California And Bernie Sanders a Snug Political Fit


A Washington newspaper has reported that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont, has received 300 endorsements from California. That goes a long to explaining why things keep going wrong in the state.

“The campaign released endorsements from 40 elected officials, more than 80 community leaders and more than 200 academics in the Golden State,” said The Hill.

“The latest list builds on 86 earlier California endorsements from union groups and other local officials.”

There was no indication if the number of California endorsements is more or less relative to those from other states. But the Sanders’ campaign website lists endorsements by state, and no other, not Massachusetts, not New York, not Illinois, has nearly as many.

Should anyone wonder why California is moving in the wrong direction, they need look no further than the state’s enthusiastic support for Sanders.

Many California voters and policymakers share Sanders’  appetite for: increased government spending, ever-higher regulation, heavy-handed plans to close the income and wealth gaps, “free” universal health care, no-tuition college, housing policies such as rent control that exacerbate the crisis of shortages, an expanding public sector, immigration outside the laws,  unaffordable “green” energy mandates drop a particularly heavy burden on the poor, banning items that have fallen out of favor among progressives, an outsized sense of social justice, and silencing political opponents by changing state election laws.

These policies and must-conform tenets are the blueprints for Blue State failure. Socialist policies that restrict liberty and promote political society at the expense of civil society haven’t worked on a large, national scale, and simply cannot work anywhere, even in a microenvironment.

Says Chapman University professor Joel Kotkin in a recent City Journal piece: The state’s recent policy agenda has “worsened conditions for many middle- and working-class Californians.” Kotkin also noted earlier this year that California “progressives, in their militant certitude, support left-wing policies that often don’t affect them; it’s the working class that suffers the consequences of these proposals.”

City Journal Senior Editor Steven Malanga has observed that “in polls asking whether residents and businesses want to leave a state, the most discontented respondents come from heavily Democratic and high-tax states.” That is, Blue States. Such as California.

One of Sanders’ most devoted supporters, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, “called California the ‘heart of where we’re going to change this country’” at a Bernie rally in Los Angeles on Dec. 21, according to the Washington Examiner. It was a comment no doubt well-received in the blue counties up and down the state. The red counties, though, were more likely to take it as a warning rather than a promise, because they know the political environment of California is not working for them.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.


Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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