Orange County, California

I lived in Southern California in the 1960s and went to college and taught for a year in Orange County. At the time the word on the street was, Orange County is the most conservative in America. We didn’t have Google back then so I really didn’t know but much of what I witnessed agreed with common beliefs.

California is having their primary elections today and in recent weeks much has been said about the Democrats being able to flip conservative Orange County. Out of curiosity I did a little snooping and found more than one article refuting the conservative claims.

If you study the included map you can see that the area along the Pacific Ocean is strongly red while the interior is pretty blue. The coastline was, and still is, a bastion of wealthy and conservative voters. It takes lots of greenbacks to live in places like Laguna and Newport Beaches.

I graduated from California State University at Fullerton in 1969 and taught high school at Villa Park for the 1969-70 term. At the time Cal-State was a sort of liberal island in a conservative ocean.  Villa Park was a complete bedroom community and I think the only commercial business in the town was a helipad that ferried executives into downtown Los Angeles. Not sure what the average income was but there was a distinct difference between the student and teacher parking lots.

The Social Studies Department at VP was mostly balanced between the left and right. There were seven teachers in the American History division with one at each end of the spectrum and the rest a balance of mostly centrist moderates. All planning was done by the group and we strived to present a balance view of the nation’s history. Nevertheless, complaints were often filed by parents on the right. If anything was said that hinted the Founding Fathers were in fact humans first and gods second, the phone would ring.

Obviously much has changed in the forty-eight years since I left the Golden State and that would include the political demographics. However, according to a TV network reporter, Orange County remains strongly conservative.

Tune into your favorite news channel tonight and get an idea of where the truth lies. Will OC flip? Only the Wizard knows!

NOTE: The beach photo is of Huntington Beach’s pier. 

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