Peter Schrag

California Fights Back

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Veteran journalist Peter Schrag argues that California's role in the era of Donald Trump is twofold: to act as a leader in the resistance to the current administration, and to be held up as an alternative to the course being pursued in Washington. Given the Democratic Party's stronghold on all statewide elected offices and legislature, it isn't surprising that California has become a beacon of progressivism. But this is hardly an inevitability. California was almost where much of the GOP wants to take the nation today, leading the country in tax revolt, passage of the Three Strikes criminal sentencing law, and virtual prohibition of bilingual education in public schools. Schrag points to the state's shifting demographics and the ero- sion of the Republican Party in the wake of Proposition 187 as two major reasons behind California's shift to the left. It is par- ticularly pertinent, then, that a state that formerly espoused these values now negotiates with other nations on climate control, asks its agents not to sweep courthouses in search of people to deport, and has approved major tax increases. California Fights Back gives proof that things can be better, and raises the possibility of this becoming the story of other states.
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