For Californians, watching what’s happening politically with Trump and the Republican Congress in America can bring a serious bout of déjà vu. It’s like watching a movie from 15 years ago, in a theater, before Netflix started streaming through the Internet and onto your TV.
Spoiler alert: Trump will bring the old conservative agenda to its absurd conclusion with high-profile climate denial, anti-immigrant intolerance, and tax cuts for the rich in the face of historic inequality, to name just a few. The Republican Congress will embrace Trump, futilely try to apply their rigid orthodoxies to the complex modern world, break into ideological war with each other, prove totally incompetent, and fail big. In the process they will alienate all the growing political constituencies that matter going forward. The Republican brand will become toxic, their support will collapse and they will be pushed to the political sidelines for a long time to come.
Why? Because California is the future and that’s exactly what happened to California’s Republican Party about 15 years ago.
What do we mean by California is the future when applied to politics? Modern California politics has an uncanny knack of prefiguring what happens in the rest of America in about a 15-year timeline. In other words, what happened in California 15 years ago should be studied closely to see how it will play out in America today. And what’s happening now in California will roll out over America in the next 15 years.
California experiences the future earlier than other parts of the country. Californians invent many new technologies, adopt them early and adapt new systems around them relatively quickly. They absorb waves of immigrants at the highest numbers in the country and accommodate them into their society quicker. The state is a magnet for young people, entrepreneurs, and people who want to change the world. Much of the population is unusually open to trying new things in the economy, society, and in politics.