Whether we hear it from Victor Davis Hanson or Joel Kotkin, the news from California is bleak.
If alchemy was supposed to turn lead into gold, California has become the living witness to reverse alchemy. The reverse alchemists have turned the once Golden State into a leaden hulk.
California is the ultimate indictment of blue state policies. Kotkin writes: “What has happened to my adopted home state of over last decade is a tragedy, both for Californians and for America. For most of the past century, California has been ‘golden’ not only in name but in every kind of superlative—a global leader in agriculture, energy, entertainment, technology, and most important of all, human aspiration.”
Those who brought this about like to call themselves progressives. In truth, they are reactionaries. So much so that they reject modern science. This puts them starkly at odds with the vision of Daniel Gilman, the second president of the University of California, who said, in 1872, that science was “the mother of California.”
In Kotkin’s words: “California's dominant ruling class—consisting of public-employee unions, green jihadis, and Democratic machine politicians—has no real use for science as Gilman saw it: as a way to create prosperity for its citizens. Instead, the prevailing credo of the state has been how to do everything possible to return to its pre-settlement condition, with little regard for what that means to the average Californian.”
Isn’t it ironic that the so-called progressives who are railing about whether a candidate believes in evolution or anthropogenic global warming reject science when it would help to create real human jobs.