Looking Beyond One-Party Rule In California


It’s been a half century since Ronald Reagan shocked California, and the nation, by beating the late Pat Brown for governor by a million votes. Yet although the Republican Party is a shadow of its mid-20th century form, there are some clear signs that growing discontent — including among independents and many Democrats today — with the regime forged by Brown’s son Jerry, with which so many progressives are deeply enamored.

In 1966 Reagan used the term “Ya basta” (“Had enough?”) to tap on voter displeasure on issues from the Watts Riots, disturbances at Berkeley, resistance to growing state bureaucracy and elevated levels of taxation. As historian Gene Kopelson has suggested, Reagan even penetrated Mexican-American communities, winning a larger share of their traditionally solid Democratic vote than previous GOP candidates.

Read the entire piece at The Orange County Register.

Joel Kotkin is executive editor of NewGeography.com. He is the Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His newest book is The Human City: Urbanism for the rest of us. He is also author of The New Class ConflictThe City: A Global History, and The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050. He lives in Orange County, CA.

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