bernie and Hillary speeches? For what? Total turnout of people of color hardly changed; it might have even decreased. Democrats, we need to take the party back from these hijackers and false prophets. They’re important issues, but sometimes important issues need to take a backseat. (BTW, not that it should matter, but I say this as a gay man who, like many gay people, accepted years of incremental progress and public statements from our Democratic leaders against SSM as the best strategy. I also say this as a descendent of Middle Eastern refugees.) Note to activists: STOP BLAMING WHITE PEOPLE. Take a look at why your own strategy hasn’t done anything to advance your political agenda. Outrage at the drop of a hat and the demonization of white people has been a huge tactical misfire. Think pragmatically or else we’re in for many more years of Republican hegemony.

  11. 62 percent of Asians voted for Bob Dole in 1996. They used to be solidly Republicans. You’re actually doing a great job losing them.

  12. Well said! Every word of it. These important issues will remain unresolved ...these angry and in your face activists seem more about revenge and insults rather than genuine progressive dialogue. It's just a matter of time- if left unaddressed, more moderates among minority groups will be forced to seek alternatives to the democrats.

  13. A brilliant post. Not to sound conspiratorial, but after 50,000 odd years of power struggle and cognitive elite intermarriage, now add in proprietary AI (viz World Series), as they say in the market, events already reflect all available cognition. Who is behind policy is unknowable. If it "fails" perhaps the default ought to be false flag?

  14. There is zero empirical evidence to back up the authors claim. By his logic, New Jersey must be Home to a Republican renaissance for its residents to have elected Chris Christie. Ditto New York for nurturing Trump and Giuliani. And check out all those conservative institutions in Washington! Must not bode well for NoVa and Maryland liberals...

  15. Mr. Peters: Please let us know when Sam Harris chooses to make a speech at Bob Jones University. Colter and Yiannopoulos chose to speak at Berkeley precisely for the press coverage it got them. California, the most diverse (in every concievable way) state in the union, with 13-14% of the nation's population is indicative of what's happening on both coasts. The conservative movement, such as it is, has nothing to offer except fear and loathing and a constant pining for a nationwide "Truman Show."

  16. Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University, the school founded by Jerry Falwell. He was received politely.

  17. Liberty University hosted Bernie Sanders a year ago. To your point about what the conservative movement offers I like individual sovereignty and more personal freedom from an enlarging state that allows for more economic growth. Contrast that with the Left's entangled web of identity politics, outrage, and pie-in-the-sky proposals like govt run healthcare and free tuition that does nothing to increase future growth and prosperity. I like our pitch better.

  18. Not sure on which way CA will go. Still a lot of "white flight" especially to Arizona, which is why Democrats cannot win state wide in that state. Conservatives don't want to pay for anything, so CA's high tax rates motivates them to leave. Conservatives were not successful in getting on the ballot an initiative to apportion CA's electoral votes on a district basis (like ME and NE now) rather than winner take all. I do believe CA has a greater chance of turning purple before AZ and TX do. If the GOP ever figures out a way to win CA's electoral votes, there will never be another Democratic president before the sun goes super nova.

  19. California will forever stay blue. But there are red states that are becoming more and more blue. If the Supreme Court does its job and rids us of the terrible gerrymandering and vote suppression that occurs, republicans may not win again in....what did you say....yeah, that super nova thing.

  20. Nothing lasts forever.

  21. The questions now dividing the nation were addressed in California earlier. Look at the results in the huge state that is the world's sixth largest economy and figure out whether the solutions offered by the Republican talking heads in the state will work. If Republicans are looking to California to see the future of the Republican Party then they will see a party that represents the inland areas that are primarily rural and not densely populated. They will see a party that has lost membership over the last 30 years.

  22. Look at the results in the huge state that is the world's sixth largest economy... Just took your advice and looked: 15th highest in poverty rates the highest income inequality Basically, a state of elite slave owners and cheap illegal slave labor.

  23. Only news to people that aren't from California....

  24. Republicans in California are not " shut out" of statewide office. They just can't get elected because of their extreme positions on key issues. They should stop pledging allegiance to the GOP conservative agenda.

  25. Fiscal prudence and anti-illegal immigration stances are only extreme for the state's freeloaders and the families of illegal aliens. There are plenty of both apparently, in California.

  26. Fiscal prudence? Hardly. Witness current Republican tax initiatives.

  27. Dear California Conservatives: Try moving to a red state for a few years and see how that goes for you.

  28. I lived in a red state for 30 years and I miss it!

  29. Try moving to a red state for a few years and see how that goes for you. Anna, you seem to not have followed the late trend. They've moved to TX en masse and are prospering there.

  30. So true. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but a lot of those blue states have booming economies after years of being run by democrats and many of the red states, Kansas being the best example have horrible economies. Maybe republicans don’t really know how to govern?

