In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix, Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone. In fact, kidnappings and other crimes connected to the Mexican drug cartels are quickly spreading across the border, from Texas to California. The majority of the victims are either illegal aliens or connected to the drug trade. ED STRAKER
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
MONICA SHOWALTER - WHAT PART OF 'ILLEGAL' DOES SEN. MAZIE HIRONO of HAWAII NOT GET?
August 1, 2018
What part of 'illegal' does Sen. Mazie Hirono not understand?
Democratic senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii is "confused" about why illegals get detained by lawmen.
No, really. Apparently, Democrats have skidded so far downhill that they don't even understand that illegals are here illegally. As the word says.
Yesterday's lovely exchange between a lawyerly Immigration and Customs Enforcement official and Hirono was the proof of it. After the ICE official had to take the time to school her in basic immigration law, all she could respond with was, "I'm confused."
Hirono was busy trying to make political hay for Democrats out of the issue of family separations of illegal border-crossers as somehow being especially inhuman. Never mind that family separations occur pretty much any time anyone is hauled in by the law, whether for bank robberies, muggings, drunk driving, or another crime. Getting hauled in is precisely why people with kids shouldn't want to break the law at all, but we know that some still do.
She rapidly got off track by her presumption that border enforcement is a matter of President Trump's whims, rather than Trump's mere allowance of border enforcement agents to enforce the actual laws on the books, which is their job. That's where she ran into her "I'm confused" trouble. Apparently, she decided that President Obama's capricious approach to enforcing only the laws he liked was actually how the law is supposed to be done.
This shows she's got the blinders on and can no longer distinguish solid law from Obama's world of decrees, which in fact excused and encouraged a lot of illegality in the name of political advantage.
It's weird stuff, and it highlights the Democrats' sharp swing to the left and its lunatic visions of laws not being laws, or laws being only what Obama says they are. It's an unusually sorry thing to see in an actual lawmaker.
Shouldn't she be advocating for the people of Hawaii? Where is she, given that a third of the housing stock of the Big Island has been trashed by a volcano, and the tourism industry that keeps her state economically going is totally wrecked, quite possibly because there are no hotels for tourists to go to, what with the available space now filled with volcano refugees? Where is she now that Lloyd's of London is denying payouts to people who bought volcano insurance, even as Hawaii's governor has encouraged volcano residents to consult their insurance policies instead of the state? These were people trying to do the right thing by buying the only volcano insurance out there – it's not in the state regulatory apparatus – and Hirono hasn't said anything. Is she saying anything about the questionable permitting process for housing in the lava zone that was not disclosed to buyers of the homes? What about some aid for those displaced residents now living with great mind-wearing uncertainty as months go by, while the political elites, including Hirono, do nothing? Hirono so far has visited the volcano zone twice (enjoying the lava tourism, no doubt) and gotten some money for a centralized volcano-monitoring system as well as aid for the tiny number of farms affected, which frankly is a meager record for a large visible event from her state.
Yet there she goes, fascinated with helping illegals she knows nothing about, under the guise of "compassion," and "confused" about what U.S. immigration law is to boot. Where's her compassion for her own state's neglected residents?
What we are seeing here is nothing but a political hack, in perfect line with the Democratic Party priorities, yet not quite understanding what is going on, given that she's a pretty "confused" one. Obviously, she's a hack who's been at it so long she can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality. Among Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, apparently, isn't the only one with this problem. Charlie Daniels: We Need a Wall – But That’s Just the Beginning
“I believe that if Hillary had been elected she would have found a way to give amnesty and eventually citizenship to all the millions of Hispanics who are now here illegally and would have, in theory, have opened the border so that more and more could cross and be eligible to vote, until an undefeatable voting block would have been created, putting a more and more progressive electorate into power.” CHARLIE DANIELS
“If the Constitution did not forbid cruel and unusual punishment, the sentence I would like to see imposed would place both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the same 8-by-12 cell.” ROBERT ARVAY – AMERICAN THINKER com
Majority of Democrats: Illegal Aliens Should be Given the Right to Vote
A majority of Democrat voters now say that the 12 million illegal aliens currently residing in the United States should be given the right to vote.
