Politics in California

175

The primary election for 2010 is history. About 10% of the folks who live in the Golden State voted. (Not exactly the majority!) According to the San Francisco Chronicle less than 30% of registered voters went to the polls. The hearty gold prospectors of yore would be surprised at the results. The modern descendants of those male chauvinists have chosen to turn the government over to elderly women to run. What does that say about the confidence that responsible citizens have in male leadership? Apparently voters in California are firmly convinced that mothers like Nancy Pelosi would make the best decision-makers. However, can either gender alter the vicious polarization that is ruining the democratic way of life in America?

The record of male leadership in the most populous state in the US would indicate that time for change has come. For some time now, state governments in Sacramento have been unable to balance a budget. Of course, Proposition 13 hasn’t helped much, nor Gerrymander districts, nor the adamant voters who resist tax increases.

As an owner of a home I bought here 18 years ago, I pay three times the property taxes that those protected by “Prop 13” must pay. But I guess that’s fair. Those who bought property before 1978 ought to have their “entitlement.” Our state legislature is driven to hand out entitlements to legal and illegal residents even though there is not enough revenue to sustain such largesse.

I think there is a little vindictiveness on the part of the rich men in each party who select the candidates. A retread governor is the male seeking the important job of governor, a job that requires more PR than clout today. Ah-nold couldn’t muscle any major changes through the maze in Sacramento, so let’s give his impossible job to someone who is eager to prove that women from the minority party can be just as inept at reforming a recalcitrant legislature dominated by the adversary party.

Smart businesswomen are going to save us now because government bureaucracies are run like profitable businesses. Right? CEOs aren’t used to seeking the approval of foot-dragging legislatures and independent “active” judges to implement sound decisions that may even reflect the will of the majority. They don’t accept advice from the public about increasing prices and offering discounts. And they approve generous retirement programs for their employees that are unsustainable. Sounds like CEOs are perfect for a high level government job!

We’ll see if these female candidates are elected in November. If they are, they will find that the democratic way of doing things today is all about keeping their unruly constituents in the loop. That won’t be easy when the state is broke and won’t take appropriate action to limit entitlements – especially the inadequately funded pension plans which took a beating during the Great Recession!

The religious can pray for a miracle, but Jesus didn’t have much success as a politician. The pessimists will go on playing the game “Ain’t it Awful,” and the optimists will ask for more time and more loans to do “what needs to be done.” The unemployed and overtaxed will ask, is the golden age of California finally over? Is it time to emigrate to Arizona?

Chic Hollis is a longtime drummer and motorcyclist, who served in the US Air Force in North Africa. Married 4 times with 5 children born in 5 different countries on four continents, Chic is a politically independent citizen of the world interested in helping Americans understand the reality that is life overseas where many intelligent, educated, and industrious people aren’t as privileged as we are in the US. He studied Latin, Greek, Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German and ran several large companies. Sadly, Chic Has left this planet and we miss him very much, but we are very pleased to display his amazing writing works.