  31. California Republicans did themselves in in 1994, when they aggressively pushed a voter initiative barring publicly funded health care, public education, and social services to illegal immigrants, and requiring public servants to report people they suspected might be illegal immigrants. Prop 187 passed by a large margin, but it moved the fast-growing Latino population solidly into the Democratic column. And the whole thing was for nothing, since Prop 187 was promptly found to be an unconstitutional state infringement on exclusive federal authority for immigration enforcement. In the years right before 1994, California voted Republican in 17 out of 28 presidential and key state-wide elections. Since 1994, Democrats have won every California votes for president, governor, lieutenant governor, and U.S. senator, except for two - those two being Arnold Schwarzenegger's two gubernatorial victories. The moral of the story is that when Republicans cast their lot with white nationalism, they alienate and unify the growing constituencies of Latino and non-white voters, sending Republicans down a very long road through the wilderness. Trump's 2016 candidacy was the Prop 187 of our time. Republicans have sown the wind and will surely reap the whirlwind.

  32. Was it white nationalism? Or illegal immigration? There seems to be no issue at all with legal immigrants.

  33. I was 15 years old in 1994, when Pete Wilson ran a vitriolic campaign for governor and against immigration that was really an attack on the state’s Latino community. As an immigrant from Mexico, that year’s political campaign left a bitter reminder of the true forces that fuel conservatism. It politicized me into the person I am today. And I do have to say about our current national political moment: we’ve already been through it in California. The road on out from it is long, but it will be rewarding.

  34. Are you now a U.S. citizen?

  35. One side of the divide wants jobs, a chance for advancement and success in life; the other side wants things from the government.

  36. Does it matter? People are allowed to express their opinions whether they are one or not. Would you have asked the same question if the poster hadn't written about being an immigrant?

  37. As the nation's largest and most diverse state, California has everything. As a major center of the media/entertainment industry it has the whole spectrum. But relatively few neo Nazis or Klan. But there should be no debate that the most potent right wing force in this country - Fox News - is based in NYC.

  38. One thing California needs to figure out -- how to tackle run-away public employee pension costs. Public employee pensions in California are a gravy train. And the thickest gravy of all goes to police and fire -- the darlings of the GOP, especially, the darlings of the Hannity alt-right. So, there is good political mileage in trying to rein in public employee pensions. The taxpayers are getting soaked. But the targets need to be all of them -- not just the usual litany of faceless bureaucrats. Police and fire pensions also need to be reined in, big time, along with the bureaucrats. Also the pensions at obscure special districts -- like water and sewer. They are all out of control.

  39. I retired in July as a community college teacher, department chair and administrator. We are STRS not CALPERS. For the past ten years I earned about $100K annually and my three highest years of salary averaged $110K. I had 21 years of service at retirement. My retirement gross annual income is now $47.5K. Is that out of control?

  40. "Mr. Shapiro added, offering one possible explanation for the disconnect. 'When you’re not in governance, that allows you to be a little more creative in the ideas you espouse.'" This is codespeak for what conservatives are best known for, especially under Trump: lies, misdirection, alternative facts and propaganda. Why anyone falls for this nonsense and un-ethics is a mystery. Disagreeing politically is fine, useful and American. But we have arrived at a point where facts are ignored and policy is based on falsehoods, fear, and deception - also gerrymandering and vote suppression. America is changing, whether MAGA folks like it or not. And rather than adapting with the times, they choose to delay the inevitable with crazy, and seemingly traitorous, behavior. Such an approach does nothing to help this country, rather it stagnates it. Narrow-focused blogs, websites, publications, news networks like Fox, Breitbart, etc. don't help matters. Rarely based on civil discourse and objectivity, they target non-stories in an effort to enflame rather than inform. To influence rather than educate. That's

  41. Jeff, America is changing, whether MAGA folks like it or not. And rather than adapting with the times Are you saying we had rather adapted to the degradation of our country than tried reversing it? Why? Because this is what Jeff from O County wants?

  42. I can most assuredly say that California is the not "heart" of the resistance, but more aptly described as the "headless chicken" of this so-called resistance. We have protesters in the street complaining about the Trump presidency while admitting they did not vote last November (check out Jimmy Kimmel's on-street interview for that fact). We have state politicians like Kevin de Leon who openly brag that his own family of illegals use stolen social security numbers and how that's no big deal. And we have nonsensical others in Sacramento who would rather tie the hands of local law enforcement officers by declaring a sanctuary state to ensure the Democrats can secure generations more of loyal Hispanic voters. As usual, progressive shortsightedness will come back to haunt Democrats ultimately.

  43. They lose their right to protest because they didn't vote?

  44. "They" don't even know what they're protesting.

  45. You lose your right to protest if you are here illegally.

  46. As a former Californian who has lived in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, I can assure you that California is not as liberal as its caricature by right-wing media. Yet, many Democratic voters (including me when I lived there) never considered voting for Republicans because of who they are. We would not countenance be governed by a party wholly owned by The Religious Blight + The 1%. We would not countenance being governed by those who deny science. Nor would we vote for a party that demonized immigrants while offering nothing to acknowledge the role of immigrants in California's life and economy. The Central Valley doesn't pick itself at harvest time, you know. Nor do commercial kitchens in San Francisco and Los Angeles operate and clean themselves. Nor should those whom we call dreamers be exiled to a country they cannot remember. How Orwellian is that? And Christian? Please. Erstwhile Republican Michael Bloomberg might have carried California had he run in 2016. But otherwise, forget it.

