Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Restoration of California: Southeastern LA County

I was not looking forward to reading this headline to Jarrett Stepman's article, a review of Victor Davis Hanson's book:

Review—The Decline and Fall of California: From Decadence to Destruction

At least the article provided insight into why California, once so golden and behold to no one, has become impoverished, wracked with inequality, and serving the few at the expense of the rest.

“Conservatives lost. Liberals won—by a combination of flooding the state with government-supplied stuff, and welcoming millions in while showing the exit to others. The only mystery is how Carthaginian will be the victor’s peace, e.g., how high will taxes go, how many will leave, how happy will the majority be at their departure?”

From the 1970's onward, liberal elites propped up labor unions and environmentalists, and let them wreak havoc. In the last four years, Governor Brown and his Democratic cohorts have worked hard to turn California into a sanctuary state for illegal aliens instead of legal residents. An office for "New Americans" has led to the untenable neglect of we "old Americans", i.e. the ones born or naturalized in this country.

The taxes really cannot go any higher, and there are fewer people paying for everyone else. What will happen when the small businesses go on strike, and stop providing goods and services for sale?

Is there any hope for California? Stepman's review suggests the following:

The situation seems dire and bleak for those who wish to restore the state. Though Hanson has a tiny sliver of hope that the new, mostly Mexican and Latin-American residents will someday rise to the level of middle and upper-middle class and throw out their coastal elite overlords.

There is some truth to this assessment.

South Gate, California, with its expanding property ownership base, may show signs of rejecting the Big Government elitism of the current California Democratic Party. In Maywood, local activists fought hard and removed a coterie of unwelcome incumbents, too. Jack Guerrero of Cudahy is a lone voice of reason among sanctuary-city liberals, but he is leading the charge to bring conservative Republican values to otherwise dark blue regions.

Republicans are also actively pressuring the Huntington Park City Council to rescind the appointments of two illegal aliens to city commissions. Local residents are still appalled at the blunt affront to the rule of law, and have joined with other voices to demand respect for our nation's law and culture. In Huntington Park, California, registered Democrats have told me that they vote Republican. I had the privilege of assisting a long-time Democrat to join the GOP. Other elected officials are fed up with the rampant corruption of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party political machine. Homeowners in Huntington Park are taxed higher than almost every city -- except Bell, a municipality notorious for one city council's brazen corruption and graft.

Los Angeles (and California) can be red Republican again

The California Republican Party can rise again, but most work with Latino communities throughout the state, those regions where long-standing Hispanic families have achieved a measurable degree of wealth and prosperity, who are now fighting for transparency, accountability. and security for their cities -- and their state. Hispanic residents are voting Republican -- although they will not tell their closest friends. Some politically connected individuals have affirmed that their allegiance to the Democratic Party is wavering.

Jarett Stepman adds in his review:

“Is there hope? Can there be honesty about our crises and courage to address them?” Hanson writes. “I sometimes fantasize that a new conservative movement of second- and third-generation upper middle-class, over-taxed Mexican-Americans will demand competitive schools for their children without the fantasies of Chicano studies and coastal global warming indoctrination.”
I have spoke with some of these over-taxed Mexican-Americans. They are in Huntington Park, fed up with a corrupt city council charging them .21% property tax on their homes, in violation of Prop 13. These residents live in Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, and Maywood, too. People of all colors want the broad liberty central to the American Dream. They also want a storied yet settled end to the political machine corruption which dominates the region's local politics.
Hanson hopes that this new middle class “will push for energy development, beefed-up law enforcement, and reasonable taxes and power rates, and so lock horns with the coastal elites, well apart from abortion, the death penalty, and the constant alternative lifestyle agenda. Some already are heading that way; more would if the borders were closed and the old forces of the melting pot were not impeded.”
It has been a privilege for me to connect with Hispanic residents in Southeastern Los Angeles County. I have met a number of former Democrats, now Republicans, who found that the illiberal progressive elitists had moved the party away from them. Residents in Huntington Park and throughout the region want cities for citizens. Republicans excel at the local level, and should start campaigning harder in this region. Hispanic Californians -- like anyone else -- want action and integrity from their leaders, and they hope to see the California Republican Party step in and invest resources in Southeast LA. Stepman's review was spot on, and Victor Davis Hanson's thin hopes are becoming thicker realities.

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