UNDERSTANDING THE CALIFORNIA MIND

Victor David Hanson, Center for American Greatness

Nancy Pelosi gave a marathon speech on illegal immigration the other day. But how would she know much about the realities of open borders, given her palatial retreat in Northern California and multi-millionaire lifestyle that allows wealthy progressives like herself to be exempt from the consequences of her own hectoring? In the end, the House minority leader was reduced to some adolescent racialist patter about her grandson wishing to look more like his Mexican-American friend.

I was thinking of the San Francisco Democrat’s speech last week, during a brief drive into our local town, in a region that is ground zero of California’s illegal immigration experience. Illegal immigrants are neither collective saints nor sinners, but simply individuals who arrive from one of the poorest regions in the Americas, without legality or much in the way of English, or high school education.

They encounter an American host that has lost confidence in its once formidable powers of assimilation and integration as well as its ability to mint Americans from diverse races,religions, and ethnicities. Instead, American culture has adopted an arrogant sense that it can ensure near instant parity as redemption for supposed past –isms and –ologies. That may explain the immigrant’s romance for Mexico to which he fights any return, and the ambiguity about America in which he fights to stay.

Some time ago I was bitten by two dogs while biking down a rural avenue nearby. The animals’ owners did not speak English, refused to tie up the unlicensed and unvaccinated biters, and in fact let their other dogs out, one of which also bit me. It took four calls to various legal authorities and a local congressional rep to have the dogs quarantined in an effort to avoid rabies shots. The owners were never cited.

The California solution is always the same: the law-abiding must adjust to the non-law-abiding. So I quit riding out here and they kept their unvaccinated, unlicensed, and untied dogs. All that is a pretty typical day, in a way that would have been atypical some 40 years ago. Traveling Halfway in Reverse In California, civilization is speeding in reverse—well aside from the decrepit infrastructure, dismal public schools, and sky-high home prices. Or rather, the state travels halfway in reverse: anything involving the private sector (smartphones, Internet, new cars, TV, or getting solar panels installed) is 21st-century. Anything involving the overwhelmed government or public utilities (enforcing dumping laws, licensing dogs, hooking up solar panel meters to the grid, observing common traffic courtesies) is early 20th-century.

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