California matters, and not just because it's our biggest state. What happens there is, at some point, almost certain to happen where you live. Find a national trend that didn't begin in California. There may be some, but there aren't many. If you want to know the future, or if you want to prevent it, look west.
With that in mind, here's the bottom line: California is falling apart. Over the course of the last several decades, California has gone from one of the richest places in the world to the poorest state in our country. More than a third of its population hovers around the poverty line. Even before COVID, more than four million Californians were collecting food stamps. More than 150,000 people in California are homeless. They're living on the streets, in parks, under overpasses, in tents on the sidewalk.
This is a human tragedy caused by the selfishness and the stupidity of bad leaders and their bad policies. If these leaders were judged by their performance, no big-city politician in the state of California would have a job. They know that, so they're working hard to make certain that they're not judged by rational standards. Instead, they inflame racial wounds to try to keep the population distracted and divided, to keep the attention away from them and their failures.
Here's shamefully incompetent Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in June:
GARCETTI: When I talked about killers, I said our collective burden here in this society is that we let black men and women die ... I pointed at myself. We collectively have a choice of whether we'll be those who heal or whether we'll continue being the killers.
It turns out there are killers in Garcetti's city, but they're not collective. They're individuals, they're criminals, and there are a lot of them.
Under Eric Garcetti, crime in Los Angeles has skyrocketed and many innocent people have died as a result of that. But he's not mourning them. He's not giving speeches in their memory or apologizing for the policies he supported that led to their deaths. Neither, by the way, is the city's new head prosecutor, George Gascón. He's announced he will be using the pretext of COVID to release still more criminals into the city of Los Angeles.
"The plan that we do have is, we're working to expeditiously release as many people as we can, especially those that have been proven to be at high risk, vulnerable people and obviously people that are not a threat to society," Gascón told MSNBC last week. "So we are going to try to remove as many people from that confinement ... Justice is really about public health and keeping our community safe."
Got that? Justice is not punishing the guilty, keeping the dangerous away from your children, or enforcing laws. No, justice is making certain that criminals get critical government services before you do or your parents do.
That attitude distills the emerging politics of California, politics that you should be deeply afraid of, because when they come to your town, they'll wreck your life. If we were to put it in one sentence, it's this: Those who contribute the least get the most. But don't you dare complain about it. Shut up and hate yourself in silence, that's an order.
Meanwhile, California's elected leaders divide the spoils. That's their job, taking what other people built and giving it to themselves and to their supporters. As is now official policy in the state, they do this in the most divisive, immoral way possible: Along lines of color.
Observe the controversy over Gov. Gavin Newsom's choice to replace Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate. Here's Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., explaining what kind of person Newsom should pick.
WATERS, DEC. 12: He has a decision that he has to make, and I think that it will be a Black woman. I think he understands that. You know, when Kamala Harris leaves the Senate, that's only one Black woman who was serving. And certainly it would be, you know, kind of, you know, unfair not to have at least another Black woman replace her.
This really is the high point of stupidity in this country's history. Who cares what color or gender your senators are? You want good government. You want wise, competent people in charge. But that's not what you're getting, because those aren't the criteria. In the end, Newsom appointed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Harris. When he did, no one debated whether Padilla might be a good senator, whether he might improve the schools or lower the cost of housing or bring jobs back. Instead, they argued about his race.
Here's San Francisco Mayor London Breed, an utter buffoon most famous for defying her own lockdown orders in order to dine at The French Laundry in Napa, explaining that Padilla is a bad choice because he's the wrong color.
BREED: When you think about the history of this country and the challenges that exist for African-Americans, especially African-American women in the Senate, definitely this is a real blow to the African-American community, to African-American women, to women in general. It was definitely a surprise and it's an unfortunate situation as we are trying to move this country forward and making sure that Black lives truly matter.
First of all, Breed's record as a mayor is so terrible that she's disqualified herself from any comment on goverment for the rest of her life. Second, thinking this way is poison, and anyone who lets remarks like this pass without standing up and saying, "Wait a second, color and gender are irrevlevant to good government and we're not putting up with this garbage anymore" is complicit in the destruction of this country.
Again, California, is an actual place inhabited by 40 million people. It's our most beautiful and most economically important state. The electrical grid is failing. The power flickers on and off like a Third World country. The state's forests are so mismanaged they keep catching fire and burning uncontrollably. That's not climate change, that's bad management. Women can't jog in public parks for fear of being attacked by the mentally ill homeless. For the privilege of all of this, California residents pay the highest, the most burdensome taxes in the country.
No one in power is paying any attention because they're debating the color of the new senator. So what's happening? You know the answer: People who can leave are doing so.
California's largest export used to be advanced aerospace products. That and Hollywood movies were the economy of Southern California. Now, the state's main export is population. More than 40% of Bay Area residents tell pollsters they want to leave, and that's one of the happiest places in the state. It's no wonder the average rent price on a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco fell 20% in the last year. Why is that? Because no one wants to live there.
The most recent estimates show that California lost more than 135,000 people in the last year. Among those people, by the way, is Kamala Harris. She's in Washington now, and she's bringing California-style governance to the rest of us. You should pay attention to that.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening monologue on the Dec. 23, 2020 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."