“I wish they all could be California”
“I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.”
Ah, California, that most confused of US states. The third largest state in the US, and the richest, with the largest state population and economy.
There have been problems within the state from the start: no sooner had the state been formed than there were organised groups trying to secede from it, complaining about high taxes and the lack of law and order. Slavery split people, too. From 1850 to 1861, bills were introduced annually in the Californian legislature which sought to divide the state. One bill was passed by the state assembly, but failed to be passed by the state senate. A second attempt was passed in 1859, only for the civil war to interrupt.
And so it has been ever since. Far from being a hotbed of peace and love, Californians have always been split.
In 1941, the mayor of Oregon suggested that the northern counties of California should join the southern counties of Oregon to create the new state of Jefferson. That movement was left by the wayside when Pearl Harbour was attacked.
Radical thinkers of the 60s and 70s pushed for idealist secessions: Native American activists occupied Alcatraz Island in protest, there were dreams of northern California joining the new nation of Ectopia. Some Hispanic activists wanted southern California to be integrated into a new Spanish-speaking nation of Aztlán. People even tried to create platform nations offshore.
More recently, cultural differences between urban and rural areas have been exacerbated by water shortages: water has been redirected from certain rural communities to serve the needs of urban centres, with predictable reactions from those whose water has been appropriated. Ideas of splitting California into two; north and south, or into thirds have abounded.
Even more recently, plans to split California gained momentum when billionaire Tim Draper unveiled his Six Californias initiative in 2013. Draper, like many others, believes that the high taxation, educational failures, and the quandary of the state prison service highlight that, as it stands, California is unmanageable.
But, things aren’t necessarily all that rosy for “Baffled” Joe Biden and his party: it had been 20 years since Californian Republicans took a congressional district from the Democrats. In November 2020, they took control of four.
Californians voted against increased taxes to provide extra funding for schools. Voters chose to pass a bill that classifies Uber and similar ‘taxi-style’ drivers not as employees, but rather as entrepreneurs, in a move which excludes them from healthcare and unemployment insurance. Furthermore, voters rejected an attempt to prevent longer sentences being imposed on ‘the most vulnerable’ members of society. I’m not altogether sure how an idea to base punishment for crimes committed on the wealth of the person committing the crime could ever even be considered. In a pretty seismic rejection of something that was once almost symbolic of California’s attitude to certain topics, voters rejected the idea of allowing positive discrimination on racial grounds in school and college admissions.
So, irrespective of the fact that the Democrats overwhelmingly won dysfunctional California in the November 2020 elections, it appears that the voters of California don’t necessarily agree with the state’s governor. The governor, Gavin Newsom, stated that the agenda for the future White House is “the California agenda”. As things stand at the moment, that appears to be a less-than-recommendable direction for Biden and his team to head in.
Many Californians are fed up with California. Many voters have long been aggrieved by the dysfunctional nature of the state where they live. These voters have decided that their agenda does not coincide with that of the state governor. These people have had enough of the Left’s idiocy regarding such basic necessities for modern life as the police.
Far from the lunacy that urges people to defund the police, Californians are, like most sensible people, aware of the need not only for the police, but also for the defence of the police. We’ve all seen what happens when riots are organised and encouraged by Democrats in the US encouraging people to take the law into their own hands: chaos and destruction of property, both private and public. Californians, too, witnessed this, and although the Democrats won California in the US elections, the Californians don’t agree with what the American socialists are pushing.
And some of them are voting with their feet. Some companies have upped sticks and moved, from ultra-liberal California to somewhat-more-traditional Texas. Austin, Texas, perhaps not coincidentally, with no state income tax, is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA. Is this not a ‘win-win’ situation for all concerned? No tax, and no ultra-liberal legislation? Surely that’s got to be one of the many American dreams, at least for a lot of Americans?
The Democrats might like to think that they’ve got California in the bag, and certainly, there’s no evidence of a sudden reversal of state-wide voter behaviour, but Californians are challenging the extreme politics of Democrats in their state. And they’re challenging the Democrats on ground where the Democrats once stood alone: two of the four congressional districts taken away from the Democrats were captured by ethnic minority Republicans. These two, along with a Democrat in western Washington state, will be the first Korean American women to take their places in the House of Representatives.
California may not have rejected “Baffled” Joe Biden outright, but they’ve shown that voters are not prepared to support such extreme ideas as reducing the amount of money we spend on law enforcement. Property is king in the US. And if the Democrats want to reduce the protection offered as regards private property, very soon they will be forced to realise that voters don’t agree with that. Less extreme, more middle-of-the-road. Californians have seen the results of extremism, and they’re making their feelings known. California tends to act as a barometer for the rest of the US. Hopefully Biden is paying attention. Hopefully, he’s not too confused to ensure that ditching extreme Left policies is the only way forward.