I’ve been thinking about something these past few days, and it’s an important message for 2018 and beyond.
OK, so we may well win the 48th in November. We also may well lose the 48th in November. Right now it’s a tossup—extremely hard to fully grasp; an interesting-yet-terrifying glance at two polar opposite candidates who want the same job.
Whatever happens, however, we need to start thinking bigger than singular elections. We have to.
Here’s what I’m talking about. I live in Laguna Niguel, and the city council is overrun by far-right adherents. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people. These are oftentimes the folks you see a school pickup, at the ice cream joint, at the auto repair. They’re our friends. Our neighbors.
What it does mean, however, is that they (almost certainly) support Donald Trump and Dana Rohrabacher. Which suggests they (almost certainly) don’t believe in climate change, are comfortable reducing public school funding in order to help charter schools, worry nary a lick about the drought.
Perfect example: Sandy Giamourides Rains
Sandy is currently running for Laguna Niguel city council—a gig she’ll almost certainly land. And, to be clear, I have NOTHING personal against the woman. I don’t know her, but on social media she seems to be a loving mother and chipper liver of life (I reached out to her the other day, and she responded). That said, her political views strike me as, well bat-shit crazy.
Sandy votes for Dana Rohrabacher.
Sandy supports Donald Trump.
Sandy supports John Cox.
Sandy just posted a proud Facebook endorsement of a new book written by Rebecca Friedrichs, the California school teacher who lent her name to the first Supreme Court case meant to destroy public unions (Friedrichs went on to serve as a pundit for right-wing think takes).
Sandy thinks kneeling NFL players are absolutely horrible (Meanwhile, a five-deferment president should be celebrated).
Sandy posts a good number of videos backing candidates who seek to “protect our way of life” (Translation: Immigrants=bad).
Sandy was openly antagonistic when Barack Obama visited the county.
Sandy had nothing to say on social media when Donald Trump bragged about all the women he has sex with; when Donald Trump mocked John McCain for being captured; when Donald Trump lied about Obama being a Kenyan-born Muslim. She had nothing to say when Rohrabacher repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin; when Rohrabacher said the drought is fictitious; when Rohrabacher said people should be allowed to not sell their houses to gays.
And, for the third time, this is not to say Sandy is a bad person. What I’m saying is—all across Orange County—people with the shared views of Sandy Giamourides Rains are running for/holding important positions. They are armed with ideas from a bygone era, clinging to ignorant cultural ideals over progress. Well, we need to compete for these positions. It’s not just about governor and senator and congressman. There are school boards, water commissioner. These are the gigs that set the tone; that promote issues; that matter. We need to star thinking 5 … 10 … 15 years down the road. We need to do what the GOP does so well here—line up strong candidates far in advance, and prepare them for genuine runs.
It starts now.