By Senator Mike Morrell
In meeting with various groups throughout the state, I am often asked if there is still hope for California. I have had my doubts with all of the challenges and problems we face, but I am confident that the answer is “yes.”
It is said that “as California goes, so goes the nation.” With almost 40 million people and as the world’s sixth largest economy, our state is too important to lose.
As citizens committed to limiting government’s power, we are drawing a line in the sand and setting a course to take it back.
I have four reasons to believe that there is hope for California.
First, 40 years of one-party rule in Sacramento has reached a tipping point. They have overstepped their bounds, and voters are becoming more aware of the negative effects. The majority party has recklessly pursued an agenda of progressive/socialistic policies that expand the bureaucratic state and affect us economically, politically, and spiritually.
On their watch, education rankings have dropped to 44th in the country. California has at least 34 percent of the entire nation’s welfare caseload.
We have the highest state sales tax and now among the highest gas and car taxes. These hikes hit areas like the High Desert and the Inland Empire hardest, where driving is the primary means of transportation.
For over a decade, surveys of 500 CEOs around America have rated California the worst place to do business. During the same period, we have seen a net loss of one million residents.
Perhaps the most egregious is what is happening to public safety. Laws created by the governor and Democratic legislators to release at least 40,000 convicted felons into our neighborhoods have put our loved ones in harm’s way. Recently, a judge has ruled that another 10,000 sex offenders should be eligible for early parole.
These policies have failed, and Californians are increasingly seeing these facts.
Secondly, while many of my friends across the aisle refuse to acknowledge this reality, others notice the writing on the wall. That is why their default is to argue through politically correct speech. They know they have lost the debate, so their go-to plan is to blame and accuse, demonstrating their weakness.
In contrast, Republicans have practical and substantive answers. We believe in limiting government’s power and letting Americans keep more of their money to invest in their families, churches, and charities. We recognize that citizens rank above the state and that politicians and bureaucrats work for us. They are public servants, not masters.
Third, and more importantly, we have seen throughout history that America’s morality and religion are indispensable supports for our nation’s peace and prosperity, a point made by Alexis de Tocqueville, nineteenth-century author of Democracy in America.
For me, his observation has rung true in recent months as I have spoken to nearly 600 pastors, whose influence reaches over two million people. They are serious about taking back our state – I have not seen this kind of engagement before now and it is encouraging.
It is a revival of the rich spiritual heritage of our state, which is my fourth reason to believe there is hope for California. Consider the planting of 21 missions, a ministry begun by Father Junipero Serra. Furthermore, World Vision, Focus on the Family, Cru, and the Azusa Street Revival were all started here, and in our very own San Bernardino Mountains, a young Billy Graham made a world-changing decision to preach the Gospel.
For these and other reasons, though we live in difficult times, I do not believe Providence has written California off.
However, as the Declaration of Independence reminds us, we are governed by consent – a government of, by, and for the people. It is our responsibility to plant the flag and reclaim our state.
We will only make headway in this cause when those who have a vested interest in preserving our religious, political, and economic freedom, such as people of faith and business owners, take a stand.
In 1941 the University of Rochester awarded Winston Churchill with an honorary degree. He delivered acceptance remarks broadcast from London and spoke on the realities facing the world in the lead up to the entrance of the United States into World War II:
“We are sure that the character of human society will be shaped by the resolves we take and the deeds we do. We need not bewail the fact that we have been called upon to face such solemn responsibilities. We may be proud, and even rejoice amid our tribulations, that we have been born at this cardinal time for so great an age and so splendid an opportunity of service here below.”
Though the circumstances are different, Churchill’s words are a fitting description of our time and age. With your help – and the resolve of millions of other Californians – I have faith that we will overcome the challenges we confront.
State Senator Mike Morrell represents the 23rd Senate District in the California State Legislature, which includes portions of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties.