As I’m driving on the highway, trying to avoid the plethora of potholes on the poorly maintained roadway, I see the sign; Welcome to Calizuela.

Once an economic powerhouse with businesses flocking to the breathtaking beauty of the state, a thriving movie industry, the tech capital of the USA, a robust agricultural community, and several nuclear power plants providing clean energy, it is now a shadow of its former grandiosity.

How could this have happened? I ponder as I pass through filthy tent cities of homeless, drug infested encampments where million-dollar properties used to thrive. Let’s go back in time to see the progression of events that turned California into Calizuela.

Geographically, California was one of the most diverse and beautiful places on the planet. With 840 miles of stunning coastline, with steep shore cliffs, white sandy beaches and sparkling blue water. The state had rivers and lakes and towering Redwood Forests. The Central Valley was a fruit basket for the world, and boasted more than 400 animal and plant commodities, more than any other state.

Beautiful cities like San Diego to the South, San Francisco to the North, and the gold Coast of Orange county brought millions of tourists and a high quality of living for those who had the means to afford it. Silicon Valley, home to Apple, Google and Facebook brought high tech and high incomes to Californians.

To be sure, there are remnants still today of the past wealth of Calizuela. Politics happened, and things started to change. Politicians and labor unions created a nightmare of pension obligation to teachers and government workers that was unsustainable and extremely poorly thought out. Unions pillaged their members for money for activist political causes and to maintain and feed their wasteful spending. The government needed more money. They added tax upon tax to businesses, small and large, and to the wage earners.

The liberal politicians enacted stiff regulations on manufacturing businesses driving up prices and causing manufacturing to make a beeline for more welcoming states. Environmental activists refused to allow water to flow to the robust farming communities in order to protect a frog, while crops withered on the vines. Poor management of water caused Californians to pay huge premiums for water, while rainwater flowed to the seas instead of being captured in reservoirs for future needs. This lack of foresight was devastating during drought seasons. Mismanagement and lack of upkeep to dams further exacerbated the water crisis.

Compounding the environmental issues, the state politicians listened to the tree hugging environmental activists over sound logging and ground clearing policies, and the resulting wildfires devastated the forests, the towering Redwoods, and wiped out entire communities turning them into wastelands and cost a tragic loss of lives.

A further poor and political decision to waste taxpayer’s ever rising contributions, was the bullet train to nowhere. A large swath of rail track was cut through the beautiful central valley farmlands to accommodate this boondoggle, further decimating the beauty and the productivity of this invaluable resource.

Politicians then went after small business who they failed to see as the engine of the state by raising taxes, adding crippling regulations and increasing minimum wages to a level that drove more and more businesses to leave the state. Revenues fell, so gas prices doubled. The loss of jobs caused decline in the cities, and more people to become homeless. The politicians doubled down by adding yet more taxes, and set their sites on targeting law enforcement, and lessening prison populations to save money.

The two-party system was eliminated by a liberal supermajority of democrats, and the foxes controlled the henhouse.

The liberal politicians began a process to give criminals more rights than law abiding citizens. They released thousands of criminals from prisons to re-victimize the public, while decriminalizing or reclassifying crimes such as child prostitution, marijuana, drug possession offenses, petty and grand thefts. They stopped police from the enforcement of felony warrants. They decimated State Parole from being the enforcement arm for violent felons on parole to be sure they followed their release requirements. They allowed criminals to violently resist lawful police detentions and disallowed police from arresting them for it. Police were forbidden from using deadly force when necessary without using less lethal force first, causing the deaths of more good officers and bad faith in the entrustment of officers and a free for all on cops. Police were being sued and prosecuted for doing their job to protect the public, and they left to find jobs in states where law enforcement is valued over criminals. The left-wing governor Newsom reversed the citizens 11 time vote to keep the death penalty. The citizens had no voice.

The liberals with bleeding hearts allowed the state to become a haven for illegal immigrants. Taxpayers were forced to pay a backbreaking 33 billion dollars annually to provide education, medical care, meals, housing and legal assistance, not to mention the increase in crime, the backlog in the courts, the overflowing jails and the street dwellers ruining residential and commercial neighborhoods. Politicians not only turned a blind eye to illegals swinging votes in local and state elections, they enabled it by registering them through DMV and failing to clean or validate voting rolls.

All the while California residents faced higher taxes, the loss of employers’ rights, an assault on their second amendment rights, a constant stream of excusing criminals from punishment for crimes and a flood of criminals being released into their communities to re-victimize unsuspecting citizens. Businesses and Californians were leaving in droves to find places where they could live as free law-abiding Americans and to places where businesses were welcomed and criminals were not.

The tax base declined, but politicians just taxed more and doubled down on their sanctuary policies. Infrastructure declined. Jobs declined. California became a two-tier society of very rich and very poor, with homeless encampments permeating the state. Tourism declined due to conventions not wanting to bring their attendees to streets full of needles and feces.

The state began to look more like a third world country, while politicians remained oblivious to the damage and destruction of one of the wealthiest and most beautiful places on earth. They disregarded the lives, the welfare and the contributions of law-abiding working Americans and gave preference to illegals and criminals. The socialistic policies took a toll.

The face of California became the face of Calizuela. The border between Mexico and California was obliterated as the state virtually became one with them and the people shouldered the costs until they could carry it no more and either left or became one of them.

Law enforcement of every type could not enforce laws without facing penalties. There was no one for the good people of California to turn to. The liberal mismanagement of the once great state took so much from so many, until there was no more to give. The gluttonous politicians at every level fed themselves on the hard working Californians trust, and sweat and treasure and delivered back to them the excrement of greed, and dishonesty, the loss of their jobs and their chosen and earned lifestyles, and the redistribution of their wealth, as well as the mismanagement of their natural resources and the theft of the sanctity of their vote.

The irony to me as I drive through, exploring the once amazing land I knew as a child, is it could have all been prevented. A legal vote by citizens to put responsible leaders in their governments at all levels, rather than self-serving, wrong headed politicians out to feather their personal nest eggs at the expense of legal and law abiding contributing United States Citizens.

Politicians who allowed ineligible voters to vote, who decimated the rule of law, who flooded the thriving state with uneducated and unskilled illegals in defiance of federal law, who ignored the pleas of crime victims in favor of criminals, who could not manage a household checkbook, much less run one of the largest economies in the world; who wasted the resources , both natural and financial, of this great state, until it was great no more. 

Voters could have taken the high roads of fiscal responsibility, tough on crime, maintaining constitutional rights and responsible laws instead of the liberal low road of entitlements and limiting freedoms and environmental wacko policies, and enabling freeloaders and disregarding the welfare of the majority over the bleeding hearts making excuses for and throwing money at problems instead of actually solving them. What a waste, what a shame.

As I drive on, I see another sign. It reads Leaving Calizuela. Thank God.