Nationwide, yesterday was a terrible election. But here in California, it wasn’t so bad. And here in Sonoma County, it was actually quite good. To give you some idea, Jerry Brown won the state with 59-41% — without campaigning. But here in Sonoma, Brown won 74-26%. But you know Sonoma county: it’s where hippies go to retire. Similarly, my man Tom Torlakson eked out a victory with 52% statewide, but won handily here with 65%.
This isn’t to say it all went well. Corporate tool James Gore beat Deb Fudge decisively for County Supervisor. Of course, I’m sure that if this were a partisan race, both Gore and Fudge would be Democrats. That’s part of the problem with the Democratic Party: it is such a big tent that it doesn’t much stand for anything. Although it indicates a bigger problem with the Republican Party: why would anyone be a member of that narrow and extreme party?
The statewide propositions went exactly as I predicted. Everything passed except for the three measures that had multi-million dollar ad campaigns against them. The Indian casino measure went down. The existing medical tort levels stay in effect because rich doctors and hospitals convinced the people that it would make their healthcare go up to benefit the “trial lawyers.” And we won’t see our healthcare go down in price because that would be giving power to a “bureaucrat.” I tell you, I weep for democracy. I see this all the time on the state level where carpet advertising totally distorts the democratic process.
We had a couple of local bond measures that I’m pleased to see pass. Measure H will help to improve infrastructure at Santa Rosa Junior College. Measure M will help to improve infrastructure and lengthen hours at the Sonoma County Library.
I understand that most people do not live in California, much less Sonoma County. And I feel really bad for people in Mississippi and North Carolina. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, Philadelphia was the most vibrant city in the colonies because it had the most liberal governance. The same is true of California today. Sadly, too many people would rather vote to screw their follow man than vote to lift up everyone.
This morning, Jonathan Chait wrote, The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation. In it, he provided a stark graph. It shows how big a percent of the vote was from people under 30, and in 2006, 2010, and 2014: it was always the same, 12%. Compare this to 2008 and 2012 when it was 18% and 19%. Meanwhile, people over 60 made up 32% of the vote in 2010 and 37% of the vote in 2014. Is it any question why we are losing?
Benjamin Franklin supposedly said that the United States was, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Too many Americans think our democratic republic is God given. But it isn’t. We have to fight for it. And we aren’t — at least not nationally.