My infatuation with California is barely eclipsed by my love of the United States of America.
And my infatuation is pretty intense.
I’ve known for a long time that I could make less money and live higher on the proverbial hog in at least 40 other states if not more. California has a high cost of living, enough red tape to go from here to Alpha Centauri and back 30 or so times, the Sacramento Kings, and 39 million people. It is such a deep blue that if you’re red at times it can seem as if you’re turning purple from the political suffocation.
It is why it is more than amusing to here rumblings from those that didn’t like the top of the ticket results in last week’s national election to threaten to head up north to the land that gave birth to the Keystone Pipeline or breakaway from the rest of the USA much like a 6-year-old throwing a temper tantrum might do when they don’t get their way.
Listening to people in California yell — not sing — the blues non-stop since Fly over America went red last Tuesday from state houses and legislatures to Congress and the White House is a riot.
Take a look around. If anyone should be singing the blues in California it’s the reds.
All state constitutional officers are blue, the legislature is true blue and the biggest wave of blue in Congress is from California.
So take some cliché California advice, dudes: Chill out.
What makes California great in a bizarre way is the fact we do seem to be out of synch with much of the country most of the time. California not too long ago bled red while almost everywhere else was true blue. Even many Democrats seemed to be more red at times than many state Republicans are today hence the term “Blue Dog Democrats.”
To set fires in Oakland and to keep walking out of classes to repeatedly emphasize you don’t like the national election results kind of paints those that do such things exactly what they are being accused of by some — sore losers that believe their views are the only right ones.
They think being part of the United States right now is a royal pain.
But before they go too far down that road they need to remember purple is the supposed color of royalty.
What we have in California would not be possible without two things: The collective strength of the United States and the never-ending battle between red and blue.
First, the collective strength. Uncle Sam has saved our bacon as a state and helped launch economic waves over the years here in the Golden State virtually unmatched anywhere else on the planet. Think the transcontinental railroad, the Central Valley Water Project, the military base build up after World War II, and the aerospace industry to name a few. It was Congress and not Sacramento that moved to protect Yosemite and large swaths of nature. The fact Uncle Sam holds key water assets not to mention ownership of 47.7 percent of California’s land mass makes any talk of succession pure folly. But then again, we might be able to cut a deal with the USA to provide the bulk of our military protection like Japan and much of Europe has done.
Second — and most important — is the collaboration of red and blue ideas that aren’t the same as pure Democrat and Republican politics.
What we really are in California is a deep purple, the intermediate color between red and blue.
It has created a unique economy, an electric mixture of cultures and ideas, and has established arguably one of the most tolerant places on earth. We worship the environment as much as we do the right to be different. There is no doubt at times that streaks of blue — and red — over the years have threatened everything from harmony to overkill both ways on the environment.
But in the end California is really purple.
It’s been said that purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. That pretty much describes the Golden State: Stable but filled with seemingly untamable energy.
Purple is also said to reflect luxury, power, ambition, and nobility. Those four concepts capture much of the restless California spirit.
Over the years purple has also been connected with wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic. Those have all blended magnificently since 1849 to power the California Dream.
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. At the same time the journey ahead of us is fraught with pitfalls and challenges.
The sharing and further refinement of the California Dream won’t happen if we slip into our own version of nationalism, whine incessantly or threaten to pick up our marbles and go elsewhere.
The forces of blue and red working together created the attributes of California that has served as a siren song to lure both visionaries and dreamers from around the world to the 100,206,720 acres we call home.
If the Great Depression, world wars, and massive earthquakes can’t topple the California Dream, then how can one election?
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209.249.3519.