Orange County, California, historically known for its reputation as a bastion of conservatism, is changing. In my opinion, for the better, and that change can provide a valuable example for the country as a whole, particularly in terms of demographics and party affiliation.
In the not-so-distant past, the area was considered to be solidly Republican. Demographic changes, namely, the influx of Latino and Asian immigrants, have provided an opening for Democratic candidates, many Asian and Latino themselves. I don’t think we’re going to see a wholesale realignment of politics that favors the Democrats, but American society as a whole is going to become less white, more multicultural. And in that process, there’s going to be a realignment. Both parties are going to have to solidly make their cases to a lot of demographic groups in the coming years as the ranks of newcomers increase. And the Democrats shouldn’t take it for granted that they’re going to pick up all of the newcomers. By the same token, in the long run, the GOP isn’t doing themselves any favors with loudly and enthusiastically promoting policies that are deeply unpopular with Latinos, the nation’s largest minority, and among the fastest growing. Many Latinos just view it as one more way in which the GOP has figured out to say to Latinos: ‘We don’t want you.’ And while that strategy may yield significant gains in the short term, namely in the upcoming midterm elections, in the long haul, they’re a death sentence.