What Happens in California Doesn’t Stay in California
For many outside of California — both in the West and throughout the nation — the once-Golden State passed the point of self-inflicted dysfunction some time back and has evolved further into a chaffing irritation worthy of close attention.
What happens in California affects the entire West and the nation beyond. California’s accelerating radicalization bodes ill for those outside of its borders seeking progress on issues of significance. Acting as a virtual nation-state standing alone, California sets precedents and blocks congressional action on constructive and useful legislation other states want and need.
As an example, California’s uncaring, one-size-fits-all air, water and environmental laws are a hell on earth worthy of the moniker when paired with its partisan Legislature, ivory-tower-dwelling bureaucrats and judges answerable only to the Supreme Court. There’s a reason why the 9th District is the most overturned court in the land, and why Californians are now resigned to knowing their decisions at the polls are likely to be overturned by the courts.
In concert, these worthies issue indiscriminate orders that increasingly impact millions of lives in and beyond California’s borders with Mexico and its neighboring Western States of Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. California’s shadow casts far beyond, to states like Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Texas.
At its core, a growing coalition in the West now view California as a rogue state pitting its bureaucracy, politicians and courts against the will and best interests of a majority of its own people. California destroys the ambitions, assets, livelihoods and legacies of those to whom the citizens have placed their trust, those that provide our nation with reliable sources of clean air, fresh water, abundant power and nutritious food.
California’s top elected officials — including Governor Jerry Brown and politicians seated by popular vote to majorities in both houses of the Legislature and every state constitutional office — supply a seemingly unending stream of arbitrary and unilateral, if unattainable, wishful and utopian laws.
California’s politicians and bureaucrats have a perfect trifecta with their equally officious ally, the California courts—an everyday source of newly minted if legislatively unplanned, indefensible powers. In a unified voice, they issue inflexible orders to the state’s citizens, implementing the legislators’ impressionist montage of legalistic jingoism and harmful pap.
All three listen with faux sympathy to sophomoric and emotional rants from activists and special interests at the far ends of the political spectrum. They reserve their selective deafness and mocking sarcasm for the numerical superior majority of moderates and conservatives whom hold rational if opposing views — often based in hard science and demonstrated evidence — and true experts with credentialed and informed views nearest to the issues under debate.
But, as stated before, what happens in California doesn’t stay in California. If only it would. No, California exports its policy excesses and largesse to the rest of us.
Of grave concern to the surrounding states in the West is Governor Brown’s seeming ease at coaxing vetoes out of the White House and “No” votes out of Congress on bills written, introduced and supported by dozens of other states.
Brown’s overreach relies on back room whispers to California’s two powerful senators to blunt the efforts of a huge but partisan and split House of Representatives and Senate. When cajoling fails, his surrogates promise retribution and punishment on the one hand, while holding out favors and rewards in the other.
Reasonable legislative proposals with clear benefits and strong multi-state support should not have to run the gauntlet of an out-of-control California demonstrably fixed on a course of self-destruction under the leadership of a mad captain Ahab with eyes bedazzled and locked on its climate-change white whale, high-speed bullet train to nowhere, and miles of mega-tunnels dug beneath an ecologically fragile Delta estuary.
It’s time for clearer heads to prevail, for the West to come together and for everyone outside the state to rein in California and its flaky leadership. It’s time to stop the heavy hand of a single state from holding back Congress from its rightful agenda.
It’s time to tell California’s Governor Brown that he is just one of our nation’s 50 governors, not a sovereign wielding a veto pen over other states’ destinies.