Build that wall...around California?
President Trump just came back from his first visit to California since becoming President. He didn't bring back an 'I Luv CA.' t-shirt, but he did manage to leave a few stink bombs behind. His statements about Governor Brown's inability to govern his state was one. Another was the President's assertion that the state was risking its own citizens' safety by protecting criminal illegal aliens under their sanctuary state policy.
In essence, Mr. Trump threw more fuel on a fire already burning, ignited by Attorney General Jeff Sessions a week earlier when he lambasted Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and others for obstructing lawful ICE raids on the criminal illegal immigrant element in that city. The mayor openly warned 'her' illegal immigrant community that ICE was coming and to take cover, thus thwarting ICE' efforts to remove dangerous criminals from her own city's neighborhoods! Among the list of 800 plus criminals were a variety of felony offenders like child abusers. I wonder how her community feels about protecting that scum from arrests? AG Sessions made no bones about his opposition to such tactics and neither did the President when he tag-teamed the AG with his own visit a few days later.
I am sure that supporters of California-style, open border, anything goes politics will be hopping mad that a president or AG would dare to criticize their sitting governor who has told the Feds to go pound sand (and not THEIR sand at that) on matters like immigration. Like many other issues, this sanctuary city/state issue is a red badge of courage for Liberals and a symbol of the political divide in America. It used to be that states respected the federal government, and when we disagreed we could just take out our pocket Constitution and find which amendment a particular issue referred to and adjust our actions, accordingly. Now it doesn't matter anymore because the Constitution has become a document of suggestions for building a country or a state and no longer a blueprint. The last President saw to that by ignoring immigration law when he gave a million plus children of illegal aliens 'deferred (deportation) action' status.
This is just one of Mr. Obama's Constitutional transgressions, but one that is lovingly embraced by Liberals who want all illegal immigrants to get a free pass to residency (and the right to vote) as long as they can get both legs over the wall to Estados Unidos de America. So, then, it's no wonder that AG Sessions and the President would hammer that issue home while in the Golden State. What is more poignant and indisputable is Mr. Trump's statements on the California economy, calling them out on their high taxes ("highest in the nation") and slowing population gains (the state is only growing by 0.7%/year). The President was right in chalking this up to bad management by ideological zealots.
It won't be long before every middle class conservative Californian is forced into an act of self-defensive retreat from the state as it turns bluer and bluer and sucks up the last vestiges of their political oxygen and savings. Make no mistake, California is at war with the Feds. Special consultant to that state, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, is probably very busy preparing a battle plan for Governor Brown that will identify other areas where California can oppose Federal agencies, but what he doesn't seem to realize is that the Administration is doing its own plan on how to rein in the renegade state...and isn't afraid to implement it.
California has lost its shine for many retirees who are not even considering the state as a possible retirement site because of escalating costs of living. (The San Francisco Bay area's housing prices are over nine times household incomes!) Outmigration, according to the Mercury Newspaper, is now around 90K/year in the Los Angeles-Orange County area. Financial and socially stable communities are two powerful reasons why people choose their retirement destinations, and California offers neither (unless you are super rich and Liberal), which is why there has been a steady stream of middle-class Californians retreating to Texas, for example, where taxes are low and there is a mix of political ideologies.
California's leaders don't seem to care that their state will soon turn into a political monolith without a middle class, where diversity of thought will be unable to compete with Liberal group-think. And if they don't care, why should the rest of us? Build that wall. Build that wall.
Stephan Helgesen is a retired U.S. diplomat and now political analyst and author. He has written nine books and over 800 articles on politics, economics and social trends. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org