SATURDAY August 25, 2018 - 5:00pm to 6:15pm
It has recently been observed that by 2040, 70 percent of Americans will live in 15 states and thus 30 percent of Americans will choose 70 senators. That 30 percent will be older, whiter, more male and more rural. We currently live in a situation where in recent US Senate elections, 15 million more voters cast ballots for Democrats, and yet the Republicans control the Senate, White House, and the power to place justices on the Supreme Court and fill the federal courts. The panel will discuss the ways in which the conservatives have maintained power despite their minority status. We will discuss how voting power is apportioned in the Senate, and how the right has been able to better maintain message discipline and focus on a few key issues to keep their base active and engaged, and whether there is any lessons progressives can learn from them. Reviewing the immigration policies also lays bare the fact that since it is a function of the executive branch, there has been little difference in many of the deportation policies of Obama and Trump. However, the latest moves by the Trump administration have the most impact in California, which has the highest number of undocumented residents, including dreamers. A review of immigration laws demonstrates that laws passed in the Clinton administration expanded the policies for deportation, including the purported crimes for which legal immigrants could be deported. The current group of Democrats in Washington show little desire to engage in political action with respect to immigration which is regarded of little value to the large swath of independent voters whose support Democrats need to increase their representation in Congress. As a result, the Democrats become complicit in minority rule policies. Thus the question arises as to how Californians, or other states, can assert their majority political rule in light of a dysfunctional federal electoral system. The federal system seems doomed to fail as the minority rule increases its grip over the majority, and one of the solutions may be for the citizens of California to reject the politics of both parties, and seek a way forward in ways that will seek to embrace and represent all of its residents, citizen and noncitizen alike, by refusing to accept minority rule and beginning to forge a path forward to its own independence.