With the midterm elections only two weeks away, we have seen Donald Trump return to his message that Democrats are committing widespread vote fraud, primarily through allowing non-citizens to vote in large numbers. For example, on October 20th, Trump Tweeted “All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!” He has also riffed on this theme, which dovetails with Republican fear mongering around immigration in recent speeches. We should remember that implicit in all the right wing talk about caravans crossing the border, although not the border into the US, are that those people will come here and cast illegal votes for the Democratic Party.
The proposal is, however, more than sefl-indulgence, it is part of a broader trend of conservative proposals masquerading as techi-libertarianism. The heart of Draper's proposal is not about better or more innovative governance, but about changing the composition of California's senate delegation. Since 1992, California has had two Democratic senators. Given the demographic and political makeup of California as it is now constituted, this is unlikely to change anytime soon. However, Draper's proposal would change that.
The veritable collapse of the Republican Party in California is not news, but it is worth considering, particularly given the party's failure, again, to even have a serious campaign for governor in 2014. California is the most populous state in the country, but it was at the center of the Republican Party for most of the years from 1952-1992, a period of ascendancy for the Party nationally. The national ticket in most of those years included national politicians, notably Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan with roots in California. Many big states are aligned with one party, but California is different both because of the Republican's strong recent history there but also because the diversity of the state that makes it both a harbinger of what the country will become and a place that should be a battleground for competing ideas and visions. In recent years, however, the Republican Party was not made itself relevant in that battleground.
International assistance following a natural disaster of this sort is not new. Many of the same actors provided support to the victims of the Tsunami in 2004. It may, however, become more common in the next decades. Unusual weather events will likely be one of the first impacts of climate change which will be felt. Although the event in Haiti was an earthquake with no likely connection to climate change, the general pattern of a devastating natural disaster occurring in a country that has already had more than its share of misfortune which will both cause immediate tragedy and perhaps set that country’s development back years may become more common.