  47. Your first paragraph is completely contradicted by what follows.

  48. OK. Thank you for sharing.

  49. You DO know that you just defined the liberal caricature, don't you?

  50. The difference between California and the country is the Electoral College.

  51. And thank the Founding Fathers for that.

  52. Thanks God for that.

  53. Yes, California conservatives are invigorated...all five of them.

  54. Could it be that the modern Republican party can only function as opposition? When they've controlled the Government under Bush and now under Trump they've shown a remarkable inability to actually pass legislation. Their ideas have become so calcified and detached from reality that they fall apart when exposed to the scrutiny that legislation goes through. This became extremely clear during the healthcare fight this year. For six year Republicans whipped their base into anger over Obamacare but when they were given an opportunity to replace it they had no concrete ideas or proposals. The problem facing Republicans right now is not a lack of energy but a lack of intellectual honesty. Our county will be a much better place if we had conservative politicians who were interested in actually governing instead of yelling at strawmen.

  55. Reagan, and before him, Nixon, were spit out of California. The author already referenced the foul John Birch Society. The "Golden State" is more than Los Angeles and San Francisco, and, even in L.A. we have dyed in American wool institutions such as the LAPD, who for decades were notorious for lynching -- oh, excuse me, shooting, unarmed Black men "with cause," planting evidence, and so on. Periodically, the powder keg would explode as in the Watts Rebellion, the 1992 L.A. Riot... Blacks, and sometimes Jews, were officially barred from L.A. neighborhoods by restrictive covenants for decades. And then we have HOLLYWOOD, the entertainment industry, who, to this day, refuses to consider any potential power brokers who are not white men. Sounds like the right wing is still active to me...

  56. I hate seeing "minorities" support the right. It's against their interests, regardless of how much they value tradition. Their only goal is to keep "them" away from "us." Pathetic.

  57. So you support open borders, no background checks, and you're willing to sponsor how many immigrants? Oh. You won't sponsor? How about donating to Mexico to make it a place people want to live? No? Give up pot and cocaine to ease their drug wars? No?

  58. I hate seeing "minorities" support the left. Their policies have proven not only to fail, but fail spectacularly. Their only goal is to separate us all into miniature special interest groups that they can divide and conquer. Pathetic.

  59. "It convinced a number of Latino Californians that they were living in a place run by bigots, because that’s the way it was portrayed. And it made a lot of Republican politicians gun-shy.” -- Pete Wilson Or, maybe, the state was being run by bigots.

  60. Do people who support Trump do so because they don't care what Trump says, or because they believe what Trump says and agree with it?

  61. Our President Trump happens to agree with me, and we are very often right which is why things are going so well right now.

  62. The problem for the Republican party in California is that they, along with the Democrats, decided to elect a new people. The Republicans did it to please their anti-labor masters and the Democrats did it to import Democratic votes. The Democrats got the better from the desired demographic shift. For, as anyone with brains would have foreseen, the "New Americans" overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. The rich Republicans have become rich Democrats and all is well for them. The new Deplorable Conservatives realize that California is lost. But they also realize that California can be used as an example of what not to do for much of the rest of the country.

  63. "California can be used as an example of what not to do for much of the rest of the country". You mean having the World's 6th largest economy, the greatest public university system (UC , with more Nobel prizes than any other system in the US, or for that matter in the world), Stanford, Cal Tech ,, the hub of tech innovation Silicon Valley, agricultural production that dwarfs its nearest competitor, and budget surpluses in the billions for 4 years running shouldn't be emulated? So what should they aspire to? Kansas , with their misbegotten tax cuts that have completely decimated their state government? If you call California lost, then I'm sure a whole lot of other Americans would chose that way of"losing" a much better alternative to Kansas or Trumps's"winning" anyday.

  64. You're describing tiny enclaves of modernity that are surrounded by third world-style governance and demographics. The United Way calculates that 31% of Californians live in such dire straits that they have to choose between food, medicine and, if they own a car, filling the gas tank. The poverty rate is even higher for California's children. Per California Department of Education, 57% of K-12 public schoolchildren are "economically disadvantaged", defined as students whose parents are both high school or grade school dropouts OR who are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program. In parallel, the California educational system continues to slide downhill. Per the head of the California Board of Education, about 50% of the students entering the main higher ed system, the Cal State U. campuses, are incapable of doing college-level math or English. They are, in Dr. Kirsch's words, "continuing high school" while at the CSU's. Guess where the K-12 public schools recruit >85% of their teachers? In reality, a tiny sliver of California lives on the cutting edge of the 21st century, while the overwhelming majority are eking out a Latin American-style existence in social, political and economic conditions that are not much different from what you can see in Mexico or Brazil. Is this the model for America? Does anyone outside of the 0.1% really want us to become a Latin-style oligarchy?

  65. California, like most other big, blue states, isn't too far from bankruptcy. I do believe that's why Democrats are so gosh darned freaked out that Hillary lost: She would have bailed out those states; Trump won't.

  66. I dunno what's funnier--that so many righties want to live in the heart of their Diversity and Immorality Hell, or that the guff they come up with gets called "fresh ideas." I've yet to see one of these claims and agendas that isn't straight out of 1840s nativism and 1952 McCarthyism, and couldn't be found on Joe PYne or Alan Burke in 1964. Way, way past the sell-by date, kids.

