So what? Most of those same GOPers and propositions lost in statewide races. We are largely a political island, judging from the latest results. “Isolationism” doesn’t help us much either, because we depend on the rest of the state (including funding from government “grants”).
We’re not going to change our statewide voting patterns from our little county, or region for that matter. We do not have the money, population or political clout of, say, Orange County or North San Diego County.
Our region is showing some cracks in the GOP lock on politics too — Democrat Ami Bera is ahead of staunch Republican Dan Lungren in the District 7 Congressional race.
We are the second “whitest” county in the state, as I’ve written before, so we are less impacted by the electorate changes that are reshaping state politics, such as the pro-Democratic voting patterns of ethnic minorities. At least for now.
Census data shows the whitest areas in our western county are Alta Sierra at 88.7; Lake of the Pines, at 89.3 percent; and Lake Wildwood, at 90.7 percent, according to the data. The least white — relatively speaking — is North San Juan at 82.2 percent and Truckee at 77.7 percent. Nevada City is at 87.4 percent.
The statewide total stands at 40.1 percent.
Some changes are occurring in the foothills and Sierra region, however. In 2000, Plumas, Butte, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calvareas, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties were 9.7 percent to 19.9 percent “non white,” the lowest possible percentages, the data shows.
In 2010, however, three of the nine — Placer, El Dorado and Amador — were now categorized as 20 percent to 34.9 percent non white. More of the neighboring counties, Sacramento and Stanislaus, are becoming more non white too. Links to the data are here.
As a reader here has pointed out before: “Despite all the sound and fury emanating from certain parts of our county about immigrants and government and lord knows what else to afraid of, the truth is that social, cultural, and economic forces in the country and the world will change our community. The smart thing to do would be to embrace the change and make this an even better place to live.”
This includes embracing GOP political values that are more tolerant and inclusive. The GOP needs to address what is perceived as hostile immigration rhetoric, an uncompromising stance on abortion rights and more tolerance of same-sex marriage, among other issues.
Unlike the state GOP, the local GOP has a chance to get out in front of the issue before it’s too late. Will it? Or will it just dig in its heels?
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