California Burns as Politicians Fiddle

The most recent culmination of the insane end of the California Leguslature’s two-year  session will probably live in infamy when tales of California’s demise are told in the future.

Still reeling from the madness, I needed to seek out a perspective larger than those mired in the state’s political processes; I needed a perspective familiar with the fanaticism of California, but one which also understands how and why we find ourselves on the precipice of disaster.

Rep. Tom Mclintock, R-El Dorado Hills, provided just what was needed.

McClintock has a just perspective on California. He was a state legislator for more than 20 years and now represents California’s 4th Congressional District, located just outside the state’s Capitol of Sacramento.

Perhaps even more importantly, McClintock has unflappably faced off Democratic lawmakers  and liberal fanatacism for decades.

History repeats itself

McClintock backed up a few centuries to begin the perspective, and reminded me that history repeats itself.

“Those who cannott remember the past are concemned to repeat it,” the famous quote by Spanish-
American-philosopher George Santayana, has never held more meaning.

“Governments crumble under the weight of bureaucracies,” McClintock explained. The parallels with America’s  economic implosion have with Rome’s are undeniable.

McClintock said that tthe parallels between America and Rome are astounding, including that two-thirds of all Romans lived off of their equivalent of food stamps — the “bread” part of “bread and circuses.” The Roman bureaucracy grew to staggering size, while defense spending continued to grow as well. Roman emperors kept raising taxes to pay for government expansion and gross spending.

The Roman middle class at one time  enjoyed conditions much the same as Americans: They were merchants and business owners, and participated in and influenced politics. But as the Roman government expanded to unsustainable proportions, it was the middle class which paid the heaviest price, just as it iss in America, and particularly so in California.

Immigration also was uncontrolled in Rome.

As Peter Heather writes in “The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and Barbarians,” “The Roman government allowed uncontrolled hostile immigration to dissolve the fabric of their civilization. Illegal and legal immigrants grew more powerful, while exercising their own character of their cultures. They did not adopt Roman ways. Second, vast blocks of once Roman lands became foreign held and even the Roman population, once outnumbered, was no match for hostile immigrants.’


“What we are seeing is a voter and citizen uprising,” McClintock said. “This has been going on for at least three years.” Recent Townhall attendance has been record breaking. McClintock said that Townhall meetings which used to have 12 or 15 of the usual political diehards show up, now fill entire high school gyms.

The people know that the politices being put into place are not sustainable, says McClintock.  ”I’ve  never seen people so engaged.”

History is indeed repeating itself, but we are helping it along. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result. We have the warnings. We know the history.

Why would anyone in California think that we are not living a self-imposed deterioration?

Fortunately, a citizen and voter uprising is just what the history doctor ordered.

(Katy Grimes is a longtime political analyst, writer and journalist, and CalWatchdog’s news reporter. Originally posted on CalWatchdog.)