Red Pills Are Falling Down All Over the Golden State

California may not have had a lot of rain again this winter, but there are other kinds of heavy weather. An atmospheric river of red pills has collided with the Golden State, and by the millions, Californians are realizing how deeply deluded they have been about the condition of their state.

The first signs of enlightenment came when an intrepid band of dissidents tried yet again to gather enough signatures to force a recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom. With no money, and four failed attempts already on record, nobody expected the fifth effort to succeed. But a year later, this volunteer army of several thousand Californians gathered nearly 2.2 million signed petitions. In early May, California’s secretary of state will almost certainly announce certification of the signatures. And later this year, California’s feckless governor will be fighting for his political life.

Recalls are contagious. Inspired by the Newsom recall, efforts are now underway to force recall elections in San Francisco and Los Angeles County, targeting the District Attorneys in those cities. Elected with money from leftist billionaires, money that was primarily directed into smear campaigns against their opponents, these two crime-friendly idiots, George Gascón in Los Angeles and Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, are very likely going to have to defend their records in special elections in early 2022.

The Heart of the Beast

These are not small victories. California isn’t some remote appendage to the Matrix. California is the Matrix, its beating heart. But under the weight of years of abuse, its inhabitants are pulling the plugs and crawling out of their cocoons. The landscape they’re finally seeing with clear eyes is terrifying.

This isn’t merely about Gavin Newsom having a maskless meal with his well-heeled cronies at one of the most expensive restaurants in the world. It isn’t just about Newsom’s shameful handling of the COVID-19 crisis, or even about his worst transgression—the epic failure of leadership that was his locking down of schools for over a year just to appease the teachers’ union. These are just the precipitating events. Horrendous as they were, they merely served as the alarm bell to far more pernicious realities.

Wide awake Californians view a state that once was beautiful and now is ugly. They recognize the slide has been years in the making. Public schools fail the students who are most desperately in need of a good education. The education bureaucracy has decided to abandon standardized achievement tests and cease enforcing school discipline, neglecting its duty to present immutable standards to students in order to prepare them for life.

Californians see a state where all the bureaucrats, along with corporate titans of staggering wealth, have decided that cramming everyone into densely populated cities—COVID or the next pandemic be damned—is necessary to prevent “climate change.” 

Finally, they’re seeing the fraudulent essence of this con. A deliberately created housing shortage and voilà, higher property tax revenue, and better returns for wealthy real estate investors. Ditto for water and energy. Cram it all down in the name of being “green,” and let the “renewables” manufacturers make a killing selling surveillance gadgets into every appliance to “help manage” consumption. Meanwhile, the corrupt public utilities, with earnings capped at a percentage of costs, watch profits soar on the exploding cost for renewables.

Perennial forest fires were another wake-up call, and here as well, a red pill moment is at hand for Californians. All Californians have to do is let the timber companies go back to work, thinning the overgrown forests, to restore a balance to nature. But what do the politicians do? Cope with the latest super fires by announcing that by 2035, only electric cars can be sold in California. Because that will somehow stop the next round of fires this summer.

But it’s the life on the streets of California’s cities that has most made the residents pick up one of those red pills and drink it down. California has decriminalized crime, all but legalized hard drugs, and built shelters and services for the “unhoused” along the urban beaches of Los Angeles County. As a result, and this is not hyperbole, murderers are getting out of prison in the heartland and migrating to the California coast because methamphetamine is cheap and abundant and nobody cares if you use it all the time, or pay for it with stolen goods.

Reaching the Breaking Point

But the nutty, dangerous, debauched, deteriorating cities of California have finally reached the breaking point, thanks to yet another node of resistance that came out of nowhere and shocked the placid, slimy, sanctimonious, do-nothing establishment to its core. 

On Tuesday, ruling on a lawsuit filed by fed-up Angelenos against the city of Los Angeles, Judge David Carter ordered officials to “move forward with immediate action to house the unhoused and to return to clean and safe sidewalks in the city and county.” The judge also “demanded financial accountability into the billions of dollars that are supposed to be used to house the unhoused (who actually aren’t being housed).”

This is a day that Californians may very well look back upon and say that was when the tide turned.

Another surprise victory came out of Sacramento on Tuesday. Some of the most corrupt legislators in America withdrew a bill that would have made the names of people who sign recall petitions public information. Justified as necessary to allow people a “meaningful opportunity” to rescind their signature in support of a recall, the bill was sailing through the state legislature until the sponsors realized they were going too far.

California has often led the way in America—culturally, technologically, politically. To remain charitably objective, that leadership has been a mixed blessing. But whatever society of the future California was headed towards before these events of 2021, at least one thing appears to have recently changed—the plane is no longer on autopilot, and the passengers are getting restless.

About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness and co-founder in 2013 of the California Policy Center.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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