In a new poll by Rasmussen Reports, a majority of 54 percent of Democrats said illegal aliens in the U.S. should be given the right to vote so long as they pay taxes. Illegal aliens paying taxes ensures the identity theft of Americans.
Likewise, 53 percent of self-described liberal voters said they too support giving the 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. the right to vote.
While the majority of Democrats support illegal aliens having the right to vote, the plan is very unpopular with American voters overall. Nearly 60 percent of voters said illegal aliens should not be given voting rights.
Already, as Breitbart California reported, the city of San Francisco will now allow non-citizens to vote in the area’s regional school board elections. Cities like Chicago, Illinois, and Cambridge, Massachusets also allow non-citizens to vote in regional elections.
Giving the illegal alien population the right to vote would almost ensure Democrat dominance in statewide and national elections, as foreign populations are vastly more likely to favor Democrats over Republicans.
As Breitbart News previously noted, districts with booming foreign born populations have become Democrat strongholds and the country’s legal immigration system is set to import at least eight million new foreign born voters in the next two decades.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
YOU WONDERED WHY OBAMA-HOLDER WORKED SO HARD TO SABOTAGE AMERICAN VOTING FOR MORE ILLEGALS???
Those are the subliterate, low-skill, non-English-speaking indigents whose own societies are unable or unwilling to usefully educate and employ them. Bring these people here and they not only need a lot of services, they are putty in the hands of leftist demogogues as Hugo Chavez demonstrated - and they are very useful as leftist voters who will support the Soros agenda.
ILLEGALS VOTING ILLEGALLY
Of course, the game of the Democrats is to avoid at all costs any of the safeguards against fraud, such as photo ID requirements. That should tell anyone with integrity what they are up to. But most media continue to ignore this stain on democracy. THOMAS LIFSON – AMERICAN THINKER
BARACK OBAMA and ERIC HOLDER’S SABOTAGE OF HOMELAND SECURITY: The “zero tolerance” program was dismantled by Attorney General Erc Holder once it had successfully cut the transit of migrants by roughly 95 percent. Initially, officials made 140,000 arrests per year in the mid-2000s, but the northward flow dropped so much that officials only had to make 6,000 arrests in 2013, according to a 2014 letter by two pro-migration Senators, Sen. Jeff Flake and John McCain. NEIL MUNRO
SENATOR SMACKDOWN GETS THE NOD FOR NOVEMBER
"The man who, as Wikipedia explains, is “known professionally as Kevin de León” testified that “half of my family” would be eligible for deportation under Trump’s executive order because they used false identification, drivers licenses, Social Security and green cards. And that explains why the man who styles himself Kevin de León authored California’s sanctuary state law." LLOYD BILLINGSLEY - FRONTPAGEMAG
In California primaries the top two vote-getters advance regardless of party. Republicans are again shut out of the Senate race, leaving state senate boss Kevin de León to contend with Dianne Feinstein. The San Francisco Democrat, 85, seeks her fifth term in the Senate but the California Democratic Party fails to follow along.
“The name on his birth certificate isn’t Kevin de León,” explains Christopher Cadelago of the Sacramento Bee. On his birth certificate and voter rolls, the name is Kevin Alexander Leon and “the certificate says he was born on Dec. 10, 1966, at California Hospital on South Hope Street in Los Angeles.”
According to this document, which has not been revealed to the public, the father is Andres Leon, “a 40-year-old cook whose race was Chinese and whose birthplace was Guatemala” and mother Carmen Osorio, “was also born in Guatemala.” Kevin Alexander Leon remembers meeting Andres and thinks he is “a quarter, or as much as half-Chinese, pointing to the pockets of Asian populations in Mexico, including Mexicali.”
