Dear California: Call Me When the Commies Leave
It finally happened. After 22 years in Los Angeles -- 13 on its West Side -- I threw half my life into boxes, the other half into dumpsters, and returned to my native Arizona. It wasn't a decision I had been pondering for very long. After the first of the year I began to kick the idea around rather casually, then a few things fell into place quite unexpectedly and, by the middle of January, getting out seemed like the only logical thing to do.
Emotionally, it was a different story. I love California. More specifically, I love Los Angeles. There have been many people I've known both in and out of the entertainment industry who seemed to be working on an exit plan as soon as they arrived in L.A. They were regret-free when they did get out, which was usually sooner rather than later. Not me, I loved the city the second I moved there and knew I'd found an adopted hometown.
My time in California may have begun solely because I was an entertainer. However, I had always been politically active too and my years there saw my most intense activism. Alas, I was perhaps focusing too much on national issues when I should have been throwing some effort behind keeping my home state from rushing headlong off of a progressive cliff.
Some of my efforts actually were spent at home. While so many conservatives in California were longing to get to more politically friendly states, I was relentlessly advocating for staying and fighting. States that were already electing conservatives and/or Republicans didn't need more conservatives there, I maintained. It was the places in America that were becoming liberal wastelands that were in need of some opposition voices.
It was a pitch that could have been applied to any number of states, but I meant it for California. I don't care what the libs do to the likes of New York, Chicago, or the Pacific Northwest. Let the progressive loons have cities and states that are already cold, wet and miserable.
But, as I often asked audiences, why should we let them have a place as glorious as California?
Apparently, no one was listening.
When the Democrats gained a super-majority stranglehold on the California legislature, they didn't waste any time letting their far-left freak flag fly. As soon as some bills were floated, then passed, people began asking me in private and in public interviews about the legislative madness issuing forth from Sacramento.
I thought most of it was boilerplate liberal lunacy that wouldn't stand up to any strict legal scrutiny, which made me shrug it off.
Last summer, however, the extent of the lunacy started to really come into focus and made it more difficult to keep at arm's length.