By Roger L. Simon for the Epoch Times

I don’t agree with everything the journalist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) said or did, but he certainly was a fount of brilliant quotes.

One I particularly like is “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

Another, that I have referred to before, is “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.”

Put those two together and you have the essence of what we might call “California Leftism.” It’s actually the essence of leftism everywhere, but it seems to have reached the apotheosis of hypocrisy in our Golden State, although Washington state and Oregon are giving it a run for its, well, money.

RELATED: California ‘Leads The Way’ With 500 Page Report Recommending Reparations For Slavery

Not even Lenin or Mao could have dreamed about having the staggering wealth and global power accrued by Mark Zuckerberg or the boys at Alphabet or even the somewhat less scandalous level swept up by the Pelosi–Newsom clan. The latter were able to escape any serious opprobrium for going maskless at the most expensive restaurants in America, while the peasantry had useless napkins plastered on their faces for the better part of two years, making their children invisible to each other and sometimes even to their parents.

And then, of course, there is Sen. Dianne Feinstein—she of the Chinese spy driver for decades. One has to wonder how she could have been so clueless when she and her recently deceased husband (February) had close ties to China, including intimate dinners with Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping in (where else?) The Forbidden City.

Discussion of the consequent enrichment of the Feinstein clan through the husband’s lucrative deals with the world’s most populous totalitarianism are are barely touched upon in California media.

Left-wing Hollywood, despite all its tedious “woke” pronouncements, may be the biggest profiteer of all California industries from communist China. The hypocrisy of this alliance is mind-blowing. Domestically, Disney has gone so all in for LGBTQIAPK, they might as well substitute RuPaul for Snow White and all seven dwarfs at once.

But you wouldn’t know it at their Chinese amusement parks, where they easily could have installed a sign at the gates of Disney Shanghai—“Abandon ‘Woke’ All Ye Who Enter Here.”

As Mencken said, “It’s about the money.”

But “California Leftism—why not go whole hog and call it by what it really is, “California Communism”—goes further than that. It has infected the brain of practically everyone in the state except that ruling class, a decidedly small group of plutocrats in a nation-state of nearly 40 million.

Everyone I know who remains in California that I have spoken with, right or left, appears to be depressed on some level, even if they don’t admit it, especially if they don’t admit it.

RELATED: California Town Could Create Program For Free Monthly Income To Transgender Residents

Maybe that’s just my view. Maybe I’m prejudiced because I left four years ago, but I don’t think so. They are either telling themselves that things will get better, wondering if they should leave or blaming themselves for not. Others are, of course, trapped by circumstances beyond their control. At least they think they are.

The rich of the Bay Area no longer live in San Francisco but hide out in second homes (now becoming first homes) in Napa and Sonoma, hoping that someday the worst will be over. The movie community always had Malibu. Not too many homeless there. Defecating on the Pacific Coast Highway would be too dangerous.

Yes, there are some inklings of change. Chesa Boudin was ousted as district attorney in San Francisco. “Top Gun: Maverick” is a box office smash, lending credence to the notion that the audience (remember them?) actually likes patriotic movies.

But if you read the recent article by Michael Shellenberger—“Californians are starting to reject progressive policies—but not fast enough”—you find there is not that much cause for optimism, despite repeated attempts by Shellenberger, a conservative media favorite although a Democrat, to make even relatively small change or find some compromise.

He has been rejected badly in all his tries for the governorship, surprisingly badly actually.

Forget compromise. Progressive politics are a habit for many Californians more difficult to break than smoking and even more destructive, if that’s possible.

When did this habit begin in what was once Reagan country? What turned the world’s most gorgeous real estate with the best weather on the planet into a hellhole?

Who’s to blame for this?


RELATED: California Sent Pandemic Food Stamps To Rich People

Well, not me entirely. Me and my cohort. I was part of that generation that came to California in the 1960s and ’70s because we thought it was the land of the future, where we could live out our hopes and dreams. We fought “the man.” We reveled in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. We thought we were cool. There were no strictures. We followed Timothy Leary’s admonition to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

Or we pretended to, which was more often the case. It was all basically a game, based on a supposed hipness that was actually no more than generational conformity.

And somewhere along the way, we forgot the Ten Commandments.

Meanwhile, we also had children.

They imitated us and added on, with the results we all know now.

Sometimes, when I remember California when it was great, I have nostalgia for smog.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Read this Next on

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.