California is extremely progressive, and frankly the rest of the country is falling behind | Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
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California: Into the Future

Once a state painted red, California has become identifiable by its increasingly democratic and liberal ideologies.

Enforced by its majority democratic voters, California made the transition from right to left after the 1988 election in which Republican George H. W. Bush was elected as president. Bush is the last Republican presidential the majority of California would vote for today.

Today, California maintains a democratic political scope on issues ranging from the recreational use of marijuana to laws enforcing clean energy and advocacy for Earth conservation. It’s motivation to solve issues in the present that will affect the future make it the most progressive state in the U.S. right now.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s position as the Governor of California lead the way for President Donald Trump to run for presidency | Photo Courtesy of Vanity Fair

California  seems to be the only state in the U.S. that is actively concerned about issues that affect people today and into the future. The ability for the majority of Californians to be on the same page, in terms of their political stance, encourages the expedition of the state legislature, making it more efficient and effective

Considered a magnet for young people and entrepreneurs, it is no wonder why the state of California exceeds its counterparts in creating an environment appropriate for the generations of both today and tomorrow.  Whether in Silicon Valley or San Francisco, the environment embodies the same ambition and drive. A race to discover the extents of new technologies to solve issues and establishing acceptance for all individuals of any race and religion, California has proven itself to be extremely inclusive and successful in its endeavors.

Amongst these issues, immigration, a threat to some U.S. states, is not a major concern in California as they are productive and work to solve the issue. From sanctuary cities to recognizing whites as a minority in some areas of the state, California has effectively taken control in many circumstances of the issues that potentially pose a threat.

Recognizing that about 49% of its population is made up of naturalized U.S. citizens and about 25% of immigrants are undocumented, California, as a state legislature, has worked to capitalize off of immigration; this essentially makes the lives of Californians and immigrants better. Instead of irrationally banishing immigrants, California uses immigration to benefit both sides.

The support for pro-immigration policy in California did not always exist. For a long time, California was anti-immigration and worked with defending that side. In 1994, the state passed a proposition to have a state-run citizenship screening system and prohibit all illegal immigrants from no-emergency and other services. Over time, after analyzing the effectiveness of their work and the influx of immigration, Californians were able to move on from their previous standpoint and look to make use of immigration in a positive way. After finding success in their pro-immigration policy, California is a able to reflect the concept of open-mindedness in politics.

Besides its progressive ideals, California is a strong representation of what the entire U.S. will be in the future and the possibility for a state to switch its political views over time. Take for example the election of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor in 2003 after the recall of former Democratic Governor Gray Davis. After frustration from Davis’s inability to effectively represent the majority opinion in California at the time– primarily concerning the energy crisis– voters elected Schwarzenegger. Clearly unqualified for political representation, his election reflects the 2016 election of Republican President Donald Trump. Schwarzenegger and Trump share a similar background in the media and entertainment industry, and were both arguably elected out of frustration from politicians.

Ronald Reagan’s decision to run for Governor of California in 1967 dramatically changed the political climate | Photo Courtesy of Fine Art America

Furthermore, the 15-year theory, in which California is seen as 15 years ahead of the rest country, extends to claim credit for the resurgence of American conservatism back when Ronald Reagan claimed gublernation of California in 1966 and later claimed presidency in 1980. Using the same strategy to reach governorship, Reagan recycled his methods when he ran for presidency.

In retrospect, looking at California as the future of the country goes to show how while the western state works to enhance and progress its standards, the rest of the country lingers behind, hindering the state’s potential to create an intersectional political climate. California is often referred to as the future which insinuates that instead of the rest of the country being backwards, California is just too forward, which is wrong and unjustful.

It not too far off to say that although the rest of the country might disagree with California right now and President Donald Trump may tweet about California’s liberalism as radical, but in fifteen years, the rest of the country may very much begin following in our footsteps.

Written by Jana Ariss

Jana is a Senior at MC and the Co-Editor in Chief of The MC Sun.

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