(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)
In a conversation with a colleague recently, he queried, “How did California get into this mess, this deep? Why is the only conservative bastion left down in San Diego?” I responded “Apathy. Complacency.”
But it reminded me of an analogy I heard years ago. If you toss a frog into a pot of boiling water – he’ll jump out instantly. However, put that frog into a pot of cold water and slowly start raising the temperature and he’ll never notice. He’ll actually boil to death.
That’s what has happened in California – and likely in other deeply blue states. Nobody came in and flipped a switch. It has happened slowly and methodically over my lifetime. And as we accept little signs of crazy, it’s the camel’s nose under the tent. Once you’ve accepted a little crazy, big crazy isn’t far behind.
“Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.” The author of that quote is in question. But regardless of who said it, he/she was right. I’m not calling Democrats evil; nor am I calling those who laud California’s liberal policies evil. But I do think that when conservatives don’t speak up, when we let the government decide what is best for us, when we say “it’s not THAT bad”… that complacency has long-lasting effects.
Well, we’re experiencing it right now, aren’t we? And people are starting to jump out of the pot as the water is getting hotter.
Let’s look at a few examples.
Immigration: In the past, we looked the other way if someone employed an undocumented worker as a housekeeper or gardener. Most people didn’t even ask about their status. (Okay, there aren’t that many, and at least they are doing a needed job. They are hard-working.) Now, immigrants are given more benefits than native Californians. They get free health care, free college tuition. You aren’t even ALLOWED to ask their immigration status (ask the police about that!)
Crime: It started with the Three Strikes Rule — someone who commits a crime doesn’t really have to face the consequences unless they do it three times. (Yeah, so we are giving them a chance to turn their lives around before they are penalized. And after all, our prisons are too crowded.) Now, at least in Contra Costa County, the criminal is entitled to your possessions if they “need it more than you do.” And it’s not actually a crime unless the value is more than $800. Security is posted at doors of stores like Apple but solely as a deterrence; the “hired guns” are not allowed to stop the smash and grabs or pursue the shoplifters. So, thugs don’t even run anymore – they grab the merchandise, fill their bags and brazenly strut out onto the streets into waiting cars.
Just last week, Walgreen’s announced it would close five stores in San Francisco due to crime. How are we letting this happen? Instead of cracking down on the criminals, good businesses are closing. This isn’t just lost revenue for the business, it’s a lost resource for the surrounding neighborhoods; it’s lost jobs; and, it’s lost tax revenue for the city. All because we don’t have the cojones to say stealing is wrong and punish those who do it.
Do you know that now in San Francisco there are so many car break-ins that, if your car is broken into and something is stolen the response is not, “That’s horrible. What a violation of privacy! I hope they catch the guy”? It’s, “You should know better. Never leave anything in your car.” It’s gotten to the point where it’s YOUR fault if your car gets broken into!
Drug Use: It started with designating certain areas of San Francisco as “safe” drug zones. (Well, I guess that’s okay, right? Keep them in one area.) Then we supplied the drug users with clean needles. Fast forward to the pandemic and we are putting them up in luxury hotels to get them off the streets…and still supplying them with free drug paraphernalia.
Sexuality: It started with designating bathrooms as unisex. (After all, a man may not actually “identify” as a man, right?) We all got used to that. But now Legos ™ is rebranding their products to be gender-neutral. How are colorful plastic bricks even gender-specific? Honestly, a girl or boy can build anything with those! It’s up to the parents to help them build whatever they dream of (in whatever color or gender.) And California has just passed a law stating that retail stores must have gender-neutral toy sections.
I will tell you, I was a tomboy growing up. My parents had no problem buying a dump truck or GI Joe for me to play with. They did not stick to the doll aisle or buy me only things that were pink. Do we really need to legislate how stores display their products?
And don’t get me started on gender pronouns. It is all the rage to include your preferred pronouns on your e-mail signatures now: she/her/hers, he/him/his…. I can get that if your name is Pat or Chris (flashback to the SNL skit where no one was really sure what Pat was.) And as someone who has a low voice, I’ve been called “Mr.” on a telephone call. I have no problem correcting them. But now. Now, people are wanting to be referred to as “they!” My high school English teachers must be rolling over in their graves. “They” refers to more than one. So, unless you have multiple personalities, you aren’t a “they.” You can be an “it” if you aren’t sure if you are a him or a her. And if you don’t respect their pronouns, you are chastised or seen as rude and intolerant.
How did we get here? Complacency. Is it too late? The water in that pot is heating up, and we frogs are jumping as fast as we can. But I don’t think it is boiling yet. There is still time to act.
In May 1983, addressing the National Rifle Association’s Annual Members Banquet, President Ronald Reagan said:
“America is no stronger than its people – and that means you and me. Well, I believe in you, and I believe that if we work together, then one day we will say, ‘We fought the good fight. We finished the race. We kept the faith.’ And to our children and our children’s children, we can say, ‘We did all that could be done in the brief time that was given us here on earth.’”
The problem is, some of us have stopped fighting. We are that frog that is slowly being boiled. And if we don’t jump soon, the next generations will suffer.
Patty Deutsche is a native Californian, a Reagan Administration alum, and an unapologetic conservative. As a communications consultant, she is frustrated at having to watch her words so that people don’t feel offended. The liberals who talk about speaking their “truth” and being their “authentic self” need to hear a few other “truths.” She can be reached at https://www.volterracomms.com/about.