  67. Orange County isn't really California- Woody Allen said if you'd help a blind person cross the street there -they'd accuse you of Socialism.

  68. Orange County voted for Clinton this time around and a number of its most prominent Republican representatives, like Dana Rohrabacher, are facing defeat in 2018.

  69. Prescient, Orange County isn't really California Is it because it s highly educated and professional but not very rich segment of CA society?

  70. "A Hillary Clinton presidency would be like Russian Roulette with a semi-auto". I guess such a statement is red meat to some but what on Earth does it mean? Do people actually buy it as an argument?

  71. Why is it that mainstream media like the NYTimes never ever mention the phrase "Left-wing" or "Far Left" in any article? Why is it that we only ever read about "Right-wing" this or that or the "Far right"? If there is no left, how can there be a right? Check your bias, NYTimes.

  72. If there is no left, how can there be a right? But this is the most Orwellian trick of liberal propaganda. Their main drive is to brainwash us all into believing that left is right.

  73. I suspect it's because there are very few truly left-wing people anywhere in the US, whereas the people who watch Fox News and listen to Rush would be considered off-the-charts right-wing anywhere on the globe. Almost every political party in Europe is to the left of most American Democrats, while the Trump wing is closest to the neo-Nazi types in Europe and elsewhere. Perspective is important.

  74. This isn't a surprise, given that California is the most populous state in the country. While the % of the state that is republican might be small, the actual number of republicans in the state is high. Although Hillary Clinton beat Trump in California by about 30%, it was also the state that gave Trump the 3rd largest number of votes (just a little behind Texas and Florida). So while the conservative movement in California might be drowned out by the outsize impact of liberals in the state, it shouldn't be surprise that one still exists.

  75. What a refreshingly honest (but rare) piece from the NYTs!

  76. It's so boring and trite for every article on Californian politics to use Prop 187 as the primary reason for the demise of the Republican party in California. The Republican party was dying before Prop 187, Bush barely beat Dukakis in 1988 in California and in 1992 Clinton defeated Bush here, since then a Republican has never even come close to winning California. A number of factors have led to the demise of Republicans in California and while a larger Hispanic population is part of that, the other part is that whites in California, particularly along the coast, have become far more Democratic and liberal than they used to be. As an example Marin County, considered the whitest, most progressive and wealthiest county in California, voted for Reagan in 1980 by 10%. In 2016 Trump won only 15% of the vote here. You can't just chalk that up to Prop 187.

  77. Is this an article? Feels a lot like a biased opinion piece. "...The issues now stoking the conservative populism that has taken over the Republican Party — political correctness, affirmative action, the flight of blue-collar jobs overseas, illegal immigration and government bloat — simmered in California for decades before Mr. Trump rode them to the White House.." First, there IS no "flight of blue collar jobs overseas". Those blue collar jobs never left this country, they were given to robots here and now. The rest of those hot-button right-wing issues are simply focus-tested deliberate misleads by the Right: Designed and aimed to attract the angry, the disaffected, the ones who feel left out, the ones who feel victimized, the ones who feel entitled to some sort of compensation for all the self-inflicted pain they put themselves through. They call themselves Conservatives, and they are manipulated daily. Seems like this "reporter" bought into that process a long, long time ago.

  78. Sad to see that Ann Coulter and Milo have been normalized to the point that protesting their appearance at public universities is considered liberal intolerance. They are out and proud racists who don't believe in the fundamentals of our Constitution-- that all human beings are equal and deserve equal rights and protection under the law. They are elements of the society that should be shunned. I am proud of those that protest them and in doing so stand up for this country's values.

  79. Protesting is OK. Bringing a balanced well thought out response to the discussion is better. Breaking the law, stopping traffic, starting fires and whatever feral acts Antifa does is obscene.

  80. Can you supply some actual examples of racism by Milo or Ann? I have found them difficult to find.

  81. They are out and proud racists who don't believe in the fundamentals of our Constitution-- that all human beings are equal and deserve equal rights and protection under the law. If this is how you feel, Beinf, you are in a complete agreement with Ann and Milo. Who you should protest is your government, whose Affirmative Action is in direct contradiction to the sentiment and values you've expressed above.

  82. I wish them well. So many conservatives have left CA for obvious reasons; $3.6 billion in adjusted gross income fled just last year according to the IRS. Most of it went to Texas. Already a "cloud people/dirt people" state due to its high GINI index, CA is rapidly become a state where a few, rich, coastal elites control the majority of money while the majority of people have become nothing more than legally incompetent and in the elites' custody.

  83. So if Californians move to Austin/Denver/RTP and make it more liberal, how does it support your "thesis" that those people moving out are conservative? Hint: it doesn't.

  84. This comment not only mischaracterizes CA (the most economically successful state in the union) as somehow failing, but also manages to further demonize educated entrepreneurs and other progressive-minded hard working California residents as "coastal elites" who are dominating the miserable majority of residents. Fox News would be proud of the divisive rhetoric. In reality, all states have a culture. Currently, California's culture is one that believes in social justice, fact-driven public policy, and wise economic decisions. It's why more and more people want to live there. Unfortunately, while non-elite progressive minded people who want good jobs and sensible social policies, flock to the coasts, it leaves wide swaths of near-empty land for regressive politicians to take advantage of and win congressional seats, tipping national policy in their favor.

