California Dreamin'

I would like to feel elated about the elections last Tuesday, but alas, I live in California. As the rest of the nation lurches back toward common sense, California defiantly stands as a testament to the power of delusion. Over twenty billion dollars in debt, some of the highest unemployment in the nation, businesses fleeing the bloated bureaucracy's draconian regulations, water policies dooming the farming industry in the vital Central Valley, out-of-control taxation -- all of these crises are political in origin and speak to a legacy of ideological obtuseness combined with incompetence of astonishing magnitude.

I have been striving to understand how my beloved state could again give a chance to Jerry Brown, a career politician and former governor who is in many ways responsible for California's present disasters; allowed the reelection of Barbara Boxer, a corrupt, radical partisan whose intellectual vacuity is an embarrassment; voted down Proposition 23, which would have halted, at least temporarily, the "green" restrictions encumbering our faltering economy; voted in Proposition 25, which will make it easier for politicians to raise already astronomically high taxes; and turned over key posts, such as Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State, as well as a majority of the state assembly and Senate seats, to the party most responsible for California's ruination. I can't wrap my mind around this phenomenon without using metaphor.

A friend of mine has a daughter who, in high school, was beautiful, bright, and ambitious. However, she was quite pampered by her parents, and right out of high school, she began a series of disastrous relationships with men. A couple of these boyfriends were actually in residential drug rehabilitation at the time they were dating her.

While going to college on her parent's dime, she began a relationship with a young man whose most distinguishing feature seemed to be the multiple piercings on his face and body. The two quickly moved in together, and even though her parents didn't approve, Mom and Dad continued to underwrite her college and living expenses.

It wasn't long before she was pregnant out of wedlock. A baby came, and the boyfriend, a slovenly and lazy parasite, wouldn't get work to support her. Months of miserable bickering began. He left several times, but they always reunited. Finally, she discovered the heart of his problems, or perhaps allowed herself to see what was obvious all along: he was a methamphetamine addict. Her response was to give him a few chances, but finally kick him out once and for all...and then forgive him and marry him within the year.

After the marriage, he went to jail. A few months after this, she filed for divorce. Their little boy suffered terribly from Dad's neglect, his empty promises, and the wrenching goodbyes when he would disappear. This time, the daughter was determined to keep the con artist out of her life. She moved out of the house she was buying because he and his drug-addled buddies wrecked it; she had to abandon it later to a short sale, which cost her dearly. She found a lawyer, instigated divorce proceedings, moved back in with her parents because he had bankrupted her, and tried to stay emotionally and financially afloat as the divorce proceeded.

When she had spent thousands on lawyer fees, compounded when he didn't show up to court or do paperwork required of him, she had really, really had enough. Broke again, exhausted from working full-time and trying to raise a son on her own, a year and a half into the divorce proceedings, she called her ex... and invited him back into her home.

What I've just described is a delusional woman, someone who convinces herself, against all evidence to the contrary, that one more chance with a complete loser will make the difference this time. This is exactly how a majority of California voters seem to operate.

I'm sure that this election saw rampant voter fraud, much of which will never be unearthed. But fraud cannot fully account for the dismal track record of the California electorate. At some point, things changed in the Golden State. Sometime in the recent past, the California population attained a critical mass of people inebriated with the leftist drivel that emanated from the hotbeds of '60s radicalism. Berkeley and San Francisco used to be freak shows, where unhinged socialist dreamers congregated and planned their takeover of America. 

Unfortunately, they were very successful. Through a decades-long propaganda campaign, their baleful influence metastasized outside the narrow confines of the Bay Area and became drearily mainstream -- call it radicalism lite. Combine this pervasive ideology, stealthily creeping into the consciousness of the middle class, with the steady march of public-sector union power (a march led by Jerry Brown in the 1970s); the takeover of the courts by leftists (which paved the way for some of California's most destructive policies); growing government entitlements that raised unrealistic expectations of the populace to ludicrous levels; and the constant drip-drip-drip of overt and covert taxes to fund all of the wonderful utopian dreams, and you have the ingredients that have created the toxic brew now eating away at the foundations of economic and civil stability. 

The fact that voters keep returning to failed policies and politicians speaks to the power of propaganda, disseminated through the schools and the media. However, it is also a dismal lesson in human nature, epitomized by Jesus' observation about a dog returning to its own vomit. As in the case of my friend's daughter, the electorate here has been neglected, abused, and exploited. Many are smart, beautiful people. Yet over and over again, after ample evidence that their abusers are destroying their hopes and opportunities, California voters embrace them one more time. There is an old saying that insanity means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That may not be a clinical definition of mental illness, but it nevertheless resonates here in the once-Golden State.
I would like to feel elated about the elections last Tuesday, but alas, I live in California. As the rest of the nation lurches back toward common sense, California defiantly stands as a testament to the power of delusion. Over twenty billion dollars in debt, some of the highest unemployment in the nation, businesses fleeing the bloated bureaucracy's draconian regulations, water policies dooming the farming industry in the vital Central Valley, out-of-control taxation -- all of these crises are political in origin and speak to a legacy of ideological obtuseness combined with incompetence of astonishing magnitude.

