Here’s what California’s leadership is up to these days while drought, degrading infrastructure and economic malaise proceed apace – from Joel Kotkin:
In a state ruled by a former Jesuit, perhaps we should not be shocked to find ourselves in the grip of an incipient state religion. Of course, this religion is not actually Christianity, or even anything close to the dogma of Catholicism, but something that increasingly resembles the former Soviet Union, or present-day Iran and Saudi Arabia, than the supposed world center of free, untrammeled expression.
Two pieces of legislation introduced in the Legislature last session, but not yet enacted, show the power of the new religion. One is Senate Bill 1146, which seeks to limit the historically broad exemptions the state and federal governments have provided religious schools to, well, be religious.
Under the rubric of official “tolerance,” the bill would only allow religiously focused schools to deviate from the secular orthodoxy required at nonreligious schools, including support for transgender bathrooms or limitations on expressions of faith by students and even Christian university presidents, in a much narrower range of educational activity than ever before. Many schools believe the bill would needlessly risk their mission and funding to “solve” gender and social equity problems on their campuses that currently don’t exist.
The second piece of legislation, thankfully temporarily tabled, Senate Bill 1161, the Orwellian-named “California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016,” would have dramatically extended the period of time that state officials could prosecute anyone who dared challenge the climate orthodoxy, including statements made decades ago…
You might think that the people of California would revolt against this – but, they won’t. This November, California’s voters will retain the massive, Democrat majority in their State legislature, will award their Electoral Votes to Hillary Clinton and in 2018 will elect another far-left kook to replace Jerry Brown as Governor. California will get more laws and regulations designed to make it ever harder for poor and middle class people to work and thrive. Infrastructure will continue to get worse (don’t even think about building new power plants or water reservoirs!), education will continue to get worse, it will get ever more expensive to buy a house, gasoline prices will continue to get higher…and the people will just take it and take it and take it. Why?
Because after all this time of Progressive control of government, a permanent, Progressive majority has been created. You see, the very rich can afford the freight. It doesn’t matter to people living in San Francisco and Santa Monica if gas prices are high, or electric rates are high, or that new houses can’t be built. They’ve got the money to afford all that – and by voting for Progressives who talk of Social Justice, they get to feel good about themselves. Meanwhile, the poor are bribed with welfare – scraps from the table, to be sure, but so far no one has been able to convince them (or even try to convince them), that they’d be better off under a system which pays them less welfare but allows them to gain property. A combination of poor and rich ensures a permanent Progressive majority in California. And this is precisely what Progressives want for all of the United States…because it best ensures control for themselves.
Can this really continue for an indefinite amount of time? That remains to be seen – but it might well continue long enough until anti-Progressive forces are so atrophied that there is no alternative available. Britain is about to have a vote on Brexit and my bet is that they will vote to remain. I hope I’m wrong – but Britain has been down the Progressive route even longer than California…there is even more fear among the rich of being out of step with Progressive ideology than even in California; the poor are even more awash in welfare there than America’s poor. To step out of the EU is the act of a free and independent people who know that they want to work very hard to advance themselves and their community. I don’t see much prospect of that being the case; I think Britain is too far gone to reclaim self-rule. In the minds of most, I think, is this idea that without Progressive rulers to take care of them, things will get bad (never mind that they are bad because Progressive rulers…at least the welfare check comes each month, right?).
Of course, a vote to leave would be a grand and great thing. And I do believe the Progressive stranglehold can be broken, even in California. But that will take us on the right explaining to people we don’t want to talk to (ie, poor people), just how they are being shafted…how they are living on scraps while the Progressive dispensers of the scraps are living swell lives. It will take an all out attack on the basic ideas of the Progressive State…which will take courage, a thing notably lacking on the right since Reagan left office.