I recently published a story on Governor Jerry Brown’s description of California taxpayers as “freeloaders.”
The comment understandably sparked remarkable outrage from both inside and outside the borders of the Golden State. The article is still racking up the comments. There were tons of comments about Brown’s arrogance and hubris and healthy amount wishes for his death.
However, one sentiment that popped up over and over again was directed squarely at me and other California residents…
You’re an idiot if you stay. What is wrong with you, California?
The problem with California isn’t liberals, per se. We certainly have a disproportionate amount of progressives who are all too happy to give away other people’s money, but those people reside in every state.
The problem with California is the same problem we are increasingly seeing across the nation when it comes to voting demographics – cities.
By now we’ve all heard the argument from bitter losers in Hillary’s camp that she won the popular vote despite losing epically in the electoral college. It has been repeated to a wearying degree by people who think that should actually mean something. In reality (and thanks to John Adams) it means nothing. We don’t rely on a popular vote to elect leaders. If you want an explanation as to why look no further than the state of California.
The population of California is about 38 million. Over half of those people live in or outside of major metropolitan areas. Los Angeles city alone has 3.9 million residents and the Bay area that includes San Francisco and Oakland currently stands at about 7.1 million. In contrast about 6 million people in total live in what is know as the Central Valley – the largest agricultural center region in California.
Remove the 7 million people in the Bay Area and Northern California (known for its rural, blue-collar lifestyle) totals about 7 million residents.
It is no secret that the interests of city-dwellers differ greatly from those of rural resident. Rural voters don’t care as much about climate legislation, smog control or traffic relief. They don’t have to see those things on a regular basis. City voters don’t care as much about water distribution legislation or pesticide regulation. They don’t see the farmers that actually grow the food they buy at Whole Foods. They know nothing of the mechanics involved in making a profitable farm operation work.
Being tied to a popular vote in state elections means that 9 times out of 10 the city dwellers will vote against the rest of the state, and they do. San Francisco residents complain about the cost of fruit and vegetables but continue to vote for politicians who deliberately choke off the water supply to farmers in the Central Valley, creating artificial droughts and tamping production. What do they care? They don’t ever have to come face-to-face with the man or woman who grows and transports their food. It isn’t real to them. The grocery store is a magical place where food never runs out.
Yes, just like the nation faces voting disparity between rural and urban areas so does California. California cities are full of union workers and illegal immigrants who only respond to slogans and the typical headlines about “racist, greedy Republicans” who want to destroy anyone who isn’t white or wealthy. Those people naturally vote in their own interests. Geographically speaking they are not nearly in the majority but mathematically they outnumber their rural counterparts.
It isn’t that Californians are just so stupid and ignorant that they keep voting for the human equivalent of gum on the bottom of your shoe on a hot, summer day. It isn’t hard to find people in this state who are disgusted and appalled by the politics of Jerry Brown and his Sacramento cronies. It isn’t hard to find people who are conservative, liberty-minded and fans of America. Despite our reputation, California is home to a rather large number of patriots.
California is not lost and I wish people would stop saying that. We are all just being dragged behind unthinking progressive population in cities where ignorance of life outside their borders is encouraged and seen as a sign of intelligence.
Sure, it may seem easy to some people to just pick up and move, but it is not that easy for all of us. Some of us have jobs and positions that can’t be performed elsewhere – farmers especially. Some of us can’t even afford a move. Some of us grew up here, have family, history, ties. Some of us can’t stomach the thought of abandoning what might be the most beautiful state in the union.
It would be nice if some people outside of the state could stop being so condescending about our situation, as if those of us with common sense are somehow to blame. We do our part for change while the GOP and the rest of conservatism leaves us as a “lost cause” on a regular basis.
The nation has the electoral college to protect against
regressive progressive ideology.
If California had its own electoral college the politics of this state would change overnight.
Which is probably why we’ll never have one.