  85. LOL. People come here for gold, they have so since 1849.

  86. I dont mind if California remains the King Bastion of American Liberalism as long as it remains American. Sadly, it looks more and more like a Mexifornia with 2 or three cool American stuff (the Movie industry, the Technology Industry, and that superb wine country). The rest of it looks like a big giant taqueria. Heck, even one of California highlights of the past, their freedom loving schools and universities have become campus of censorship and intolerant indoctrination. Here is me hoping our beautiful state of surfer boys and malibu barbies doesnt become another Catafornia,...i mean, Catalonia...!

  87. Perhaps this isn't clear to you from your perch over there in New York, but California was Mexico before it was the United States, and long before the arrival of surfer boys and Malibu barbies, all blonde and blue-eyed, no doubt. Malibu and its beach constitute a mile or so of an 1100 mile coastline; they are hardly representative. There have always been people here of Mexican descent. Quite a few of them help to grow the grapes and make the "superb wine" you mention. More of them continue to come. People also continue to come from China, Italy, France, India, etc. Why should Mexico (or El Savlador or Guatamala) be different? I'm absolutely delighted that you don't mind if we Californians continue to lead the nation in Liberalism - and I'm not quite sure that I would agree with you that we do. I can't say that I'm delighted with the distaste expressed in your post for the cultural changes that result when people come here from their home countries. Or is it only brown-skinned Spanish speaking newcomers and their culture that you find offensive? The evolution of culture is what makes the United States so unusual in the world, and it is the source of our cultural vitality. Any New Yorker should be able to appreciate that.

  88. I've lived in California all my life, growing up in what in retrospect was a very white suburb (not that I really noticed as a kid). We had tacos, pinatas for birthdays and the folk dance group my parents often participated in often had popular Mexican dances. My six foot tall blond blue eyed dad had one of those silver spangled sombreros. We were immersed in Mexican culture and didn't think twice about it. Nobody would have thought it was bad or wrong or anything but fun. It still amazes me what people will complain about.

  89. Your “cool american stuff”? California wineries were first started by Italian immigrants. The movie industry was jump-started by german, jewish and central european refugees. Silicon valley relies on people from east and south asia. Educate yourself please.

  90. "unyielding line on immigration, an enthusiastic embrace of the culture wars and a willingness to exploit racial divisions." This describes Democrats to a tee.

  91. Identity politics = racism As an exercise. Count how many times Republicans mention race versus Democrats Count how many times Democrats denigrate our country's history vs Republicans I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Martin Luther King, Jr. That's all we are asking for. Is it really that difficult?

  92. Well of course Republicans do not talk about race - they want to believe, despite reality, that there is no racism. That is why the same people who would have celebrated his death in 68 as "well, he was a trouble maker," no drag out the one hakneyed out-of-context quote that they twist the meaning of. "That is all that we are asking for?" If that is true, then start taking the complains of our fellow citizens of color seriously and advocate for police reform and prosecution of cops who kill unarmed citizens. Support Black Lives Matter - if you really believe that all lives matter, then it should not be hard. No, I doubt either of you are sincere, because you cannot stand any loss of white privilege - you know, the privilege that allows you to open carry in an open carry state without fear of being shot like James Crawford.

  93. I know there are Trump supporters in California and from both the article's descriptions as well as some of the comments, the clash of facts and realities between them and the vast majority of other citizens couldn't be more stark. As long as we continue to live in our democratic and Constitution based form of government, the majority must be allowed to prevail in preferring to improve our form of government instead of watching it slip into the U.S. of Russia and the corrupt oligarchy it may become.

  94. No, we live in a Republic with a constitution that has a bill of rights protecting citizens from the tyranny of the majority. The one failure of California is that the threshold for citizen initiated propositional government is too low -- the danger of crackpot measures approved by majorities is too high.

  95. Let’s see how many California Republicans there are after Issa, Rohrbacker and the others vote to charge them double taxation. When they cannot deduct their SALT taxes or their 401K contributions they will know that they have been had. I have a theory that the majority of educated republicans are small business owners who resent paying any taxes. Unlike salaried workers these guys pay quarterly and they don’t like writing that check, any makes them resentful and then they vote against their interests. Even the ones that pay nothing.

  96. I have found that many Californians that vote conservative are small business people as well, even tho they are socially progressive (at least in comparison to real conservatives). I have lived in the South East US and California - A "California Conservative" would be called a liberal commie in some parts of the South.

  97. "unyielding line on immigration, an enthusiastic embrace of the culture wars and a willingness to exploit racial divisions" This is a good description of the identify politics strategy of the Democratic Party. It is purposely divisive and Machiavellian. The point is to position the Democrats as the protector of minorities then reap the spoils from long term demographic change. California is their proof of concept. It got to "minority as the majority" first and Republicans and the former majority are irrelevant. It worked.

