California - Insanity or Ignorance?

Californians have long been viewed (by normal folks, at least) as the most insane group of people in the nation. And their reputation is well-deserved – after decades of liberal Democrat rule, much of the most onerous government regulations and policies that now affect all Americans originated in the “Sunshine State.”

Today, with real unemployment of 22%, an illegal immigration problem that has reached epidemic proportions, and a budget deficit of $20 BILLION dollars, you would think that Californians would have had enough of failed liberal policies, right? Wrong. The latest polls indicate that Californians are poised to reelect the very same Democrats who have nearly destroyed their state.

In the Senate race, long-time Democrat Barbara Boxer still leads Republican challenger Carly Fiorina. In a contest that pits an incumbent Democrat political hack who has never had a real job against a truly accomplished business woman (Fiorina was CEO of high-tech giant Hewlett-Packard), one would expect that Californians would be eager to give the newcomer a chance. But an astonishing 45% of voters are still poised to press the button for Boxer.

In the contest for the governors office, the Republican candidate is Meg Whitman, another woman with a successful career outside of politics – as CEO of the Internet phenomenon eBay, she piloted the fledgling company from 30 employees and $4 million in sales to over 15,000 employees and revenues of more than $8 BILLION.

And the Democrat candidate? Jerry Brown, the 72-year old former governor. That’s right, with their state in economic and social chaos, California Democrats have dredged up yet another lifetime politician, a man who has almost personified the wacky, left wing loon that most people associate with the politics of the state.

Brown was once considered a “fiscal conservative” – partly due to his being associated with Prop 13, a measure that limited property taxes – but Brown initially opposed the measure, later flip-flopping to support it when he read the political tea leaves. Not exactly a stellar resume. Yet with the most recent polls showing Brown leading Whitman 48% to 42% here again it seems that a substantial segment of the California populace is still ready to throw in with the Democrats.

I should have long ago given up trying to comprehend the bizarre behavior that seems to be part of the California psyche, yet I cannot help wondering what it is about that part of the nation that makes otherwise nice people apparently devoid of logic, reason, or even plain old common sense.

Are roughly half of Californians simply insane? Or just ignorant. Too much sun? Or sitting in hot tubs too long.

Who knows.

But one thing is certain. For at least the last few decades, the saying “as California goes, so goes the nation” has been true. From “sanctuary cities” that welcome illegal aliens, to the exploding welfare state with is “free” education and “free” health care, almost every bad law, destructive economic policy, and even politically correct nonsense like banning certain foods, virtually all of these mistakes originated in California.

Even the so called “environmental” movement that eventually gave birth to disastrous policies like Ethanol subsidies and bans on drilling for oil began in the “land of fruits and nuts.” So Californians once again install the same neo-socialist Democrat leaders who have created the mess in which they now find themselves, then it does not bode well for the rest of us.

John Caile