So at some point the Guatemalan Andres Leon must have moved to Mexico. But as a child his son Kevin Alexander de Leon “spent time on both sides of the border” and “identifies strongly with Mexican culture.” The story defies belief but does clarify some issues.
The man who, as Wikipedia explains, is “known professionally as Kevin de León” testified that “half of my family” would be eligible for deportation under Trump’s executive order because they used false identification, drivers licenses, Social Security and green cards. And that explains why the man who styles himself Kevin de León authored California’s sanctuary state law.
In a variation on Jose Vasconselos’ La Raza Cosmica, the California senate boss believes that illegals are “more American” and just better people than those Anglo Yankees who are destined to fade away along with blacks and those underachieving “Mongols.” So no surprise that the senate boss appointed a false-documented illegal to a state position, a violation of state law that bans ethnic preferences in state employment. So the termed-out senate boss does not exactly support the rule of law, state or federal.
The professional Kevin de León is a big fan of the late New Left icon Tom Hayden, a fervent supporter of Communist Vietnam. Last year, when Vietnamese refugee Janet Nguyen spoke out against Hayden, the Democrats shut down the Republican’s microphone then had her carted off the senate floor. So the Democrat senate boss is not exactly a fan of free speech or legal Asian refugees from Communist countries. Opponent Dianne Feinstein, on the other hand, pioneered the Nazi smear.
Feinstein showcased the smear last September in a confirmation hearing involving Amy Coney Barrett and Joan Larsen, both on President Trump’s original list for the Supreme Court. Feinstein said the backdrop for the hearing was the “neo-Nazis and white supremacists” in Charlottesville. “These are ideologies that people across the world died in a war fighting to defeat Nazism,” and just in case anybody wondered, “there isn’t any good in Nazism.”
Feinstein may deploy the Nazi smear in hearings for Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. That would be a way to show she is tougher on Trump than her Democrat opponent, who has other forces working for him.
A 2015 California law “streamlines” the process of voter registration and kicks in when someone gets a driver’s license at the DMV. As of March, 2018, more than one million illegals have received licenses. Secretary of state Alex Padilla touts “firewall” protections against ineligible voters. This is the same official who refused to cooperate with a federal probe of voter fraud, so legal residents and taxpayers have good reason to wonder what he is hiding. It is already a matter of record that false-documented illegals vote in local, state and federal elections.
De Léon holds far-left views on immigration, gun control, and other issues. Last year, he admitted that half of his family was in the country illegally. Earlier this year, he appointedan illegal alien to a statewide office. He is also the author of SB 54, one of the three surviving “sanctuary state” laws that the Trump administration challenged earlier this year.
KEVIN DeLEON SAYS MEXICANS ARE ABOVE THE LAW IN THE LA RAZA SUPREMACY STATE of MEXIFORNIA
ILLEGAL IN CA LAW SCHOOL, AND HER ILLEGAL FAMILY SHOVE THEIR MEX FLAG and the LAWS OF THIS STATE and COUNTRY UP AMERICA’S NOSES!
How much welfare, “free” education, “free” healthcare and tax free mex underground economy have these Mexicans sucked in and yet they wave their mex flags in our faces.
In a Facebook post in 2016, apparently celebrating her graduation from Santa Clara University School of Law, Mateo declared, in Spanish: “[E]verything is dedicated to Oaxaca, Mexico!! to that land that I miss so much.”
Adios, Sanctuary La Raza Welfare State of California
A fifth-generation Californian laments his state’s ongoing economic collapse. By Steve Baldwin American Spectator, October 19, 2017 What’s clear is that the producers are leaving the state and the takers are coming in. Many of the takers are illegal aliens, now estimated to number over 2.6 million. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that California spends $22 billion on government services for illegal aliens, including welfare, education, Medicaid, and criminal justice system costs.
