Updated: Aug 22, 2019
We're coming to you today from the Californian valley that encompasses Indian Wells, Palm Desert (not Palm Dessert), Palm Springs, Coachella, Indio, and more. It's a beautiful place in its own way. Not green and lush like my native Indiana, but the mountains and palms and thirsty vistas of expansive fairways and greens are impressive.
Of course, there’s the heat. There are people who own homes both here and in Hell. In the summers, they move to Hell to escape the heat. There is very little humidity. But there is also very little humidity in a thermonuclear detonation. This is not the time or place to take up jogging. (Dodged that bullet again!)
Still, there’s a reason more Americans choose to live in California than in any state. It’s scenic, fun, and exciting. Well, the Palm Springs area is about as lively as a Jabba the Hut dance review. They roll up the sidewalks about nine at night, and there is by 4 PM a line for the early bird special at Ruth's Chris. The average age here is "deceased." But for someone who grew up in Terre Haute, yeah, California is still exciting.
I live in Las Vegas now, and like it largely because there’s more to do than, well, anywhere. If you want to get prime rib at 3 in the morning, while playing a video poker machine, watching a pole dancer, after valet parking your rented Lamborghini, shooting a fully automatic machine gun at a range, floating in a lazy river, shopping at Hermes, and seeing a Cirque show, no problem. We call that "Wednesday." If you can’t find something to do here, you aren’t trying. All Vegas doesn't have is an ocean. And I hear the Wynn is thinking of putting one in. Is the Atlantic for sale?
We like that we can drive to L. A. for a day or a long weekend. But probably could not live here.
The taxes are the highest in the nation, by a bunch. And there are, almost literally, no
conservatives left in office, and the percentage of Republicans in the state is declining. There are some municipalities that are relatively conservative, which in California is kind of like being the skinniest fat person, but the population centers on the coast are overwhelmingly Democratic/liberal/socialist/communist/collectivist/Druid.
People are leaving California faster than Bill Clinton runs from the results of a paternity test. And, unfortunately for Nevada, many of them are becoming our neighbors. Mostly good people, I am sure, but could they leave their voting habits at home? Is that too much to ask?
California is the "bad ideas" factory. To conservatives, looking at the Golden State is like going to a zoo. You’ve heard there are people who live that way – just like you’ve heard of piranha or e coli or leprosy – but it’s hard to imagine. Cities have web sites that keep you updated on areas to avoid in order not to have to step over piles of human feces and used hypodermic needles. In Terre Haute, we had a clever strategy for managing this same issue: people didn’t defecate on the streets or sidewalks. That worked 100% of the time.
Formerly beautiful cities like San Francisco have become crucibles of filth. The political elites/liberals who impose these policies on the common folk live behind gates and walls (check out Nancy Pelosi’s digs, here). They don’t think the nation deserves the same protection, but they keep contact with ordinary people to a minimum. If Pelosi had to be around people like me for more than 24 hours, she’d end up in a corner, shaking uncontrollably, begging for Evian or Sonoma-Cutrer.
It is hard to think of California without thinking of uncontrolled immigration, poverty, homelessness, disrespect for police officers, political correctness, porn, “hundreds of different genders”, disease, and more. Guess which state is currently worried about a resurgence of the bubonic plague? Hint: it isn’t Kansas. It seems that such concepts either start or grow to prominence here.
California still has its moments: tech innovations, entertainment, music.
Much has worked over the years. If it were a separate nation, its economy would be the world’s sixth largest. Yet, a combination of high entitlements, profligate spending, corruption, and the imposition of what is essentially a one-party form of government has the state on a persistent downward trend. The chickens have come home to roost. California has more poverty than any state (yet the most billionaires), the highest taxes, the most illegal immigrants, and schools that are among the worst in the nation. One in four homeless Americans lives here. Their taxes are high, but the roads and services suck.
This is what the candidates for the Democratic nomination are prescribing for the rest of us. If you want to know what Kokomo will be like after a decade or so under socialists, come here, look around, and pretend there aren't any mountains or desert or an ocean. Got it? Do we really want to endorse the "Calfornization" of the country? It is coming to you, courtesy of the Democratic Socialists.