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A Bushel of Plum GOP Ideas, if Only Dems Will Tune an Ear

California syndicated columnist Thomas Elias has witnessed the purpling of California.

Now the state is as blue as the Pacific Ocean, or as blue as a corpse, depending on the decisions our leaders make in Sacramento.

Whether the fate and future of the state and its fast dwindling people will stick around is another matter altogether.

The Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters described the “fishhook” that the California Republican Party relied on for decades in spite of the liberal hegemony of Los Angeles and San Francisco. This fishhook started in the Central Valley, wound through the Inland Empire, and continued into Orange and San Diego counties. The hook has been taken down, line and sinker.

Hispanics voters are turning to the left, and African-American voters, aside from the infrequent visit of Mitt Romney to South Los Angeles, never have met a Republican candidate for office. All seems lost, and Mr. Elias is convinced that Republicans are entrenched in their ideology, that they cannot shift to make sense to a liberalized, left-leaning electorate.

Mr. Elias is wrong. Like the first prophet Elijah, it’s time for him to jump on a fiery chariot and leave the political discussions to those who know and believe that better things are coming.

Why He Is Wrong

The second prophet Elisha brought grace and hope to an evil world. The second prophet brings dead men to life (like the GOP, despite Mr. Elias's cynicism); splits the Jordan River with the same mantle (the dividing of the Democratic Party over school reform and public sector unions); and sends the two she-bears to tear up the bratty kids (the legislators who do not serve their state or the voters).

This year, the Sacramento legislature is two-thirds blue, with a Democrat in every statewide office. I do not know whether Mr. Elias wants to bark with joy or meow with sorrow, but more Californians are grieving or leaving. What was the first proposal from this “empowered” legislature? An attempt to triple the car tax. Everybody yelled. Oregon residents pay one-fifth of our car tax. The license lasts for two years. No wonder so many Californians are leaving. Now Sacramento Democrats want to rescind Prop. 13 provisions for businesses. As if the state of California does not need to give more reasons to get rid of job creators and economic growth. Gov. Brown wants to reformulate the state tax dollars for education toward struggling schools. Giving bad schools more money does not make them better schools, but makes bureaucrats richer and less accountable.

If Sacramento wants to save money, they could start by stopping the tax hikes on everyone. That’s a Republican idea. Just because a majority of voters supported Prop. 30 in 2012 does not mean it was their first or their best choice. If leaders in the state capital were willing to put aside their political careers and care about the future of the state, they would make the necessary cuts and spend less of our tax dollars. That’s another Republican concept.

As for bad schools, a voucher program would allow parents to choose where they send their kids. Not once has a Democrat proposed freeing up parents to choose where they enroll their students. Just last years, “Students First" filed a lawsuit against the state of California, the state superintendent of schools, the governor, and John Deasy, the superintendent of LAUSD. Instead of going to court, let kids go to the school of their choice. That is a Republican idea.

More Capital Ideas

The prison population in this state will diminish slightly because the voters passed a revision of Three Strikes, a provision meant to incarcerate only violent repeat offenders. Less crime and less government is a Republican idea, not a Democratic one, since more often than not Democrats expand government and by extension expand corruption (Rod Blagojevich, anyone?)
How about decriminalizing controlled substances. Republican Ron Paul advanced this argument in 2012, and he got a lot of praise. Junior Sen. Rand Paul has pressed a similar notion, defederalization, which would empower the states as the primary enforcer of the drug laws,and permit the states to rescinding them, as Colorado and Washington have already done. On his final visit on “News Conference,” Republican Congressman David Dreier (R-San Dimas) made his last-minute, small “L” libertarian pledge that our nation, our state must rethink these draconian drug laws. They aid gang violence, they fund terrorists and drug cartels, they abet public corruption, yet drug abuse and death abide evermore with us. Portugal decriminalized, and the drug usage and crime rate plummeted. Imagine the dramatic reduction in crime, incarceration, and costly prison care-taking without these drug laws.

While Mr. Elias barks about a troubled California Republican Party, the Democratic Party will take all the blame for the next two years, since the Republicans will not be able to block any bills, whether good or bad. They can offer reasonable proposals, reach out to all voters, and then offer a vision of this state which rewards profit, punishes incompetence, and leaves everyone alone, including the dogs that quack.

Arthur Christopher Schaper is a writer and blogger on issues both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A lifelong resident of Southern California, he currently lives in Torrance. He may be contacted at, and at Also see

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