Opinion

California Republicans Must Play the Long Game

Written by Philip Mauriello Jr. is the Managing Attorney of Arete Law A.P.C. and host of the California Underground Podcast

There is one thing that I will give credit to the Left for: they have learned and implemented the long game for decades. Everyone has heard of the phrase “frog in boiling water.” If not, the sentiment is simple. If you throw a frog in boiling water, it will immediately hop out because of the temperature shock. However, if you put a frog in room temperature water and allow the heat to build up, the frog will eventually be boiled alive because it doesn’t realize the temperature is slowly rising. 

Whether this is scientifically true or not, the lesson is still the same. People are more likely to accept incremental changes rather than radical changes. The Left has been excelling at this for decades. They were able to slowly implement their plans and vision through many of our institutions. Education, Hollywood, sports, and so on; it has all been slowly integrated with Leftist ideology over the course of decades. We are now at a point where conservatives look up and ask, where did we go wrong?

Many Republicans are now in a position where they feel their country is slowly slipping through their fingers. Between COVID lockdowns and civil unrest, it seems that our country is boiling over right now and a lot of people are afraid of where we are going. 

There is a candidate on social media who is gaining a little recognition for announcing his early run for Governor of California. His name is Major Williams, and while I follow his candidacy, I doubt he will be able to become governor. Is it because he does not appear to know the issues or lacks charisma? No, he appears to have a solid grasp on those things. Is it because he does not yet have the backing of the California Republican Party? Still early to determine that. I believe he won’t win because his platform is boiling water to Californian voters. He is pro-God, pro-Second Amendment, pro-conservative values, etc. These are great things to be for, of course. I am certainly not against such pillars of conservative ideology, I just think it’s toxic to California voters and is not a winning strategy right now

I have said numerous times that a California Republican has to be different than an Oklahoma Republican. California is a very different state than Oklahoma, to say the least. Our population is different, our culture is different, our way of living is different, and we need to be able to reflect our constituency and address their concerns. A hard turn to the right in California is as unlikely as Gov. Newsom not continuing to be a hypocrite. Instead, we have to treat this as if we are trying to turn around an aircraft carrier. It’s long and slow, but we will eventually get there. 

Now is also a perfect time to slowly start turning this ship around. People are tired of the continued draconian orders coming from Sacramento. Millions of Californians are out of work, and more have just been added. Many of them are still waiting on unemployment checks they applied for in March because of government ineptitude. The cost of living is skyrocketing, and our city streets are filled with homeless people who are unable to keep up. California citizens are primed and ready for a change. Maybe not a radical change, but a change. 

Maybe instead of a hard right candidate for governor, we put forth a candidate who can address the pressing issues of California. I believe a candidate like San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer could be a perfect fit. He is a steady, calm leader of one of California’s biggest cities. He is pro-business, pro-lower taxes, but he also understands and connects with the citizens of his city. He is not hard right, but a common sense rebuttal to Gov. Newsom’s radical left ideology. He understands he is the mayor of a major California city and represents his citizens as such. While many may see him as too moderate, he would be a breath of fresh air to everyday Californians who are wary of the Far Left.

As the Left continues to become more radical, now is the time to put forth someone who can slowly start to change things for the better. Once California citizens start to see the success of common sense, they will begin to think this isn’t so bad. The slow turn towards a pro-business, pro-low taxes California can give way to other policy changes like being pro-Second Amendment, pro-God, and pro-liberty. Radical change scares citizens because it is not what they are used to, but slow incremental change can forever change a state.

There is no better time to present a sensible alternative to what our state is going through. The Left didn’t get where it is today because it woke up one day and started a single revolution. They have been slowly increasing the temperature of the water in California for decades, and we are here because we didn’t effectively fight back.

A free and prosperous California is not an unattainable goal, but it is one that will take a long time to get to. I believe we can get there. Let’s get to work.