Wednesday, November 3, 2010

California's Spare Change

I love California.
I do.
Though I no longer live there, it holds my past in its hands.

I grew up in the gentle sunshine; waking to the smell of salty sea fog and spicy eucalyptus trees.

I roamed the crumbly cliffs of Gaviota and Goleta; spent my summers among the vineyards and valleys of Northern California wine country, and learned to drive through the golden hills and orange orchards in the southern cities.

I remember spending Christmas Day on the beach in Santa Barbara playing volleyball while the Santa Ana winds blew warm air around me.

And my summers knew no boundaries.
I love the excitment of beach festivals and Los Angeles theater.

I love avocados, fresh seafood and the endless variety of taco stands.
I love the misty mornings of early summer and the sometimes wild wet winters when El Nino visited.
I love the dramatic change of mountain and desert; bustling city and sleepy seaside towns.

...but all this abundance of beauty, fun, and sunshine has a downside.

How could anything possibly go wrong when life ambles along so comfortably?
When disaster strikes, yet the surfboard is still waiting to catch the perfect wave?
When a job loss means more time to enjoy the sun?
It's a difficult thing to be a pessimist in California.
It's very easy to believe that no matter how dismal the economic forecast evolves, how great the unemployment numbers soar, how chaotic the civic structure becomes as illegal immigration takes its toll...the sun will still shine, the avocados will still ripen and the beaches will still offer up their waves in compensation.

But it doesn't...not really. All the fun in the sun merely puts off the inevitable.
And inevitably I became a Christian. Then, a Conservative.
I valued life and I valued liberty as I never had before because I learned to love the Author of life and liberty--Christ.
There are places in California where church life thrives and those places vote conservative.
As Ronald Reagan once said: "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

But there remains a stranglehold on politics which places only moderates on the ballot box year after sunny year and conservatives have no choice but to vote for them if they're going to vote at all.
And after awhile, people began to believe no true conservative can win in California.

I disagree.
Truth is truth. It stands on its own and needs no 'moderation' to make it palatable.
The thing is--in California politics--timing is everything.

Living in another state for the past few years has given me some perspective on what my home is doing politically. The demographics shift and change continuously, but it is too large a state and much too diverse to ever pin down with a generalization.
It is a complicated place in some ways, and very simple in others.

But it isn't communist quite yet.

When Obama was elected with his "hope and change", many of my family and friends were horrified. They knew, as I knew, that this ominous "change" Obama repeated endlessly, would not make our country better.
The change we were hoping for had nothing to do with massive trillion-dollar bailouts and a nationalized economy.
It had nothing to do with communist organizing and a foreign policy reducing America to bowing and scraping to our enemies.
And we watched as a moderate America turned a blind eye to the liberal behind the curtain, and we waited as our fears became a reality.

...and then something extraordinary happened.

I began to realize what a blessing it was that this radical progressive implemented his version of utopia. We finally got to see it unravel.

Massive government expansion and welfare, governing against the will of the people, plunging millions into poverty for years to doesn't work.

And the Tea Party emerged.

And it reminded the rest of us that we have a voice in government. That the hypnotist who pacificed our wills with visions of prosperity, peace and the very earth tamed beneath his benevolence...was all an illusion.

What has any of this to do with my beloved California?

Last night the voters of my home state had a chance to put a moderate in the senate and fiscally responsible business woman at the helm of a sinking economy.
They chose not to.
Now my state is going to be run into the ground by a moldy hippy governor with the policies of a lunatic, and an arrogant, ungrateful incumbent will remain the sour Senator Boxer.

Even with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country; industry strangled by environmental hooey, and an education system down the rabbit hole...California was too scared to vote for moderate change and so kept the spare change of Obama's liberal promises.
I find it not a little ironic that voters struck down the proposition to legalize marijuana...with Governor Moonbeam at the helm, I imagine it would have eased the pain of the coming fiscal nightmares.
But that's okay.
Let the moderates go home and let the liberals reign.
I'm still an optimist.
You can take the girl out of California...

Timing. Is. Everything.
And California needs this time to wear itself out.
It falling, but it hasn't hit bottom.
So let these liberal dinosaurs have their way with my beloved home state.

California will survive.
It will not be all it can be. But it will survive.
And when the real deal--the true conservatives arrive--Californians will be ready.
Just as the Tea Party was ready.

The truth will defend itself.
And that means a conservative doesn't need to be moderate to win in California...they just need to be there at the right time.

The time when Californians tire of seeing their lovely state sink into the welfare hole.
Tire of watching their once-vibrant cities and towns decay and disappear under the heavy hand of static and stupid environmental laws.
Tire of listening to the lies about their broken education system when their children grow up illiterate and unmotivated.
Tire of unemployment and the rising crime that accompanies it.

And then they'll raise up the real conservative who believes California is as exceptional as it looks and as American as the rest of the country. They'll recognize the tried and true policies of tax cuts and a business-friendly sweep of deregulation to inspire economic growth.

And my fellow Californians will finally take out that spare change and toss it aside.
...then grab their surfboards and head for the beach.



  1. Fantastic!!!! I am standing and clapping right now. Born in raised in California myself, and always had these warm fuzzy golden glowing memories of the state myself. Walking on the beaches near San Fransisco, watching the dragon kites fly, seeing the seagulls dip and dive, the salty breezes, sigh.... I was out there for a week in May of last year and was so discouraged to see what California has been allowed to become. I know that the golden state I remember was not a figment of my imagination. Now I see homelessness, filth, trash, decay, and despair. I hope that someday they will tired of whats going on and California will glow again.... I love reading your stuff...

  2. Thanks, Amy.
    You said exactly what I was thinking: "the golden state I remember was not a figment of my imagination."

    It will never be what it once was, but it can certainly shine anew. I have hope.

    Good to hear from you, and how nice to know a fellow Cali. :)