I have been striving to understand how my beloved state could again give a chance to Jerry Brown, a career politician and former governor who is in many ways responsible for California's present disasters; allowed the reelection of Barbara Boxer, a corrupt, radical partisan whose intellectual vacuity is an embarrassment; voted down Proposition 23, which would have halted, at least temporarily, the "green" restrictions encumbering our faltering economy; voted in Proposition 25, which will make it easier for politicians to raise already astronomically high taxes; and turned over key posts, such as Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State, as well as a majority of the state assembly and Senate seats, to the party most responsible for California's ruination. I can't wrap my mind around this phenomenon without using metaphor.

A friend of mine has a daughter who, in high school, was beautiful, bright, and ambitious. However, she was quite pampered by her parents, and right out of high school, she began a series of disastrous relationships with men. A couple of these boyfriends were actually in residential drug rehabilitation at the time they were dating her.

While going to college on her parent's dime, she began a relationship with a young man whose most distinguishing feature seemed to be the multiple piercings on his face and body. The two quickly moved in together, and even though her parents didn't approve, Mom and Dad continued to underwrite her college and living expenses.

It wasn't long before she was pregnant out of wedlock. A baby came, and the boyfriend, a slovenly and lazy parasite, wouldn't get work to support her. Months of miserable bickering began. He left several times, but they always reunited. Finally, she discovered the heart of his problems, or perhaps allowed herself to see what was obvious all along: he was a methamphetamine addict. Her response was to give him a few chances, but finally kick him out once and for all...and then forgive him and marry him within the year.

After the marriage, he went to jail. A few months after this, she filed for divorce. Their little boy suffered terribly from Dad's neglect, his empty promises, and the wrenching goodbyes when he would disappear. This time, the daughter was determined to keep the con artist out of her life. She moved out of the house she was buying because he and his drug-addled buddies wrecked it; she had to abandon it later to a short sale, which cost her dearly. She found a lawyer, instigated divorce proceedings, moved back in with her parents because he had bankrupted her, and tried to stay emotionally and financially afloat as the divorce proceeded.

When she had spent thousands on lawyer fees, compounded when he didn't show up to court or do paperwork required of him, she had really, really had enough. Broke again, exhausted from working full-time and trying to raise a son on her own, a year and a half into the divorce proceedings, she called her ex... and invited him back into her home.

What I've just described is a delusional woman, someone who convinces herself, against all evidence to the contrary, that one more chance with a complete loser will make the difference this time. This is exactly how a majority of California voters seem to operate.

I'm sure that this election saw rampant voter fraud, much of which will never be unearthed. But fraud cannot fully account for the dismal track record of the California electorate. At some point, things changed in the Golden State. Sometime in the recent past, the California population attained a critical mass of people inebriated with the leftist drivel that emanated from the hotbeds of '60s radicalism. Berkeley and San Francisco used to be freak shows, where unhinged socialist dreamers congregated and planned their takeover of America. 

Unfortunately, they were very successful. Through a decades-long propaganda campaign, their baleful influence metastasized outside the narrow confines of the Bay Area and became drearily mainstream -- call it radicalism lite. Combine this pervasive ideology, stealthily creeping into the consciousness of the middle class, with the steady march of public-sector union power (a march led by Jerry Brown in the 1970s); the takeover of the courts by leftists (which paved the way for some of California's most destructive policies); growing government entitlements that raised unrealistic expectations of the populace to ludicrous levels; and the constant drip-drip-drip of overt and covert taxes to fund all of the wonderful utopian dreams, and you have the ingredients that have created the toxic brew now eating away at the foundations of economic and civil stability. 

The fact that voters keep returning to failed policies and politicians speaks to the power of propaganda, disseminated through the schools and the media. However, it is also a dismal lesson in human nature, epitomized by Jesus' observation about a dog returning to its own vomit. As in the case of my friend's daughter, the electorate here has been neglected, abused, and exploited. Many are smart, beautiful people. Yet over and over again, after ample evidence that their abusers are destroying their hopes and opportunities, California voters embrace them one more time. There is an old saying that insanity means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That may not be a clinical definition of mental illness, but it nevertheless resonates here in the once-Golden State.