  98. 25-35 years ago the California GOP had people like Tom Campbell and Pete McCloskey. Both were intelligent, curious, thoughtful, ethical and without question took their job as public servant as seriously as the Founders intended. Neither of them are members of the GOP today. That should tell you a lot about how far the California GOP has strayed from basic principles of good governance.

  99. It is a natural truth that the world will balance itself. In areas of strong zeal towards one view, those that hold themselves apart from that view will in fact become better tested, hardened, and committed to their own view. Obama's presidency coalesced the Tea Party Movement. Trump's Presidency has formed The Resistance. Perfect control can never be achieved because in harvesting your success you also plant the seeds of your own opposition.

  100. I'm fortunate enough to live in one of the very few Conservative bastions in California, El Dorado County. Even so , we get regular exposure to SF Bay Area intellectuals, as we are bisected by Highway 50, which they use to go to Lake Tahoe. We know them by the trash they leave, the loud music they blast from their over-amped cars, and their rude remarks about the lack of refinement in our buildings, streets, and attire. Far from wanting to secede from the US, we know that our only hope of ever returning to a state of normal behavior and taxation is to remain linked. And yes, we are loud and proud Conservatives.

  101. How dare people have fun while going on a trip, huh? I suspect the real problem is that the rude folks are several decades younger than you....

  102. I'm fortunate enough to live in one of the very few Liberal bastions in North Carolina, Orange County. Even so, we get regular exposure to the 'intellectuals' of Raleigh who are trashing the populous by legislating the state back to Jim Crow. We indeed know them by this very trash that they leave, the ignorance they blast from their under-amped brains, their crude, rude and 100% politically self-serving legislative and judicial redistricting and their highly refined, white-only agenda. We know that our only hope of ever returning to a state of normal behavior and governance is to remain linked to this state, fight the Repubican know-nothingness ...and to be forever grateful to Madison, Hamilton, and Marshall for judicial review. And yes, we are loud and proud Liberals.

  103. This is a ridiculous story. Are there outspoken conservatives here? Of course. Are there prominent members of 45's inner-circle who came from California? Of course. But California has not elected a conservative as governor since 1982. Wilson, whether or not he voted enthusiastically for 45--find it surprising--was not conservative as governor. He may have promoted Prop. 187, but he was adamantly pro-choice and appointed moderates to statewide offices, such as the California Supreme Court. Stephen Miller no longer lives in California. So what if he came from Santa Monica? The only Californians with real power in DC are in Congress: the hapless Devin Nunes (I almost threw up when I learned he graduated from the college where I teach), and the smarter, but still cowardly Kevin McCarthy. There are conservatives here, just like there are liberals in Alabama, Mississippi, and other bastions of conservatism. Write about them as well.

  104. This should surprise no one, because politics follows Newton's Third Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, one would expect one of the nation's most liberal locations to beget some of the most ardent conservative voices. And just as resistance training produces greater strength as that resistance increases, well, so it is with 'The Resistance.'

  105. Mr. Wilson championed Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that would have cut off public services for undocumented immigrants ... As senator, Pete Wilson sponsored a bill that would have allowed Mexicans to come into the country on a seasonal basis to work in agriculture. Labor supporters were against his bill until Senator Schumer came up with the compromise of offering amnesty to agricultural workers in exchange for requiring employers to hire only people who were legally allowed to work here. Amnesty was given, but employers were not required to do anything beyond checking to see if job applicants had what looked like social security cards. This lack of enforcement led to a flood of undereducated migrants moving here, and using government services. Schumer said amnesty would end illegal immigration. It instead led to more of it. Wilson and most Californians then voted for Prop 187 to deter illegal immigrants from moving to Ca. by cutting off public services to them. A federal judge stopped its implementation, saying that immigration was exclusively a federal domain. Now California is inundated with illegal immigrants so it is politically expedient for its politicians to be against enforcement of immigration laws.

  106. The core values of the modern Republican party - opposition to personal freedom and the Constitution, pro-death denial of access to health care, sexism, religious bigotry, homophobia, racism, welfare for many corporations - have no appeal to residents of our wealthy, successful, educated, innovative, and diverse state. On other issues, the Democratic party can and should consider whether our positions are correct. For example, we should not be supporting illegal immigration (which harms real legal immigrants as well as the most vulnerable Americans), ill-considered taxes and regulations, or political correctness (which goes against the core liberal value of freedom of speech). We will never support a Big Brother conservative government that wants to control who people marry and prevent them from protecting their children and spouses; we do support enforcement of immigration law. Democrats are far and away the better party, but we would do well to take each issue on its merits.

  107. These are not the core values of the Republican party. These are the core values of the nut cases that have taken over the Republican party.

  108. I guess California conservatives won't be happy until the entire state is a bright, shining example of freedom and prosperity, just like every small county in Alabama, Mississippi, or Missouri. Make California Alabama Again.

  109. Clearly you don't spend much time in California. Very few people can still afford to live here. The prosperity of our wonderful state accrues almost entirely to the 1%, most of whom are liberals, while the rest of us struggle to pay the rent and keep up with the cost of living. The rich pay electronic tolls to drive their Teslas down empty toll lanes while the rest of us sit in traffic all day. As someone pointed out above, now that the cost of living has been accurately factored into the poverty statistics, CA has the highest rate in the nation.