BLOG: MANY DISPUTE CALIFORNIA’S EXPENDITURES FOR THE LA RAZA WELFARE STATE IN MEXIFORNIA JUST AS THEY DISPUTE THE NUMBER OF ILLEGALS. APPROXIMATELY HALF THE POPULATION OF CA IS NOW MEXICAN AND BREEDING ANCHOR BABIES FOR WELFARE LIKE BUNNIES. THE $22 BILLION IS STATE EXPENDITURE ONLY. COUNTIES PAY OUT MORE WITH LOS ANGELES COUNTY LEADING AT OVER A BILLION DOLLARS PAID OUT YEARLY TO MEXICO’S ANCHOR BABY BREEDERS. NOW MULTIPLY THAT BY THE NUMBER OF COUNTIES IN CA AND YOU START TO GET AN IDEA OF THE STAGGERING WELFARE STATE MEXICO AND THE DEMOCRAT PARTY HAVE ERECTED SANS ANY LEGALS VOTES. ADD TO THIS THE FREE ENTERPRISE HOSPITAL AND CLINIC COST FOR LA RAZA’S “FREE” MEDICAL WHICH IS ESTIMATED TO BE ABOUT $1.5 BILLION PER YEAR.
Liberals claim they more than make that up with taxes paid, but that’s simply not true. It’s not even close. FAIR estimates illegal aliens in California contribute only $1.21 billion in tax revenue, which means they cost California $20.6 billion, or at least $1,800 per household. Nonetheless, open border advocates, such as Facebook Chairman Mark Zuckerberg, claim illegal aliens are a net benefit to California with little evidence to support such an assertion. As the Center for Immigration Studies has documented, the vast majority of illegals are poor, uneducated, and with few skills. How does accepting millions of illegal aliens and then granting them access to dozens of welfare programs benefit California’s economy? If illegal aliens were contributing to the economy in any meaningful way, California, with its 2.6 million illegal aliens, would be booming. Furthermore, the complexion of illegal aliens has changed with far more on welfare and committing crimes than those who entered the country in the 1980s. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has testified before a Congressional committee that in 2004, 95% of all outstanding warrants for murder in Los Angeles were for illegal aliens; in 2000, 23% of all Los Angeles County jail inmates were illegal aliens and that in 1995, 60% of Los Angeles’s largest street gang, the 18th Street gang, were illegal aliens. Granted, those statistics are old, but if you talk to any California law enforcement officer, they will tell you it’s much worse today. The problem is that the Brown administration will not release any statewide data on illegal alien crimes. That would be insensitive. And now that California has declared itself a “sanctuary state,” there is little doubt this sends a message south of the border that will further escalate illegal immigration into the state.
"If the racist "Sensenbrenner Legislation" passes the US Senate, there is no doubt that a massive civil disobedience movement will emerge. Eventually labor union power can merge with the immigrant civil rights and "Immigrant Sanctuary" movements to enable us to either form a new political party or to do heavy duty reforming of the existing Democratic Party. The next and final steps would follow and that is to elect our own governors of all the states within Aztlan." Indeed, California goes out of its way to attract illegal aliens. The state has even created government programs that cater exclusively to illegal aliens. For example, the State Department of Motor Vehicles has offices that only process driver licenses for illegal aliens. With over a million illegal aliens now driving in California, the state felt compelled to help them avoid the long lines the rest of us must endure at the DMV. And just recently, the state-funded University of California system announced it will spend $27 million on financial aid for illegal aliens. They’ve even taken out radio spots on stations all along the border, just to make sure other potential illegal border crossers hear about this program. I can’t afford college education for all my four sons, but my taxes will pay for illegals to get a college education.
California used to be home to America's largest and most affluent middle class. Today, it is America's poverty capital. What went wrong? In a word: immigration.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Official Poverty Measure, California's poverty rate hovers around 15 percent. But this figure is misleading: the Census Bureau measures poverty relative to a uniform national standard, which doesn't account for differences in living costs between states – the cost of taxes, housing, and health care are higher in California than in Oklahoma, for example. Accounting for these differences reveals that California's real poverty rate is 20.6 percent – the highest in America, and nearly twice the national average of 12.7 percent.
