The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Stakes

It has become a cliché to state that "the stakes are high" when presidential elections occur. "Every election," to quote the sainted Barack Obama, "has consequences."

In 2016, the electorate rejected the rule of the four constituencies—media, the Democrats, establishment Republicans, and deep state bureaucrats—in favor a crass, bombastic populist, who it turns out, kept his promises and actually got some important things accomplished—you know, stuff like the lowest unemployment in modern history, the best unemployment and wage statistics for minorities in history, the first reduction in income inequality in 50 years, and an economy that was so strong, it has bounced back remarkably well after the COVID-19 shutdown. 

Despite that, the four constituencies have spent the past four years trying to destroy a president who was duly elected in 2016, and although they haven't succeeded, it's now pretty obvious that they wouldl stop at nothing—including an attempted soft coup and a highly questionable impeachment—to unseat him.

Angelo Codevilla, uses a review of Michael Anton's book, The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return, to discuss the consequences of next week's election. He writes about average Americans who sense, deep down, that something important is occurring:

... they know even better than before how much this country’s ruling class would use control of the presidency to hurt us in our private and public lives for having dared to reject their mastery. Trump, imperfect as he is, is like a finger in a dike that, if removed, would loose a deluge. Anton describes how the Democratic Party-led complex of public-private power has been transforming our free, decent, and prosperous country into its opposite—and how it’s going to do to the rest of America what it has already largely accomplished in California. 

In this blog (e.g., here and here), I have noted that CA is a real-life experiment that allows every citizen to judge the efficacy of left-wing governance as it is implemented by the new Democratic party. CA is sometimes derisively referred to as "The Peoples Republic of CA" because it is totally controlled at every level by the new Democrats. It has become a state in which wild fires rage because forest management has been rejected by radical environmentalists, power is cut sporadically because energy planning has been replaced with climate change ideology, significant increases in crime and homelessness have caused the quality of life to erode in far too many locales, taxes skyrocket causing people to leave, the state budget deficit is in free-fall, state pensions are at risk, businesses close or move because of an anti-business regulatory regime. In his review of Anton book, Codevilla writes:

The bulk of this well-written book juxtaposes accounts of life under what had been the American constitutional regime with the ruling-class politics that have gone a long way to destroy it. It opens with a bittersweet description of California, then and now. Anton, a young man, is old enough to remember it a near-paradise. Those of a certain age have even more idyllic memories of the Golden State’s unrivaled beauty and plenty, crowned by freedom, ease, and safety. Millions flocked to work and raise families here.

Yet in 2020 productive middle-class families are fleeing California—so much so that the state will probably lose a seat in the House of Representatives after this year’s census. And all because its government—controlled by oligarchs in the entertainment and high-tech industries, as well as the state bureaucracy and public sector labor unions—raised taxes, imposed regulations, let public services decay, stopped defending against criminals, and empowered left-wing social activists. Today’s California is for government-favored oligarchs and those who service them. You want a career? If you don’t conform every word and action to the ruling orthodoxies, your work and talents will be wasted. You want your children to grow up intelligent and decent? The schools will teach them little reasoning and much depravity. Like you, they will also learn to compete by favor-seeking rather than by performance. You see crime rising, sense that you have to protect yourself, but know that, in most of the state, the police will arrest you for it. And you are sick of paying for it all. That is why you want to emigrate from California into the United States of America.

It isn't hyperbole to state that CA is a harbinger of what's at stake in the coming election. Those who like what they see in CA will vote one way and/or move there to experience the leftist version of utopia. Those that are troubled by the state's trajectory will leave and/or vote another way. It's worth mentioning that a growing number of ex-Californians have already voted—with their feet. #Walkaway