  110. With the great University systems and school systems that liberals have created here, it is no surprise that we create leaders in all genres.

  111. Those universities were created when California was essentially conservative and tolerant of all political opinion.

  112. Thank you for playing. You are wrong. The university system was built--much of it anyway--during the era of Earl Warren (a progressive Republican) and Pat Brown (a progressive Democrat).

  113. With any luck, California will secede from the rest of the country. Then the Progressives can bring their policies into full effect there: unlimited immigration (of all those except citizens from the other states); a single-payer medical system; and bi-lingual public schools. The only cost to the rest of the country will be the cost of building a fence around California, to keep out those trying to escape.

  114. I agree 100% with your statement, except the fence part. CA is a very positive and progressive state with so many great people and great places - I don't see many people that want to leave. No need for fences, walls or any of that nonsense. YesCalifornia

  115. I find it interesting that these people are able to take advantage of all the liberal things that a blue state like California offers. I wonder how many of them would remain conservative if they actually lived in a red state like Mississippi.

  116. Right, most people in Mississippi are not conservative.

  117. Demographic change has transformed California into the poorest state in the nation. The U.S. Census Bureau now publishes an annual poverty report titled the Supplemental Poverty Measure that takes regional cost of living into account. The report is changing perceptions regarding which areas of the country are rich and which are poor. The most recent report shows California is by far the poorest state, with 20.6 percent of its residents below poverty level. Florida was the second poorest state, with 19.0 percent of its residents below poverty level. New York and Louisiana were tied as the third poorest states, with 17.9 percent of their residents below poverty level. The report showed the poverty rate in Mississippi, once regarded as the poorest state, was 17.0 percent. (Source: The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2015, page 9-10.)

  118. Might I suggest you re-read the document you posted? The poverty rate is not a measure of the wealth of a state. The document states what many believe is the obvious: in wealthy states (aka California), income inequality is rising, forcing up the cost of living, and reclassifying moving and more households as lower class. Many of those households used to have sufficient income to be considered middle class, but with the lack of wage growth and the increase in living expenses, now find themselves moving down in the economic ladder.

  119. I lived in California many years ago when the state was prosperous. But now the middle class has moved out in droves from California because the cost of living is so high. Soon there will only be the rich and the poor. The rich don't pay their fair share of taxes, the poor can't so that leaves what is left of the middle class to pay for the rich and poor and they will be strangled. Sooner or later, California will realize the true cost of illegal migration and how necessary it is to have a prosperous middle class.

  120. And this is why taxes of every kind are so onerous in this once-great state, including a huge jump in the gas tax as of tomorrow. A quarter to a third of the population of California is immigrant. Many of the wealth ones from Asia have helped push up housing prices to ridiculous levels. The majority are poor Spanish speakers who take a lot more than they give, and the middle class is being financially oppressed to pay for them. There's no real solution, so the state will keep sinking further into decline.

  121. The Party of Ronald Reagan is no more. The GOP has become a extremists mob of Deplorable’s .

  122. We have folks in California who think Mt Shasta is hollow and houses a civilization called the WE. There are folks who believe that there is an underground saucer base under Fresno. Why not crazy conservatives.

  123. Because there is money in crazy talk. And you don't need to work hard at it. It is for lazy folks.

  124. Conservativism in California is a two variable equation positively correlated to distance from coast and distance to nearest research university. Not surprising that support for modern republican war against fact has flagged in a state where so many people gather or work with data. Add the diversity and environmental factors and it's curtains for the Golden State GOP.

  125. Government by one party for too long is not healthy for democracy or the health of the state. Philadelphia is a perfect example of being governed by one party for over 50 years. It now ranks as the poorest large city in the US and a school system that scores the lowest in the state. As a result, much of the population is unemployable and relies on government assistance.

  126. LA and NYC are the media centers of the US. Conservatives have been very successful in harnessing the media using talk radio and movie stars. But, I'm happy to say CA didn't hatch Trump. He and his TV show were produced in NYC. Have you noticed how his presidency is much like his TV show? All he does is pick on women and minorities and try to say the equivalent of "you're fired.".

  127. I would wager that their invigoration arises from the fact that left is now so easily provoked by incendiary statements and they enjoy provoking them. These aren’t people with sound ideas, they just like to rile people up and today, sadly, that is easy to do with the left.

  128. rally round your family/with pocket full of shells. Rage againt the machine. i always took that as satire. I couldn't imagine steve jobs and wozniak starting apple in a garage in cleveland or boston. too cold in the winter. Ideas can flourish in such places as california. there's not the pressure to get the snowtires on in time for the winter, and the firewood stacked. in northeast, you have three months to grow vegetables, so you have to be ready. no time for dreaming. NWA and apple came out of California. So, i always defer to their legacy.

  129. Being conservative and from California are not mutually exclusive. 85% of conservatives live in the suburbs and rural areas and there are plenty of those in California. Further, people come here from all over the country because there are jobs. This article is a bit short-sided.