Likewise, income inequality in California is the second-highest in America, behind only New York. In fact, if California were an independent country, it would be the 17th most unequal country on Earth, nestled comfortably between Honduras and Guatemala. Mexico is slightly more egalitarian. California is far more unequal than the "social democracies" it emulates: Canada is the 111th most unequal nation, while Norway is far down the list at number 153 (out of 176 countries). In terms of income inequality, California has more in common with banana republics than other "social democracies."
More Government, More Poverty
High taxes, excessive regulations, and a lavish welfare state – these are the standard explanations for California's poverty epidemic. They have some merit. For example, California has both the highest personal income tax rate and the highest sales tax in America, according to Politifact.
Not only are California's taxes high, but successive "progressive" governments have swamped the state in a sea of red tape. Onerous regulations cripple small businesses and retard economic growth. Kerry Jackson, a fellow with the Pacific Research Institute, gives a few specific examples of how excessive government regulation hurts California's poor. He writes in a recent op-ed for the Los Angeles Times:
Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics ... found that "in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced ... energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income."
Some government regulation is necessary and desirable, but most of California's is not. There is virtue in governing with a "light touch."
Finally, California's welfare state is, perhaps paradoxically, a source of poverty in the state. The Orange Country Register reports that California's social safety net is comparable in scale to those found in Europe:
In California a mother with two children under the age of 5 who participates in these major welfare programs – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), housing assistance, home energy assistance, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children – would receive a benefits package worth $30,828 per year.
... [Similar] benefits in Europe ranged from $38,588 per year in Denmark to just $1,112 in Romania. The California benefits package is higher than in well-known welfare states as France ($17,324), Germany ($23,257) and even Sweden ($22,111).
Although welfare states ideally help the poor, reality is messy. There are three main problems with the welfare state. First, it incentivizes poverty by rewardingthe poor with government handouts that are often far more valuable than a job. This can be ameliorated to some degree by imposing work requirements on welfare recipients, but in practice, such requirements are rarely imposed. Second, welfare states are expensive. This means higher taxes and therefore slower economic growth and fewer job opportunities for everyone – including the poor.
Finally, welfare states are magnets for the poor. Whether through domestic migration or foreign immigration, poor people flock to places with generous welfare states. This is logical from the immigrant's perspective, but it makes little sense from the taxpayer's. This fact is why socialism and open borders arefundamentally incompatible.
Why Big Government?
Since 1960, California's population exploded from 15.9 to 39 million people. The growth was almost entirely due to immigration – many people came from other states, but the majority came from abroad. The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that 10 million immigrants currently reside in California. This works out to 26 percent of the state's population.
BLOG: COME TO MEXIFORNIA! HALF OF LOS ANGELES 15 MILLION ARE ILLEGALS!
This figure includes 2.4 million illegal aliens, although a recent study from Yale University suggests that the true number of aliens is at least double that. Modifying the initial figure implies that nearly one in three Californians is an immigrant. This is not to disparage California's immigrant population, but it is madness to deny that such a large influx of people has changed California's society and economy.
Importantly, immigrants vote Democrat by a ratio higher than 2:1, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies. In California, immigration has increased the pool of likely Democrat voters by nearly 5 million people, compared to just 2.4 million additional likely Republican voters. Not only does this almost guarantee Democratic victories, but it also shifts California's political midpoint to the left. This means that to remain competitive in elections, the Republicans must abandon or soften many conservative positions so as to cater to the center.
California became a Democratic stronghold not because Californians became socialists, but because millions of socialists moved there. Immigration turned California blue, and immigration is ultimately to blame for California's high poverty level.
