How to Navigate California Politics
by: Wesley Somoza
Owner of Visit Southern California
Going out of my zone a bit here, but I will tie it into travel in Southern California at the end, I want to discuss the politics of the great state of California. Now before I begin I will come full disclosure on myself. I am a registered Republican and usually have voted such for the State of California. On the federal side of things I usually go with the candidate that has a handle on diplomacy, good grasp of the current state of the world and seems honest and good for the country. Obviously my criteria was sorely lacking in both of the prmier party candidates this last election cycle. I mean I probably would not be writing this right now if either one of these candidates met all of my criteria. So with that being said I consider myself more of a social liberal and economically conservative person. I know these types of classifications don't always gel, but I am who I am. That being said what disturbed me about this last election was the way my conservative friends just bought into a candidate cause of the party he was representing. They did not care what he stood for on a social level or how his politics ran against what he has accomplished or better yet experienced on an economic level. On the flip side my liberal friends said "she is the best we have" or "you really want him to be president", as they gloss over the fact she accepts money from big business and was a major proponent for sending jobs outside our country and the deleted email snafu just smelled of cover up. However they were just willing to accept her cause "who else". In my opinion this country seemed to get what it deserved. President elect Donald Trump won the electoral votes in states that were Democrat just 4 years ago because he connected with people in those states and spoke to them. Nominee Hillary Clinton seemed to utterly fail in her address to those people or never bothered to go and meet them at all. The failure of the Clinton campaign (I know she and they want to blame the FBI as the reason she lost, but that is just scapgoating their incompetency in running a campaign) will probably go down in history as biggest screw up in American politics. Furthermore the aftermath of the election with Democrats refusing to beleive the outcome acting like entitled children is "deplorable". Behaving as if our country is about to go down a horrifying rabbit hole is just plain stupid and dramatic. Your candidate lost. Get over it and move on. For President elect Trump and his supporters, guess what? LIke I told my close liberal friend who I surf with all the time, Trump will not stand on any of the campaign propoganda he spoke about. Not that he does not want to, but he simply can't. Healthcare will not be repealed. All of a sudden he likes it and wants to improve upon it. The wall is never going up cause guess what? Mexico has never and will never agree to it. Deporting illegal immigrants? So California and other states that have a large agricultural and hospitality sector (pretty much the entire country) are just going to allow themselves to go into recession? Nope. Again as I told my friend, the adults will take President elect Trump into the room brief him on the current economic state of the union, the world etc... and he will realize everything he said he was going to do will not get done nor can it get done without destroying our nation and nobody wants to bear the guilt of that.
So as I told an old friend (pretty sure she has a low opinion of me now, haha) on Facebook, tomorrow the sun will rise and we will get our kids ready for school and we will go to work just like the day before and everyday there after. Nothing really changes that dramatically. Hell I would even agrue that current President Obama is a pretty decent Republican President. I mean the dude utilized the military effectively in combatting terrorism, suppoorted Isreal, kept healthcare a "for-profit" business and kept overall race and culture relations about the same as every other President before. But what is it like now, having these views and living in California?
Many people asked me prior to the Presidential election "who are you voting for"? My answer was always, "who cares, my vote does not mean shit in this state anyway". And sure enough that held true. I think California went to Hillary Clinton literally an hour after the polls closed in the state. I mean for being the most populated state in the union we sure did spit out the winner quickly. I mean the reason why California usually goes Democrat in a Presidentail election is cause union workers for the most part vote Democratic and people living in the major citys vote Democratic cause they live under the assumption that the Democratic Party cares about them? Does not matter that this view is completely false and it is shared by many of my friends that are registered Democrat. For my conservative Republican Californians they vote the party line cause in their minds it will keep their taxes lower. Again a crazy assumption cause Republicans at the state and Federal level have proven they raise taxes just as much or quickly as the other party representative. So reasoning on both ends is quite flawed.
However I will say this about all my friends and clients that live here in California from both sides of the aisle... We can talk and get heated about a topic, but at the end of that conversation we are still friends and can laugh about something else. We can still have a drink together and hang out even though we don't see eye to eye on politics. The situation or room does not become awkward or uncomfortable after our discussion cause at the end of the day we live in a state where in winter you can surf in the morning and be up in the mountains snowboarding by afternoon. It is a state where we have a great mix of cultures, so we know what great Brazilian food tastes like along with what a real American hamburger tastes like. We are by and large a mellow state and we always want to have a good time wether we are liberal or conservative. So when you travel here to California no need to be on edge if your politics or state of mind don't gel with ours. We can get past it and still have a good time. Cause that is what life is about. Having a great time, trying new experiences and adventures. It just so happends you can do a lot of that in California. See you all in the surf line-up real soon!