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Today’s election is a lose-lose proposition

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POSTED May 19, 2009 1:58 a.m.
I’m supposed to be angry as I go to the polls today.
That’s what the talking heads say about the mood of California voters.
Anger, though, isn’t something that is crossing my mind today nor is disgust for that matter. It’s more a state of sadness.
I truly love California as I’m sure most of those who live here do. We all love it for a variety of reasons. Some of them are geographic-based from the Golden Gate to the pristine upper reaches of the Sierra from volcanoes to sandy SoCal beaches, the stark beauty of Death Valley, and the fertile Central Valley. Other reasons have as much to do with California having no boundary when it comes to ideas and possibilities. Some call it the California State of Mind.
No matter what happens today – whether the propositions pass or fail – California government as we know it is going to cease existing for awhile. There are those who believe a radical change is needed so they will send a message loud and clear to Sacramento by voting “no.” Rest assured Sacramento will read the message how they see fit.
Others are reluctantly voting “yes” across the board in a bid to ease the pain although they are fully aware it may delay the inevitable just for awhile.
To borrow a line from Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Mrs. Robinson”, this is truly an election where “every way you look at it, you lose.”
It’s sad to think a state of 38 million people has managed to send 120 of the most partisan zealots you can find to Sacramento to conduct California’s business. It’s the old “Republicans are going to delivery us from the evils of big government” while “the Democrats are going to deliver us all from evil by using big government.”
Both are just smokescreens clouding up reality. You could barely fill a Mini Cooper’s back seat with all the legislators who would put the future of California above their party, their ideological leanings, the special interests showering them with campaign donations, and their own self interests.
There are no noble men and women in Sacramento. Name an elected leader who is willing to fall on their own sword and be a one-term wonder by sacrificing their political career and ego for the greater good of California.
The roots of our stupidity go deep. Yes, we expect the government to be all things from Santa Claus to Daddy Warbucks propping up our self-serving economic interests as well as our favorite causes. We wanted it all and we wanted it without an increase in taxes or - in many cases – with lower taxes.
It’s kind of like someone who has made a complete glutton of themselves over decades while spending tons of money on “cures” to lose weight or to improve their health. We wanted to pig out but not suffer the consequences because we expected a magic pill to turn us all into GQ models and Cosmopolitan cover girls.
The worst part is many of us still don’t realize we are a big part of the problem. We want to shed all of government’s fat overnight but we don’t want to give up that chocolate or ice cream treats they keep shoveling to us in the form of government programs that now run the gamut from A to Z and back again.
There are those among us who fight any effort to cut back government because we whine “it isn’t fair.” It’s not fair for kids have to go back to 30 plus in a classroom. It isn’t fair that arts funding is being cut back. It isn’t fair college tuition is going up. The list goes on and on as we wail like a bunch of spoiled children who don’t want to accept the fact the endless summer of partying is over and it is time to grow up.
It is sad to think that a vibrant state like California has been done in by self-indulgence and irresponsibility.
How can we expect the state to stand on its own two proverbial two feet if we refuse to do so ourselves?
I understand fully well that no matter how I mark the ballot today that the day of reckoning has finally arrived. What is left to be seen is whether we all put aside our self interests and pitch in to restore the California dream or just let it continue slipping into the nightmare that it has become.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com



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