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Victor Davis Hanson
December 15, 2010 12:00 P.M.
Two Californias Abandoned farms, Third World living conditions, pervasive public assistance -- welcome to the once-thriving Central Valley.
The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.
Throughout my adult life governments around the Western world have been propagating the gospel of multiculturalism, which tells us that immigrants, from whatever part of the world and whatever way of life, are a welcome part of our "multicultural" society. Differences of language, religion, custom, and attachment don't matter, they have reassured us, since all can form part of the colorful tapestry of the modern state. Anybody who publicly disagreed with that claim invited the attentions of the thought police, always ready with the charge of racism, and never so scrupulous as to think it a sin to destroy the career of someone, provided he was white, indigenous, and male. To be quite honest, living through this period of organized mendacity has been one of the least agreeable ordeals that we conservatives have had to undergo. Keeping your head down is bad enough; but filling your head with official lies means sacrificing thought as well as freedom.
An Open Letter to Republican and Liberty Group Leaders
I recently spoke to a Republican group meeting in Littleton. During the question and answer portion I was asked to comment on the continuing internet feud that is the manifestation of lingering resentments emanating out of the gubernatorial campaign. The person asking went on to say that there are deep divisions in the Republican Party that need to be healed and wanted to know what I was going to do about it. I explained that my hope would be to have a unified Republican Party committed to conservative principles but that the division between conservatives and moderates within the Party has been there as long as I can remember. However, in the past it did not keep us from winning elections. I believe that the combination of McCain-Feingold and the Colorado Democracy Alliance (CODA) created the deadly cocktail that has thrown the Republican Party in Colorado into disarray. Unless Republicans develop a robust strategy to combat this reality, they will always be a step or two behind the curve.
We cannot discount the possibility that, adding to problems for conservatives, Colorado may be becoming “Eastern California” from the standpoint of political demographics.
Since I have no ability to do much about the latter, I will concentrate on actions that can be undertaken to deal with the organizational problems conservatives face in Colorado.
Although the goals of the Liberty Groups are compatible with MOST Republicans, there is some work that needs to be done in order to eliminate any obstacles to cooperation on issues and candidates that advance that common agenda. Let me suggest a pretty simple undertaking and that is to have the leaders of all Republican and Liberty Groups around the state schedule some joint meetings in the next month or two for the purpose of coming up with agreements and strategies for advancing the front lines in the war of ideas.
There are many folks who will read this who have membership in both the local Republican Club and one or more Liberty Groups and could be the catalysts for the meetings. Perhaps Dick Wadams and the Liberty Group leadership could draw up a statement that would serve as the discussion point for such meetings with the hope that it could become the articulation of future interaction.
I would be happy to do so but, other than this communication on the subject, I fear my involvement might prove unhelpful for obvious reasons. I would, however, be happy to register as a Republican and work for a better Colorado.
Republicans Sell Out Chicago Schoolkids
In Illinois, GOP legislators side with teachers unions.
In the 19th century, Illinois was the land of Lincoln. In the 20th, it was the birthplace of Ronald Reagan. In the 21st, Illinois has given us a new breed of Republican: Roger Eddy.
Mr. Eddy is what they call a downstater, an assemblyman who serves an east-central Illinois district hugging the Indiana border. His day job turns out to be in government as well, as a public schools superintendent.
Last week Mr. Eddy became the face of the Republican failure to get a voucher bill through the Illinois assembly. The bill had passed the Senate. Yet despite being pushed by a remarkable coalition involving fellow Republicans, a free-market state think tank, and a prominent African-American leader, only 25 Republicans in the House voted yes. That was 12 votes short. Mr. Eddy was one of 23 Republicans who killed it by voting no.
“The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought not to interfere.”