California is not a liberal haven

Conservatives have oftentimes called California a socialist utopia. Fortunately for them, this myth is far removed from the truth.

California is the most powerful state in the union both economically and politically, and with that power, California has a massive influence in the political climate across the United States. With its reliable Democratic tendencies since Bill Clinton’s first election, many people seem to take California’s liberal swing for granted. Despite this popular belief, the 2020 ballot election results show that California fails to live up to the liberal bastion many claim it to be.

Progressive and liberal Californians saw many defeats at the ballot box when it came to ballot propositions. Californians voted against lowering the voting age in primary elections to 17 when said 17 year olds would be 18 and eligible to vote in the general election, unjustly denying the enfranchisement of people who will be able to vote in the general election. They voted down removing cash bail, keeping in place a system of justice that inherently only serves to benefit the rich while trapping those at the bottom in a perpetuation of poverty and crime. Voters did not approve of affirmative action, allowing the educational gap between people of different races to continue to increase.

Furthermore, Californians sided with Uber and Lyft and voted to allow the gig economy to be run by billion dollar corporations who do not wish to protect their workers and pay them a living wage. Finally, Californians voted down proposition 15 that would allow local governments to obtain crucial tax dollars from rich commercial properties via increasing property taxes on wealthy commercial properties.

The frustration from the Trump administration’s loss of the White House is evident in the reactions from community members. Merchandise has been at the very core of the Trump campaign, so it makes sense that Trump supporters thrive off of showing off their various pieces of Trump merchandise, whether it be in the form of a flag, t-shirt or hat. This clear demonstration of loyalty that is visible across California shows that Californian political atmosphere is not as monolithic as many seem to think.

California is certainly not a conservative state; all state executive officials are Democrats, or endorsed by Democrats. The Democratic party holds a super majority in both chambers of the state legislature. However, it is important for progressives to realize that there is still much to fight for in California and a tough road ahead.

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