Sunday, November 07, 2004

Californians are different?

Growing up in northern California and then Arizona, I always thought of myself as Different. At first I thought it was me. I identified with it and learned to embrace it. But then I returned to the scene of the crime, my original home state...California. I realized that true Californians all have a certain strangeness about them. It is something we actually enjoy about ourselves. But are we truly different?
After the election, I had a chance to look at the map of California's various districts to see how our state actually voted. It almost looked to me like a side view of the country as a whole. Full of red sections, our state only had a few isolated areas of blue (i.e. Democrat) those sections were invariably Los Angeles and San Francisco. The difference, of course, was that John Kerry carried the state of California. But not every part. Miniscule numbers throughout the state totally to create the final blow.
I have often thought of California as a trend setting state within our country. It is strange that since I moved here I have come to realize that many parts of this unique state look like parts of the rest of the country. This is a reflection of the wide variety of people who live within it's boundaries.
We are different but only slightly. Slightly enough to make some profound differences. We are the state who solidly said, "Marriage is between one man and one woman" a few votes back. But we also said our money should be spent on developing embryonic clones and destroying them for science sake. We can be extraordinarily liberal, creating 1000's of gay marriages. Yet we can be profoundly conservative, removing an overly ambitious governor for one who is supposed to be more fiscally conservative.
We have a job Californians, the state is actually split. Those who speak the loudest and the most often are usually the ones who are heard. Who will step up to be heard? Will we simply let the opposing group be our voice and accept and unnecessary defeat. This does not mean we attack our neighbors for having differing views. It means we let our voices be heard.

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