Opinion » Shredder

Sayonara 'Merica?

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The rest of America may think of California as its flaky weirdo uncle, the long-haired, granola-eating wacko-bird with the tinfoil hat and the perpetual cocoa-butter tan who's constantly super stoned and only eats free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free eggs topped with small-batch artisanal yak cheese and hand-grown herbs tilled in a sacred corner of our personal Zen gardens, but actually we’re just like Texas. Y’all don’t mess with us, ya hear?

Seriously! May I direct your attention to Yes California, a secessionist group circulating a petition to place a measure on the 2018 ballot to make California an independent nation? Hell, just last June California surged to the sixth largest economy in the world! Take that France! Suck it, Brazil! We rule!

If Yes California manages to get the more than half million signatures needed to get on the ballot, and if voters approve the measure, it would trigger a special election in March 2019 to ask voters again if they want to secede. More than half the state’s registered voters would have to participate in the election and 55 percent must vote “yes” for the secession to move forward, and then the California governor (now the Cali President, I guess) would go to the United Nations and ask if the Nation of California could pretty please join, and … oh hell! What in the actual fuck are these idiots talking about? 

Hey Yes California, have you heard of the Civil War? Remember the 620,000 Americans who killed each other in that war? That’s more Americans than died in World Wars I and II, Vietnam, and Korea. Take a deep breath and pull your heads out of your collective asses.

Look, I get it. You’re pissed that Orange Mussolini won the election. Tough shit! Suck it up! You lost. Don’t be the baby that takes its ball and leaves. Yes, Middle America doesn’t “get” you any more than you “get” how they could elect a bloviating egomaniac real estate developer with zero governing experience who was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, makes fun of people with disabilities, insults women and minorities, and boasts about his penis size. 

“My fingers are long and beautiful, as—it has been well-documented—are various other parts of my body (wink-wink).”

So presidential, amirite? 

We’re at a real crossroads in America, but instead of trying to figure out how to jettison the parts of the country that don’t agree with us, California needs to continue to lead the way! Our economy is better than the rest of the country thanks to the leadership of Gov. Jerry Brown, thanks to liberal policies, and thanks to a culture that has been tolerant of divergent views. Hug a Muslim! Go on! Do it! They don’t bite.

We’ve ignored the rest of the nation, living in our Elitist West Coast Bubble. Now it’s time to look inward to the parts of our country that are hurting, the parts that feel left behind, the parts that look at Washington, D.C., and see—rightfully so—a system that doesn’t work for them, doesn’t care about them, and doesn’t understand their pain.

Without a true alternative like Bernie Sanders, Middle America voted to blow up the system. How long will it take those disenfranchised Americans to discover that President-elect Donald J. Trump isn’t going to make America great again? The political pendulum swings both ways. I suspect by the time Yes California gets their referendum on the ballot, progressivism will be back in fashion and Californians and our wacko-bird ways will seems coolio again.

Heck, things seem to be swinging in a progressive direction in the current local election at this very moment. Last week I pointed out that challenger Heidi Harmon was closing in on SLO City Mayor Jan Marx. It was Marx at 51.13 percent and Harmon at 48.48 percent. There were about 4,000 ballots left to count. This week it’s Marx at 50.22 percent and Harmon at 49.13 percent. As of press time, there were 2,508 votes left to count.

If the ballots continue the pattern, Harmon will be San Luis Obispo’s next mayor! Which raises the question, what the hell is wrong with local media, which basically pronounced Marx the winner? Is this our own Dewey defeats Truman moment?

Of course, just to keep it all in perspective, it isn’t that progressive around here, at least not down in Arroyo Grande where Police Chief Steven Annibali is getting to decide who’s allowed to operate a mobile medical marijuana delivery business. The 20-page application Annibali will approve or disapprove contains a “good moral character” clause. Hmm. If somebody wants to open a pharmacy, do they have to prove they’re of good moral character?

Local law enforcement and municipalities need to get their heads around the fact that Proposition 64 passed and recreational marijuana is legal for those 21 and older. If they’re having this much trouble dealing with medical marijuana, what are they going to do about recreational? Local cities are already drafting rules to limit the new state law, which brings me back to Yes California. Just because you don’t like the outcome, don’t be a whiny baby. The voters decided to allow recreational marijuana use, and you don’t like it. Tough luck! Don’t try to go around the spirit of the law. Trump will be president. Californians will get high. It’s not a perfect world, but it’s the world we live in. 

The Shredder draws the line at Sieg Heiling the orange führer. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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