California Nightmarin’

By Rob Schwarzwalder Published on July 7, 2019

Why do so many extremely rich far-left politicians support policies that hurt the people those same politicians profess to love?

This is not a rant about wealth. People of means create jobs. Many give away large sums that support good causes. Each of us is responsible to God and family for how we use the resources He has entrusted to us. We’re not accountable to the government or “social justice” scolds.

It’s when politicians carry on about how much they care for people while many around them live in squalor that my blood gets up. This is especially true when I think about some leading California politicians. These Democrats claim to love the needy. But they don’t seem to.

Collapsing Cities

Major cities in California are in collapse. As that great conservative radio resource, National Public Radio, has been forced to admit, “San Francisco’s streets are so filthy that at least one infectious disease expert has compared the city to some of the dirtiest slums in the world.” 

What of the City of the Angeles? There are now 50 blocks designated for homeless street people. According to City Councilman Joe Buscaino, the new policy “establishes a different set of standards that will only perpetuate the public health crisis that already exists in skid row.” 

One’s heart has to go out to impoverished California Senator Kamala Harris, whose net worth is a paltry $3.3 million. She refuses to comment on the crisis in her hometown. “The silence is particularly notable coming from Harris, who lives in L.A.,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Her campaign declined requests for comment on the latest homelessness figures.” 

San Francisco’s Homeless

Then there’s San Francisco. The website “Open Secrets,” which bird-dogs congressional donations, salaries, and so forth, estimates that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a personal net worth of up to $100 million. Her husband Paul’s is, by one estimate, $120 million

Senator Dianne Feinstein has an estimated net worth of about $60 million, but her husband Richard Blum is said to have a $1 billion fortune. 

And then there’s California governor and former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome, who’s worth a paltry $16 million. He wants to double funding for California’s homeless, to $1 billion. That’s the ticket — pour more money into failed policies. Of course! 

Enabling Poverty

There are lots of wealthy Republicans in California politics, too. But the contrast is this: Almost without exception, the rich California GOPers believe squalor and theft and disease need to be ended, not enabled.

Public servants are entrusted with public safety and well-being. They should not let the drug addicted, the mentally ill, and those truly down for the count to languish in poverty and live in trash.

Those living beneath cardboard lean-tos and on church pews or on unforgiving concrete don’t need stop-gap solutions. They don’t need programs that incentivize their tragic lives. They need decent lives. That includes a personalized mix of medicine, counseling, job training, hospitalization, and long-term help. And, of course, the Lord, but that’s not the state’s job.

More broadly, the people of California deserve streets without human feces, infected needles, rats, and trash. And the crime that invariably comes with these things.

Progressive Values

I’ll let a Californian named Farhad Manjoo have the last word. In the New York Times, he denounces “the refusal on the part of wealthy progressives to live by the values they profess to support at the national level.”

He sums it all up well: “Where progressives argue for openness and inclusion as a cudgel against President Trump, they abandon it on Nob Hill and in Beverly Hills.” 


Rob Schwarzwalder is a senior contributor at The Stream and a senior lecturer at Regent University.

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