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David Horowitz - Columnist

David Horowitz is a noted author, commentator and columnist. His is the founder of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and his opinions can be found at Front Page Magazine. [go to Horowitz index]


California Crushes Liberals
[David Horowitz] 10/14/03

The California recall election is a political earthquake. It is already shaping the political future not only in California but nationwide. The big losers in this election were California liberals, feminists, the politics of personal destruction, the myth that the press is not in bed with the Democrats and the image of Republicans as mean-spirited morality police. The Republican Party has suddenly become the big tent it has aspired to be but never quite achieved until now.  According to exit polls 55 percent of independents and 18 percent of  Democrats voted for Schwarzenegger – despite the fact that the Democratic Party threw all its big guns into the state including all its presidential candidates, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Jesse Jackson. Thirty-nine percent of union households voted for the Republican and thirty percent of Hispanics – despite the fact the Democrat Bustamante would have been the first Hispanic governor in history if he had won. Moreover, the turnout of Republicans themselves was also obviously large with the overwhelming majority of conservatives and an even larger majority of moderate Republicans coming out to vote for him.

In short, the new governor inspires passion in the Republican base and yet hope among those who are often put off by that base. In California, Arnold has created a new Republican coalition that has raised the Republican Party from the dead and produced an electoral landslide in the process. In a state which Republicans lost by a million votes in the last presidential election (without the Democrats having to spend a penny in the state) the combined Republican vote may have exceeded 60 percent -- an electoral landslide. This is what is meant by a political earthquake.

This earthquake is far more important than the Jesse Ventura miracle in Minnesota five years ago, and only partly because California is a state many times the size and importance of Minnesota. Ventura accomplished his feat as an independent, running against the major parties. Arnold’s victory is a victory of the Republican Party with enormous potential for affecting Republican fortunes everywhere. The fact that in a special election he drew numbers of Republicans rivaling the presidential turnout is a marker for the Republican future. A charismatic Republican candidate who embodies the big tent aspirations of the Republican center but resonates with its conservative base can point the way to a Republican governing majority for the foreseeable American future. And that’s something to think about.

This opinion piece first appeared at




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