Today, this morning, election day, millions will cast their ballots for a variety of races and propositions, some exciting and glamorous, and some, well, some seem to evade coverage. Those positions which aren't so recognizable, however, can often have a profound impact on our day to day lives, as Angelenos and Californians.
One name which seems to have no trouble getting seen at events spanning party lines is an enigma of the era in which we find ourselves. Shawn Hoffman of Hollywood has a strong ethic which mirrors that of the populist tea party movement in many ways, yet, is decisively rooted in Ideology. Running as an Independent, he is a staunch Constitutionalist, and is sympathetic to Libertarianism and Paleo-Conservatism, not for mere recognition, but because he has well thought out and clearly defined beliefs which do not quite match with generic labels. And from sandwich-boards on German Shepherds, to showing up at debates with his wife and associating decisively with the crowds, rather than the recognizable names, his campaigning has reflected the reasons he gives for campaigning: he is an American who is fed up with bureaucracy, taxes, and mismanagement. His campaigning has focused on sign placement, social mingling, and small business outreach, and yet, it has all been labor, no money poured in. His open invitation to those who would celebrate with him, is to join him at his neighborhood bar.
While particularly insignificant in the eyes of traditional voting metrics, this race serves as a true litmus test of the success of the tea party movement. Hollywood California's Ron Paul Group, and their later incarnation as the Hollywood Freedom Activists, Gave Birth to the Tea Party movement, the End the Fed movement, Aimee Allen's radical anthems made their way to MTV while she showed more respect for the infamously alternative talk show host Alex Jones than for the very vehicle she was using, and the cross-pollenization of these movements with the GOP, including a temporary majority of Campaign for Liberty members on it's local central committee, showed that the influence of dove conservatism is being felt. The passage of proposition 19, which is being watched by the nation, will not be due to an over-reaching progressivism, no indeed, the Democratic Party has refused to comment on this measure which most progressive believers would like to believe is in line with the ways of their chosen leaders. Rather, proposition 19 is dependent on Libertarians and Liberty Caucus Republicans, and Independents, who share a common belief that human beings are the masters of their own destinies, and therefore their bodies, and that drug use does not warrant the use of force or deprivation of civil liberties, however unpleasant the habit may be. Likewise, propositions regarding redistricting, state park revenue generation, and other matters, will all be tests of which matters more to Californios, individualism, or collectivism, free of the constraints of large, budgeted Teaparty campaigns which pour nationwide resources into local elections in the name of a movement not fully understood by those whom the media allow to speak for it.
The eyes of the nation will be directed towards the GOP and marijuana, as we go to vote today. Those same eyes, if wise and observant, will also take notice of Shawn Hoffman, and countless small county-wide campaigns like his. Because SoCal is a land of idealism, and it is fitting that the idealistic right be revived here, the best description one can make of the biggest change going on in our national political realm today, in the two years past, and in the many years to come.