  130. Gather 100 people from across California and you will find maybe 10 republicans. Of those 10, half of them refused to vote for Donald Trump. California's republicans have always been on the fringe of of the GOP; being much more conservative than what used to be republican moderates. There are 38 million people in this state, double what the population was 25 years ago. The state's population makeup has shifted dramatically and the folks in the state GOP seem unwilling to adapt or to turn the newcomers into their voters. Instead, they yearn for a return to yesteryear where everyone wanted to be Ward and June Cleaver. Not only is that impossible today; it never happened in real life.

  131. Just the dumbest kind of article -- assembling some disconnected anecdotes and claiming a vague "trend" or "movement." You could write the exact same article in reverse about Texas as a "crucible" for progressive thought. Just silly.

  132. There are a few rotten apples in ever barrel.

  133. Conservatives in California should become Biblical Christians and lean on God, not politics.

  134. People in CA (and the whole West Coast for that matter) have a very progressive and positive attitude for the most part. The Hate and Fear that defines the Conservative movement is not embraced here. Californians produce more than any other state in the union by a huge margin (TX is a very distant second), and generate more than any other state in tax revenue. Many Red states benefit from this huge CA revenue stream, and get much more in govt assistance than they generate in tax revenue - Then complain about their taxes. This has to stop. I believe CA should secede from the USA, and become an independent government, or form an alliance with other progressive and positive West coast states (HI,OR,WA). YesCalifornia !

  135. California is basically Mississippi and Mass. in one state. It seems that the increase in the democratic voters over the years parralles the increase in the poverty rate.

  136. Perhaps Californians are getting tired of having the highest poverty rate in the US.

  137. Fact check: CA poverty rate is in the middle ranking along with Texas, Florida, New York. Californis is the 6th largest economy in the world.

  138. This is the type of story I would expect to see in a different newspaper. The cherry picked semi-facts and the omission of other details make this story not that credible in my mind. It is a real tightrope walk to puff up the importance of the far right wing of the Republican party in California. My hope is that this country comes out on the other side of this nightmare time and start pushing forward again.

  139. When you talk of "resistance California" you really are referring to the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.

  140. Nope. Here on the beautiful Central Coast, we often get thousands for rallies against hate and for the environment and other justice causes. Likewise in Sacramento and other areas. Even in San Diego.

  141. The Reagan Bush 84 T-shirt seems totally unaware that his tuition would have been zero if not for Reagan.

  142. Wilson (like Brownback in KS) led California into financial ruin. "Conservatives" core policies aimed at strongly limiting government's role and spending to allow "a more efficient private sector" to fill the void is flawed. Particular segments of the economy (medical care, infrastructure, etc.) are better served with oversight. Not all regulation is "bad". The profit motive when infected by extreme greed can lead to Flint, Puerto Rico, Kansas, health care exchange crises and Opioid epidemics.

  143. California is pointed to the future even as "conservatives" seek to take the nation backward and into isolation.

  144. It is silly, at best, to define and catagorize the masses. Im a native Californian born and raised in Bakersfield. I am no spring chicken either. I know the conservatives well. Many are (were) old friends until this trump movement brought out a level of ugliness I have never seen until this last election. Sure, I moved away 20 years ago because of the right-wing police state that was a direct result of the officials they placed in office there. Mexicans and blacks were especially scrutinized unfairly (I know this because I was raised by a very liberal mother who opened my eyes to the humanity and cultural differences in all races). I embrace these differences and savor them. Many in Bakersfield are raised to despise differences and look down upon those who are not caucasian or culturally white oriented. I stood up against my step father when he reprimanded me for bringing my black friend over to our house. I know well this Republican mindset. It is a system of wink-of-an-eye favors and good-old boy reprieve. I am aware that corruption exists where money flows in our government as well as in the corporate and small business world. These people do not want to surrender their status-quo to the "lesser". It is appalling and disgusting on so many levels. We people need to embrace our differences and thank GOD for the cultural color we have in this nation for without it, it would be like having the same meal every day. Embrace the differences!

  145. So the conservative movement is highly dependent on California for new ideas and creativity. But that is the same role that California plays in liberal politics and middle of the road politics. It is the same role California plays in so many academic and industrial endeavors. That is one of the strengths of the state for all aspects of society.

  146. I just finished staring at the lead picture. Reagan-Bush?

  147. Yes, our country is quickly becoming a dumping ground for the most obscene ideologies. I do not regret having left when I did, shortly after the White House was invaded by the individual who is posing as our president. From a distance, the unraveling and disintegration of democracy is all the more evident. But we did get the government that we voted for. A lesson must be learned... although the price we end up paying for our electoral stupidity may well turned out to be all too high.

  148. When anything moves too much in one direction, you are certain to get a backlash in the other direction. California has become more progressive, maybe a little too much in some areas (Covered California, Prop 47, sanctuary state posturing) so there was going to be a backlash from the right wing here. If anything, we are probably good example of the future of politics nationwide. The majority of Californians (like the rest of the country) are centrists trapped in a Biodome of the extreme left and extreme right.

  149. "By all accounts, there should be this sort of vibrant center-right movement in California that’s contesting those voters." By all accounts? Republicanism is irrelevant here. The self-centered self-aggrandizement of today's GOP knows no bounds.