California is a preview of the Democrats' dystopian vision for America
In 2016, Michael Anton, a former national security official in the Trump administration, wrote a now famous essay, "The Flight 93 Election." In it, he argued that voting for Trump was the last chance Americans had to preserve a constitutional America. Anton's back with an entire book discussing what will happen if the Democrats gain control of the White House and Congress in the upcoming election. Real Clear Politics has an excerpt from the book, and it sounds like another warning bell for people who cherish an America run on liberty-centered values rather than socialism.
It turns out that Anton and I have something in common: we're both California natives who remember a time when the state was a beautiful, affordable tribute to the best that America could be. Indeed, because I'm slightly older than he is, my memories are both better (I still have a vague memory of ladies wearing gloves and hats to go downtown) and worse (because I saw the damage that the hippies, the forebears of today's leftists, could do to a community).
Recently, Regnery published Anton's book, The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return. In it, he spells out exactly what to expect if the Democrats gain complete control over America. It will truly be the election to end all elections should they win.
In previous elections, Americans have always revolved around different interpretations of shared constitutional principles and cultural values. Even with the Civil War, while Americans fought to the death over state's rights and slavery, they still shared cultural values. In many ways, our nation is already more divided than during the lead-up to the Civil War.
In this election, the Democrats propose the most radical departure ever from America's past. They are not sliding gently to the left or the right. Theirs is a socialist revolution — and, like all socialist revolutions, the first thing the Democrats plan to do is lock in their power.
To that end, Democrats have been open about ending the filibuster. With that accomplished, they can add two leftist states (Puerto Rico and D.C.) and pack the courts. This will be their version of Erdoğan's Islamist takeover in Turkey and Putin's dictatorship in Russia: use the election to gain power, then jettison the system so no one else can do the same.
Real Clear Politics has excerpted Chapter One from Anton's book. In it, he looks to California to describe what we can expect once the Democrats achieve their dream of one-party rule over the nation. After all, they already have one-party rule over the state. The quoted material resonated strongly with me because he describes the golden state I remember from my younger years and the decaying state I finally left behind. Here is a passage from the quoted material:
My parents' and grandparents' California — the California of my own youth — is long gone. That California was the greatest middle-class paradise in the history of mankind. Its promise — which it mostly delivered —was nothing less than the American dream writ large, but better: freer, wealthier, sunnier, happier, more advanced, more future-oriented.
In barely one generation, that California was swept away and transformed into a left-liberal one-party state, the most economically unequal and socially divided in the country, ostensibly run by a cadre of would-be Solons in Sacramento and in the courts, but really by oligarchic power concentrated in a handful of industries, above all Big Tech and Big Hollywood. The middle class — what's left of them — continue to flee high taxes, higher costs, cratering standards of living, declining services, deteriorating infrastructure, worsening quality of life, and an elite that openly despises them and pushes policies to despoil and dispossess them.
According to the public presentation of this vision — the marketing brochure copy — the New California formula provides everything, with no downsides: economic growth and job security; equitable distribution of inherently scarce goods and environmental protection; fantastic innovation alongside regulation that protects against every contingency; endless energy without drilling or carbon emissions; social reengineering with no erosion of the habits necessary for a strong economy or stable society — all gain, no pain, all the time.
There's an underside to this vision, though: rising inequality and neo-feudalism, a yawning and widening gap between the wealth and political power of the haves and have-nots, demonization and persecution not merely of overt dissent but of passive refusal to celebrate the new order. These aspects the elites don't talk about but quietly also push. "California is booming" — but only for them. When they say they want the rest of the nation to look more like California, the state's dystopian, oppressive features are a big part — perhaps the biggest — of what they mean.
Anton's book sounds well worth reading. If you're one of those voters still struggling with the fact that Trump can be a boor, please read this book before you cast your vote. I'd much rather have a pro-American, pro-liberty boor in the White House, with a Congress willing to work with him, than a political party bent on turning the United States into another California.