Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Conservative Vision for California

In case anyone might be wondering what strange fuel was in fact burning within the engines of intransigence and dysfunction in the California assembly, Brad De Long points us to Victor Davis Hanson's recipe for a West Coast Conservatopia:
All of which raises the question: how would we return to sanity in California, a state as naturally beautiful and endowed and developed by our ancestors as it has been sucked dry by our parasitic generation? The medicine would be harder than the malady, and I just cannot see it happening, as much as I love the state, admire many of its citizens, and see glimmers of hope in the most unlikely places every day.
After all, in no particular order, we would have to close the borders; adopt English immersion in our schools; give up on the salad bowl and return to the melting pot; assimilate, intermarry, and integrate legal immigrants; curb entitlements and use the money to fix infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports, trains, etc.; build 4-5 new damns to store water in wet years; update the canal system; return to old policies barring public employee unions; redo pension contracts; cut about 50,000 from the public employee roles; lower income taxes from 10% to 5% to attract businesses back; cut sales taxes to 7%; curb regulations to allow firms to stay; override court orders now curbing cost-saving options in our prisons by systematic legislation; start creating material wealth from our forests; tap more oil, timber, natural gas, and minerals that we have in abundance; deliver water to the farmland we have; build 3-4 nuclear power plants on the coast; adopt a traditional curriculum in our schools; insist on merit pay for teachers; abolish tenure; encourage not oppose more charter schools, vouchers, and home schooling; give tax breaks to private trade and business schools; reinstitute admission requirements and selectivity at the state university system; take unregistered cars off the road; make UC professors teach a class or two more each year; abolish all racial quotas and preferences in reality rather than in name; build a new all weather east-west state freeway  over the Sierra; and on and on.
In other words, we would have to seance someone born around 1900 and just ask them to float back for a day, walk around, and give us some advice.
 I will say this for the man: at least he has the balls to openly advocate what most conservatives can merely allude to.  Of course, it's one think for a Standford professor to  propose such things.  It's quite another for anyone concerned with getting more than 10-20% of the public to go along with most of it.

But packaged in vaguely populist and naive rhetoric, the message is much more digestible.  This is what real conservatism looks like - in all its ugly ethnocentric nativism, environmental callousness, authoritarianism and disregard for the disadvantaged.  There is certainly logic and principle beneath.  But in an odd way, at this sort of mid-rhetorical level - where policy is clearly stated, yet the underlying philosophy hasn't yet been broken open to reveal its incoherence, the modern  conservative mind is at its most raw and frighteningly radical.

No comments:

Post a Comment