Why Is California So Liberal?

Why Is California So Liberal

Liberal is a term in the political and moral ideology that comes from the Latin word “Liber,” meaning “free.” In a liberal state, the whole essence of government is to protect the interest of individuals. There is the belief that the interference of the government itself could limit individual freedom. Thus, Liberalism introduces a free market system, freedom of expression, and limited government interference with people’s freedom.

The question is, why is California so liberal?

It is of public knowledge that the dominant philosophy the government endorses and Californians practice as their way of living, is the system of Liberalism. If we were to calculate based on the landmass or area, conservatism would be the majorly practiced philosophy. However, considering the largeness of its population, California is liberal. It is liberal because Liberalism is the philosophy that underlies the affairs of its members. They practiced it on the coasts, which have a high population percentage due to larger cities.

Continue reading to get more useful information about this topic!

What Is Liberalism?

Liberalism is a moral and political ideology, which believes that individuals should have freedom of rights, and the government should play a significant role in ensuring that they protect the rights of the people.

It gives the government very little say on how citizens should go about their livelihood. Liberalism gives citizens freedom as pertains, rights to how they choose to live their lives, religion, property ownership, and how they operate their businesses.

Brief History Of Liberalism

Liberalism started during the 17th century, majorly among the French and English colonized states. It gained more ground and became a movement during the 18th-19th century among western ideologists and political philosophers. Philosopher John Locke is one person that people commonly refer to as the pioneer and father of Liberalism.

The ideology tends to resist the governance of monarchy and religious rule, and in the 19th century, governments founded on Liberalism began to emerge across Europe and South America. Then, during the 20th century, Liberalism started to advance in the United States during the regime of President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Politics And Government: Is California Liberal Or Conservative?

Presently, California is what we can call a liberal state. It is majorly due to the rule of Democrats who, in recent times, have been the dominant party involved in the leadership of the state. Democrats are what we know as supporters of Liberalism.

Since the formation of California in 1850 and from 1899 to 1939, California has had republican governors who majorly endorsed the philosophy of conservatism. Still, since 1990, Democrats dominated the government with just a few Republican governors. One prominent one among them is Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger who even sided with the democrats most times on policies that favored Liberalism

Difference Between Conservatism And Liberalism

The two political ideologies provide distinctive methods of solving issues in society. Conservatives primarily give more significant concern to property rights and, also, to the rights of those with the property. In contrast, liberals give more considerable concern and attach more importance to other rights in the constitution as well as and civil rights, especially those that are at a disadvantage.

Below we would look at two points to make you understand the difference between these two political and moral philosophies.

Livelihood –

Conservatism tends to restrict the rights of individuals, believing that an individual should not only involve in anything that will not profit him or her. Conservatism is of the ideology that although we as individuals all differ in our personality and desires, however, we still relate with another, as a wrong decision from a set of an individual can cause serious adverse effects on the society

While Liberalism is of the ideology that individuals should have freedom of right regardless of nationality, age, or religion. Liberalism ensures that everyone has access to the freedom to create his ideas and opinions on how to go about his life and encourages personal innovations

Government and Business –

Conservatism upholds the law that the government plays a significant role in determining how individuals live in a state. They institute rules and regulations for citizens to live under and institute laws to guide their businesses and minimum wages paid to workers

While in Liberalism, citizens, immigrants, and foreigners have equal free rights on how to go about their activities, and the government plays a crucial role in protecting and ensuring the rights and properties of individuals. However, most of the time, this can have adverse effects on the economy as individuals could make poor decisions out of pressure.

Controversial Liberalist Policies In California

Legalization of Marijuana-

Marijuana is the dried leaf extract that you get from the cannabis plant. It is a drug that is mainly useful for recreational purposes and contains a chemical called THC, which has a mind-altering ability and affects every organ in your body. It also has a strong tendency to be addictive.

California made it legal for citizens to purchase marijuana in 2018, and this has been a matter of serious controversy. Many argue that the addiction rate of marijuana is on a rapid increase, and the inability of individuals to be effective in society is traceable to the use of the drug.

Studies show that marijuana gives people a “nothing matters” feel. Also, some adverse mental and health conditions like schizophrenia are a result of consistent cannabis use. Supporters of marijuana claim from findings that it has various health benefits that boost the immune system and helps combat certain diseases.

Same-Sex Marriage-

California legalized the right to same-sex marriage, and this has been an argumentative topic, especially amongst religious leaders. Primarily, we find out that it is harshly against the beliefs of Muslims and Christians to be associated or involved in same-sex marriage.

The situation leads to other issues. An example is where a gay couple would want to marry, and a pastor refuses to join them. In cases like this, the public indicts or even threatens the pastor.

While Liberalism believes that individuals should be free to determine how they go about their lives, the questions people always ask is, “does same-sex marriage have a positive effect on society? Do not children require both a father and a mother? Is marriage a right or a privilege?


Another very controversial policy in California that brought about so many criticisms is the legalization of abortion. Liberalism tends to play down on religion and ethnicity. However, others believe that life begins at conception, and thus, abortion is also a form of murder. The legalization of abortion has caused much uproar in public.

Supporters say abortion is a means of population control, and a baby should not come into this world unwanted. Protesters, on the other hand, believe that abortion is the killing of human life, and everyone has a right to life, whether unborn or not. Also, they think that abortion has led to many psychological and even medical complications in the person carrying out the act

What Gave Birth To Liberalism In California?

The primary reason for Liberalism in California is the fact that the state has become a significant site for public attraction. With people of different nations and tribes coming into the state, liberals believe it would be wicked to enforce a particular doctrine on how they should go about their lives.

California has some of the best universities in the world. Also, students from over the world come to California to study. These people are all coming in with his various ideologies and set of beliefs. When Californians see things in other countries that would help them, they want to do them.

People perceive California to be a haven for immigrants because of weak immigration laws. Additionally, Hollywood encourages freedom of living and loosed morals which have also played a significant role in the alteration of people’s minds towards the concept of Liberalism

Pros And Cons Of Liberalism

Here, were’re going to be looking at two negative and positive effects that Liberalism has had on the state.

Pros of Liberalism on California

Global Harmony – Freedom of living contributed significantly to economic and political relations with foreigners. It has contributed substantially to the unity of Americans with non-Americans, as Liberalism tends to accommodate and protects the individual’s rights of citizens and foreigners in the state

Equality – Regardless of age, gender, religion, or ethnicity, California maintains equality of rights amongst individuals, and it helped in economic growth and promotion of businesses in the state. It has helped to curb the issues of racism and discrimination.

Adverse Effects Of Liberalisms On California

Homelessness- Homelessness is on a very high percentage in California due to their loose policies and weak immigration laws. It has also led to an increase in the crime rate of the state.

Minimum wage- Since businesses and organizations have the right to determine the minimum wages paid to workers, they end up paying an amount that is not sufficient for their workers to afford the necessities for livelihood.


With the Democratic Party as the majority in the government of the state of California, it makes them the policymakers. The people that constitute the government explains why California is so liberal.

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