In 1973, as I was going through customs in New York, the customs agent rifling my bag looked at my passport and said, with a Bronx sneer, “Bruce Thornton, huh. Must be one of them Hollywood names.”
Hearing that astonishing statement, I realized for the first time that California is as much an idea as a place. There were few regions in America more distant from Hollywood than the rural, mostly poor, multiethnic San Joaquin Valley where my family lived and ranched. Yet to this New Yorker, the Valley was invisible.
BLOG: FEINSTEIN & BOXER THREE TIMES ATTEMPTED TO INSERT IN VARIOUS BILLS AN AMNESTY FOR FARM WORKERS TO REPAY THEIR BIG AG BIG DONORS.
ONE-THIRD OF ALL FARM WORKERS END UP ON WELFARE AS SOON AS THE ANCHOR BABIES START COMING
Coastal Californians are sometimes just as blind to the world on the other side of the Coast Range, even though its farms, orchards, vineyards, dairies, and ranches comprise more than half the state’s $46 billion agriculture industry, which grows over 400 commodities, including over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts.
Granted, Silicon Valley is an economic colossus compared to the ag industry, but agriculture’s importance can’t be measured just in dollars and cents. Tech, movies, and every other industry tends to forget that their lives and businesses, indeed civilization itself, all rest on the shoulders of those who produce the food. You can live without your iPhone or your Mac or the latest Marvel Studios blockbuster. But you can’t live without the food grown by the one out of a 100 people who work to feed the other 99.
A Politically Invisible Valley
Living in the most conservative counties in the
deepest-blue state, Valley residents constantly see
their concerns, beliefs, and needs seldom taken
into account at the state or federal level.
Registered Democrats in California outnumber registered Republicans by over 19%, and the State Legislature seats about twice as many Democrats as Republicans (California’s one of only eight states nationwide with a trifecta of a Democratic and two Democratic controlled legislative bodies).
California’s Congressional delegation is even more unbalanced: in the House of Representatives, currently there are fourteen Republicans compared to thirty-nine House Democrats (at least half of those GOP districts are in danger of turning blue this fall); half the Republicans represent Central Valley districts, none bordering the Pacific Ocean. The last elected Republican US Senator left office in 1991. The last Republican governor was the politically light-pink action-movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose second term ended in 2011.
This progressive dominance of the state has led to policies and priorities that has damaged its agricultural economy and seriously degraded the quality of life in the Valley.
Despite a long drought that has diminished the run-off of snow from the Sierra Nevada, projects for dams and reservoirs are on hold, seriously impacting the ag industry that relies on the snowmelt for most of its water. Worse yet, since 2008, a period including the height of the drought, 1.4 trillion gallons of water have been dumped into the Pacific Ocean to protect the endangered Delta Smelt, a two-inch bait-fish. Thousands of agricultural jobs have been lost and farmland left uncultivated, all to satisfy the sensibilities of affluent urban environmentalists. And even after a few years of abundant rain, Valley farmers this year are receiving just 20% of their South-of-the-Delta water allocation.
Or take California’s high-speed rail project, currently moribund and $10 billion over budget just for construction of the easiest section, through the flat center of the Valley. Meanwhile, State Highway 99, which bisects the Valley from north to south for 500 miles, is pot-holed, inefficient, and crammed with 18-wheel semis. It is the bloodiest highway in the country, in dire need of widening and repair. Yet to gratify our Democratic governor’s
high-tech green obsession, billions of dollars are
being squandered to create an unnecessary link
between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. That’s $10 billion that could have been spent building more reservoirs instead of dumping water into the ocean because there’s no place to store it.
The common thread of these two examples of
mismanagement and waste is the romantic
environmentalism of the well-heeled coastal left.
They serially support government projects and
regulations that impact the poor and the aged, who
are left to bear their costs.
