American Dreams Lost
25 March 2001
It's only a movie. It's only a movie. It's only a movie.
The state that gave us Nixon and Reagan is a Republican nightmare. The California Republican Party is one statewide elective official from being shutout of office. Not only are both senators Democrats, they're women. The alpha male, Al Gore, carried the state last November with ease. The borders are leaking in Democrats like a sieve. Not even the electricity crisis can swing the state to the GOP. Or so we thought!
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator, is the Republican Party's answer to their California problem. Arnold is going to pump the Republican Party up. Schwarzenegger plans to terminate Gray Davis and capture the governor's office, with a Kennedy (Maria Shriver) on his arm no less. It is nice to know that Dubya and Arnold can gain political capital off the Kennedy name.
Outlawing abortions and "just saying no" to gun control laws in a state where kids can't go to school without bullet-proof vests has not won votes for the Republicans. Loosening environmental regulations, despite the energy problems, has not caught on either. The Republican Party's support of stricter immigration laws juiced up the right wing but alienated the fast-growing Latino vote. One of every three Californians is now Latino. "Log Cabin" Republicans can "watch their wallet" while AIDS spreads in the "Third World" due to President Bush's Executive Order to reinstate the "Gag Rule."
Given that only a third of California's voters are registered as Republicans, the GOP cannot win a statewide election without capturing a substantial number of Independent and Democratic voters. Do the Republicans respond by moderating their message? No, they call in a second rate actor with name recognition and money. It worked before.
Thank God for Studs Terkel. In American Dreams: Lost and Found, Terkel opened up the mind of Arnold Schwarzenegger to us twenty-one years ago. What was Arnold's dream?
California is to me a dream land. It is the absolute combination of everything I was always looking for. It has all the money in the world there, show business there, wonderful weather there, beautiful country, ocean is there. Snow skiing in the winter, you can go to the desert the same day. You have beautiful-looking people there. They all have a tan.
Sounds like presidential material. Too bad the Constitution prevents him from serving.
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