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Guest Contributor
Josiah Prendergast - CalPatriot

Josiah Prendergast is an opinion writer for Berkeley's conservative paper, CalPatriot.

The California Comeback
President Bush on his way to winning the golden state...

[Josiah Prendergast] 4/23/04

The tides are turning and so are heads as the political climate, especially in regards to the Democratic Party, becomes increasingly chaotic. This heavily fractionalized institution is rallying forces to bring the ABB (Anyone But Bush) crusade to victory. Yet their newfound unity is at best a façade that chooses to neglect the reality of the Democratic Party’s void of true leadership. With the lack of a unifying candidate, as clearly they have none, the ‘04 presidential election will be for the Democrats what the recall was for Gray Davis—-a crushing defeat.

Although the Kerry campaign is emphasizing his “strength,” the polls are telling a different story. For many voters it has been less about Kerry’s capabilities and more about his mediocrity. Washington Post’s David Von Drehle noted, “Kerry led 2 to 1 among voters who rated electability as the quality they cared most about in a candidate.” This shows that Sen. Kerry is not supported because of his ideas, but because the public believes he is the “lesser of evils,” in a particularly bad pool of liberal candidates.

Further crippling Kerry’s campaign is his inability to identify with the common man. One need not look further than our current president for a beneficiary of this sentiment. Often painted as more of a common man than a textbook “politician,” President Bush empathizes with students, the workingman, immigrants, and the public in general. Bush has also demonstrated his ability to lead the nation in times of crisis and follow through on promises, something Democrats have repeatedly demonstrated they are incapable of doing.

While the picking-up of the California electorate may come through subtle changes on the individual level, it has been suggested that President Bush will draw uncharacteristically strong support from at least one primarily Democratic voting bloc. One of the definitive opinions on California politics, Prof. Bruce Cain of UC Berkeley has offered the theoretical possibility of the shift in voting nature of the Jewish community, due to the pro-Sharon policies of the current administration.

In a turn of events that truly exhibited the reclaiming of California by the Republican Party, some of the Bay Area news mediums have decided to be slightly amicable in their treatment of President Bush. The Contra Costa Times even referred to the President’s relative restraint in domestic spending as “a step in the right direction.” If this is any indication as to the political climate in the San Francisco Bay Area, then the Bush/Cheney campaign will have little difficulty picking up the 75,000 SF votes it desires.

Many ill-informed critics will shout that most of what I’ve cited has yet to be specific to the standard voting bloc of Californians. They may even argue that voters may be swayed by the ways in which the democratic presidential candidates have addressed the ever-important issue of education. While the Left Wing figureheads have focused on criticizing the No Child Left Behind law, the children in our public school systems are abandoned to suffer the consequences of the liberal left, that uses their cause as nothing more than a talking point.

Expect the most influential new voting bloc to come from the very students that have been ignored by the Left’s agenda. Although it has long been believed that college students will not support a Republican agenda, a transformation is taking place. A January 26th article from USA Today explained this trend and cited Paul Houston, of the American Association of School Administrators, explaining, “It’s a more conservative generation.”

In California, the California College Republicans (CCR), an organization that was a mere 10 chapters less than five years ago, has blossomed into 56 chapters spread out across the entire state. While the established chapters, such as that at UC Davis, are tallying membership in the hundreds, brand new College Republican chapters have been sprouting up. Vanguard University’s branch of the CCR is a mere semester old and already draws nearly 2% of the student population.

Whether you are on the campus, in the classroom, at your office, or enjoying the privacy of your home, rest assured that this state will regain its prestige with the healing hand of conservative flavor. Through the re-election of President Bush and the leadership of Governor Schwarzenegger, California will once again be a state in which one can be proud to reside. CRO

Copyright 2004 CalPatriot





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