California: New Is Not Necessarily Improved

Meg Whitman would like to build a new California. Not me. If I had to choose, I'd opt not to build a new California, but rather to restore the "old California." That is, I'd revive the California Republic of Old, when men married women, when murderous thugs were given the noose rather than probation, and when babies in utero were kept safe from abortion practitioners. The regenerate California I have in mind is a place where a man's handshake is as binding as a written contract, where chastity is given a place of honor, and where citizens look to God and to their neighbors in times of trouble rather than to the Welfare State.

I assume that stating my preference for an old California rather than a new one will lead some to think of me as a pie-in-the-sky traditionalist at best and an obscurant at worst. Before dismissing me as a mere reactionary, however, I ask that you consider the hypothesis that "building a new California" is not only a misguided endeavor, but also one that will further undermine the individual liberties of the people of California.   

C.S. Lewis once said,

We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.

I think we can agree that California has taken a wrong turn. She is rolling down the wrong road. If we are to salvage our great state, we must go back. Going back, I believe, is the fastest way forward.

To what, however, shall we go back? I contend that the only proper place to go back to is America's Founding Principles. It is there that we will find the answers to California's social and economic woes. And it is there where we shall be able to beat back the heavy hand of Sacramento so that California's citizens may more fully enjoy their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Unfortunately, neither Meg Whitman nor Jerry Brown can return California to America's Founding Principles. That's because neither, I believe, is able to tell a Founding Principle from a kumquat. And while Brown might have some inkling about Natural Law because of his legal background, I'm certain his disdain for Natural Law is as great as Meg Whitman's ignorance of it. 

Perhaps if Meg Whitman took some time to thoughtfully examine the works of political philosophers like Cicero, Vattel, and Locke, she might reconsider her campaign goal of building a new California. Perhaps, too, if she took the time to study history, she might realize that political leaders who have promised change and "new societies" have for the most part been vehicles of tyranny rather than agents of liberty. As evidence, consider the political fads of the 20th century. Both Communism and Fascism promised to usher in new societies that would overthrow "outdated and regressive" notions in economics and politics. Similarly, President Obama campaigned on the promise of fundamentally changing America. But when it comes to Obama -- and Castro and Lenin, for that matter -- is anyone prepared to say that building new societies or New Deals or a New America has been a good thing?

Over the years, California's leaders have "progressed" us to the point of economic despair and soft tyranny. They have implemented every new fad known to modern man: collectivism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, post-humanism, and the like. To what end?

We Californians need to halt the politicians' forward march to ruin and force them to do an about-face. What we need is a revival of Natural Law, of old-fashioned common sense, thrift, and industry -- not more half-baked governmental innovations. 

What we also need are leaders who stand on the shoulders of America's Founding Fathers. Such leaders would be able to lead California out of its quagmire by standing firm in their commitment to principles that have stood the test of time. They wouldn't be scurrying about trying to create their own versions of Utopia or bragging about their new plans for a new California. Instead, they would faithfully serve Californians by reinstating the tenets enshrined in America's Declaration of Independence and her Constitution. In short, they would be doing the work of conservatives.

As I survey California's political landscape, I see, at a minimum, three conservative politicians: Tom McClintock, Chuck Devore, and -- to some degree -- Carly Fiorina. I hope that more conservatives rise to the forefront of California politics. Otherwise, California will become another France, and Texas will replace California as the state with the largest population and the highest Gross State Product (GSP).

I'm prepared to move to Texas, to a state where Natural Law is given some room to roam. I'm hoping, however, that I won't need to do so and that I may reside in a California that looks less like a faltering Silicon Valley startup and more like a Gold Rush Republic.
Meg Whitman would like to build a new California. Not me. If I had to choose, I'd opt not to build a new California, but rather to restore the "old California." That is, I'd revive the California Republic of Old, when men married women, when murderous thugs were given the noose rather than probation, and when babies in utero were kept safe from abortion practitioners. The regenerate California I have in mind is a place where a man's handshake is as binding as a written contract, where chastity is given a place of honor, and where citizens look to God and to their neighbors in times of trouble rather than to the Welfare State.

I assume that stating my preference for an old California rather than a new one will lead some to think of me as a pie-in-the-sky traditionalist at best and an obscurant at worst. Before dismissing me as a mere reactionary, however, I ask that you consider the hypothesis that "building a new California" is not only a misguided endeavor, but also one that will further undermine the individual liberties of the people of California.   

C.S. Lewis once said,

We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.

I think we can agree that California has taken a wrong turn. She is rolling down the wrong road. If we are to salvage our great state, we must go back. Going back, I believe, is the fastest way forward.

To what, however, shall we go back? I contend that the only proper place to go back to is America's Founding Principles. It is there that we will find the answers to California's social and economic woes. And it is there where we shall be able to beat back the heavy hand of Sacramento so that California's citizens may more fully enjoy their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Unfortunately, neither Meg Whitman nor Jerry Brown can return California to America's Founding Principles. That's because neither, I believe, is able to tell a Founding Principle from a kumquat. And while Brown might have some inkling about Natural Law because of his legal background, I'm certain his disdain for Natural Law is as great as Meg Whitman's ignorance of it. 

Perhaps if Meg Whitman took some time to thoughtfully examine the works of political philosophers like Cicero, Vattel, and Locke, she might reconsider her campaign goal of building a new California. Perhaps, too, if she took the time to study history, she might realize that political leaders who have promised change and "new societies" have for the most part been vehicles of tyranny rather than agents of liberty. As evidence, consider the political fads of the 20th century. Both Communism and Fascism promised to usher in new societies that would overthrow "outdated and regressive" notions in economics and politics. Similarly, President Obama campaigned on the promise of fundamentally changing America. But when it comes to Obama -- and Castro and Lenin, for that matter -- is anyone prepared to say that building new societies or New Deals or a New America has been a good thing?

Over the years, California's leaders have "progressed" us to the point of economic despair and soft tyranny. They have implemented every new fad known to modern man: collectivism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, post-humanism, and the like. To what end?

We Californians need to halt the politicians' forward march to ruin and force them to do an about-face. What we need is a revival of Natural Law, of old-fashioned common sense, thrift, and industry -- not more half-baked governmental innovations. 

What we also need are leaders who stand on the shoulders of America's Founding Fathers. Such leaders would be able to lead California out of its quagmire by standing firm in their commitment to principles that have stood the test of time. They wouldn't be scurrying about trying to create their own versions of Utopia or bragging about their new plans for a new California. Instead, they would faithfully serve Californians by reinstating the tenets enshrined in America's Declaration of Independence and her Constitution. In short, they would be doing the work of conservatives.

As I survey California's political landscape, I see, at a minimum, three conservative politicians: Tom McClintock, Chuck Devore, and -- to some degree -- Carly Fiorina. I hope that more conservatives rise to the forefront of California politics. Otherwise, California will become another France, and Texas will replace California as the state with the largest population and the highest Gross State Product (GSP).

I'm prepared to move to Texas, to a state where Natural Law is given some room to roam. I'm hoping, however, that I won't need to do so and that I may reside in a California that looks less like a faltering Silicon Valley startup and more like a Gold Rush Republic.

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