Opinion: Saving California for Dummies
California is drowning. I know what you’re thinking – no I’m not making some over-the-top, apocalyptic warning you’ve heard a million times about rising sea levels in the Pacific Ocean. California is going under, it’s being sunk into oblivion, but not because of environmental climate change, but rather political climate change. California is being swallowed by a deep blue legislative sea of progressive Democrat policies. The Golden State doesn’t have an imminent eco-problem on its hands, it has a failing gov-problem on its hands. That said, drowning does not mean dead. Drowning means it can still be rescued. If the right can mobilize and stop treating California like the stepchild, the black sheep or the lost cause, then it might have a chance to live.
What I’m not here to do is criticize, although there may be some merit in blaming elected Democrat Senators, Congressmen and City Officials for their unsuccessful approaches to pressing problems. Keyword: “elected”. These politicians along with their policies were elected by the people of California. So, rather than going down the road of Democrat bashing, let’s discuss what we the conservatives, Republicans and Independents of California, can do about it. Yes, something can be done.
Live out, don’t hide out.
Californian conservatives are terrified to verbalize their views because of physical, verbal and social repercussions. They’re scared of being chastised, called a racist, misogynist, anti-woman or being physically attacked by those who vehemently oppose their ideologies. While these are legitimate concerns, silence is exactly what the other side wants. Leftists would love nothing more than for conservatives to stay quiet and write it off as too big of a problem to take on.
Look, the hippie movement didn’t win the culture war of the 1960s by believing neo-conservative America was too big to change. Just like any successful movement, they won their war by relentlessly marching, advocating, educating and protesting. They loudly lived out who they were through music, festivals, and fashion. Most importantly, they had the courage to get up and passionately pursue change for what they believed in when the odds were against them. Conservatives need to be doing this too. We can’t allow ourselves to be bullied into obscurity.
Speaking out isn’t difficult. It doesn’t mean going out on a street corner and obnoxiously professing conservatism to the world. Speaking out in 2019 simply means being bold enough to disagree, engaging in civil discussion, openly sharing on social media or writing a blog post. There are many ways to “come out” without it being a big deal. Big deal, as in facing any physical threats. Yes, it’s true… a few friends might hit unfollow and family might secretly judge. Either way, it’s a small price to pay for saving the future of California. As John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
On the brighter side, there’s a certain magic that comes with speaking out. It unexpectedly pulls friends, relatives and acquaintances out from whatever rock they’ve been hiding under and empowers them to do the same. At the very least, they will take the time to show their support and be a safety net. Don’t underestimate this! A loyal support base is a lifeline – similar to how the sports teams who have enthusiastic fans win the most games. Speaking out will also bring plenty of brand-new friends who hold the same beliefs, are eager to further the cause and can double as back up if needed. This road is far from lonely!
Now get together, advocate, and rally! Choose an issue you are passionate about and that you are confident with – it could even be something that has affected you personally. It might be the pro-life movement, gun control, big tech censorship or something closer to home, like increasing gas prices, tax hikes or homelessness. Once you choose an issue, research all sides of that issue and share with others why you believe what you believe. It’s that simple – it doesn’t take an abundance of wealth or influence. You can also wear your cause on your sleeve, literally. Wearing a t-shirt that reflects your cause is a conversation starter. It immediately sends an upfront, nonconfrontational message to others about what you believe. Wearing a t-shirt basically says, “open forum”! People often let their guard down and feel they can approach you with questions. When you get approached, be human with others, don’t be afraid to get personal. Sometimes, people already have a decent understanding of political or social issues, but they haven’t committed to a side because they don’t have enough compelling reasons. They haven’t been affected personally. It’s up to you to share with them why the side you are on is the right one. Who knows, you may be the only conservative that’s brave enough to talk to them.
Use our 1st Amendment rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and expression to your advantage. They weren’t given to us so we could stay home and grumble about how those rights are being violated by the left. They were given to us as tools to fight back. Join a group of people who advocate for the same cause, join a march or start one if you’re brave enough and revive the art of peaceful protesting. Protesting doesn’t have to be crazy, you can do it how you are comfortable. It can mean showing up to a city council meeting in a t-shirt that says “No on Prop X”, or protesting your cause with a sign or much more subtle method – petitioning. The range of opportunities to protest is large. How do we compel people to not treat California like a stepchild or lost cause? We show them a reason not to. It’s quite possible if Sacramento and White House politicians saw a conservative movement happening in California, we would no longer be treated like the forgotten, second rate state.
Most importantly, there is power in numbers and if there’s one opportunity California conservatives have for the taking, it’s numbers. As of 2019, there are roughly 25 million people who are eligible to vote in California. Of those, there are 8.6 million Democrats and 4.7 million Republicans. Then there are 5.5 million who have no party preference and 5 million who are unregistered. Even if not a single Democrat mind was changed, there would still be 10.5 million people within our reach. One more fun fact – only 60% of registered Democrats are ideologically consistent with their party’s beliefs, meaning, the other 40% are minds that can be easily changed if we can help them understand what they are voting for. So, add them all together and boom – there are about 14 million people who could be educated to vote conservatively.
Now… who’s a lost cause again? Not California. Let’s get out, speak out and start educating people about conservative values, community issues, policies and much more. Let’s stop being passive wait-for-someone-else-to-do-it conservatives who sit back out of fear of social backlash. Let’s start turning the tide and turning it red because again, drowning does not equal dead.