The same idealized nature-love has led to regulations and taxes on energy that have made California home of the third-worst energy poverty in the country. In sweltering San Joaquin Valley counties like Madera and Tulare, energy poverty rates are 15% compared to 3–4% in cool, deep-blue coastal enclaves. Impoverished Kings County averages over $500 a month in electric bills, while tony Marin Country, with an average income twice that of Kings County, averages $200. Again, it’s the poor, aged, and working class who bear the brunt of these costs, especially in the Valley where temperatures regularly reach triple digits in the summer; unlike the coast, where the clement climate makes expensive air-conditioning unnecessary.
Deteriorating Quality of Life
It’s no wonder then that Fresno, in the heart of the
Valley, is the second most impoverished city in the
poorest region of a state that has the highest
poverty levels in the country and one of the
highest rates of income inequality. Over one-fifth
of its residents live below the poverty line, and it
More broadly, the dominant cultures and mores of the dot.com north and the Hollywood south are inimical to those of the Valley. Whether it is gun-ownership, hunting, church-going, or military service, many people in the San Joaquin Valley of all races are quickly becoming cultural minorities marginalized by the increasingly radical positions on issues such as abortion, guns, and religion.
Despite the liberal assumption that all Hispanics favor progressive policies, many Latino immigrants and their children find more in common with Valley farmers and natives with whom they live and work than they do with distant urban elites.
Indeed, as a vocal conservative professor in the local university (Fresno State), I have survived mainly because my students, now more than half Latino and Mexican immigrants or children of immigrants, are traditional and practical in a way that makes them impatient with the patronizing victim-politics of more affluent professors. They have more experience with physical labor, they are more religious and, like me, they are often the first in their families to graduate from college. As I did with the rural Mexican Americans I grew up with, I usually have more in common with my students than I do with many of my colleagues.
And this is the great irony of the invisibility of the “other” California: the blue-coast policies that suit the prejudices and sensibilities of the affluent have damaged the prospects of the “others of color” they claim they want to help. Over-
represented on the poverty and welfare rolls, many
migrants both legal and illegal have seen water
policies that destroy agricultural jobs, building
restrictions that drive up the cost of housing,
energy policies that increase their cost of living, “sanctuary city” policies that put back on the
streets thugs and criminals who prey mainly on
their ethnic fellows, and economic policies that
favor the redistribution rather than the creation of wealth and jobs.
Meanwhile, the coastal liberals who tout a cosmetic diversity live in a de facto apartheid world, surrounded by those of similar income, taste, and politics. Many look down on the people whom they view as racists and xenophobes at worst, and intellectually challenged rubes at best. This disdain has been evident in the way the media regularly sneer that House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes is a “former dairy-farmer” from Tulare County, an origin that makes “the match between his backstory and his prominence” seem “wholly incongruous,” per Roll Call's David Hawkings.
Finally, those of us who grew up and live in the rural Valley did so among a genuine diversity, one that reflected the more complex identities beyond the crude categories of “white” or “black” or “Hispanic.”
Italians, Basques, Portuguese, Armenians, Swedes, Mexicans, Filipinos, Southern blacks, Chinese, Japanese, Volga Germans, Scotch-Irish Dust Bowl migrants—all migrated to the Valley to work the fields and better their lives. Their children and grandchildren went to the same schools, danced together and drank together, helped round up each other’s animals when they got loose, were best friends or deadly enemies, dated and intermarried, got drafted into the Army or joined the Marines—all of them Americans who managed to honor their diverse heritages and faiths, but still be a community. Their most important distinctions were not so much between races and ethnicities, though those of course often collided, but between the respectable people––those who obeyed the law, went to church, and raised their kids right–– and those we all called “no damned good.” Skin-color or accents couldn’t sort one from the other.
What most of us learned from living in real diversity in the Valley is that being an American means taking people one at a time.
That world still exists, but it is slowly fading away—in part because of the policies and politics of those to our west, who can see nothing on the other side of the Coast Range.
Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.
The Mexican Invasion & Occupation