Finally, President Trump decides to come to California, the state has become the epicenter of the resistance. When he declared his candidacy for the presidency, most people here in the state laughed. He was never taken seriously and Californians didn’t see him beyond being a star from a reality show. It took more than a year for President to make it to the state that totally repudiated his candidacy. Hillary Clinton badly beat him by 4.3 million votes that eventually made him lose the popular vote in the presidential election in 2016. His visit is being interpreted as some sort of giving California the finger. Afterall, he came to inspect the eight prototypes of what could be “a beautiful wall,” that the majority of people in the state vehemently oppose. He stopped by in Beverly Hill for some cash and spent the night in one of the luxurious hotels in downtown Los Angeles.
Nobody has united more progressives in this country than President Trump. The man is a uniter after all. Progressives here in California have been saving their venom for this president. And they were ready to let him have it on his first visit to the state. Trump represents everything that progressives in this states claim to stand for: he sees immigrants as a burden and a threat to the values of his America; he has utter disregard for the environment; he doesn’t care for the civility in the public space and he mistreats and attacks those who disagree with him.
Immigrant groups, labor groups, and socialists were protesting in Beverly Gardens Park in Beverly Hill. The crowds were not as large as many in the media speculated over the weekend and the overall message being sent to the President was not unified. And of course, elected Democratic officials who wanted to raise their profiles held events attacking the man’s policies and his late legal confrontations with California. From gubernatorial candidates, US Senate candidate-Kevin Deleon to LA mayor, they all held press conferences, released videos or held fundraising activities using Trump.
Trump is suing California over policies on immigration. And an elected official-Oakland Mayor is being looked at for potential obstruction of justice for having alerted her city’s residents about ICE raids. The President has also accused California of being out of control and of being too close to “illegal immigrants.” He sees this as problematic as he surmises that the needs of American citizens are being utterly ignored. When the political leadership in California declared the entire state as a “sanctuary state,” it was viewed as a defying move against the federal government. The President’s anti-immigrant advisors who counsel him are equally amused as to how California went to extraordinary lengths to protect “criminal immigrants,” or gang members who are a destructive force to communities in America. Specifically, he believes members from the criminal and notorious gang MS-13 are taking advantage of all these weak-immigration laws. These baseless accusations that have been proven factually wrong.
Most presidents see the importance of the most populous and richest state in the nation and endeavored to make it to the state within a year. President Franklin D. Roosevelt waited long before he came to visit California once elected president. It was understandable since planes then were not the first thing people would think when they would go far away. President Roosevelt in the 1930s came by train.
Some history here, California joined the union in 1850 and the state has given the nation two presidents, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Throughout its short history, California has been viewed as the “ultimate melting pot.” Historians have argued that the discovery of gold in California contributed to the success of the state. Since it attracted the best and the brightest in the world. California became a land of immigrants, they came from all over the world to the golden state looking for opportunities. Asian railroad workers, high-tech entrepreneurs and Mexican laborers, even “Dust Bowl emigres, they all came to California and built it.
Currently, there are about 2.8 million more Democratic registered voters than Republican registered voters. At one point, public intellectuals and people in academia used to tell us that California was going to be the template for the nation. But the state started chartering a new path when it comes to politics and culture. Now the conversation has flipped and it is being argued that maybe it is time for California to start proceeding with the articles of secession.
The Republican party in the state has become an endangered species. Republicans hold no statewide offices and nothing is looming in the near future that this will change. A candidate running for a diverse California for statewide public offices will have no chance if said candidates oppose the right to choose for women, have a cozy relationship with the NRA, and has no qualms for the environment. It is interesting to see that no Republican in California joined President Trump for a photo-op. Those who have political ambitions for higher office see the man as being too toxic.
It is not clear how this an all-out war on this president launched by the Democratic leadership, that governs that state, will serve well the interest of California. California is facing tremendous challenges, investments in the state’s infrastructure being exhibit A. Many people in the state who dislike this man, me included, argue that our leaders should try to find common ground with this man. When that is not possible then we should stick to our values that make California a great place and stand our own ground. It will be stupid or a dereliction of duty for any leader in this state to reject anything that would benefit California just because it came from this man.
President Trump has become such a menace to California, the political class that governs the state uses him in every speech. Literally, all elected officials both local and state every sentence in their speeches have three things: A noun, a verb, and Trump. Now that in itself demand another resistance movement from voters in this state. We shouldn’t let our leaders distract us from the real problems using this president.
Thank you for reading.
Photo credit –pic above was taken by author at the event