Opinion

A culture of downsizing – two Californias?

hamner

Andrew Hamner

From the March 13 New York Times: “Farmers Lead a Bid to Create Two Californias.” The idea to split the state comes, according to the article, from a group of people in its agricultural inland regions who feel that the “uninformed” coastal regions are attempting to dictate the state’s farming policy. Since the differences are so deep they deserve the title of “culture,” the solution proposed by the admittedly small group in question is to simply separate the two completely different cultures.

It warms the heart to see such devotion in this age of vacillation. If only more groups around the country were equally fervent in the protection of their rights! Rarely has anyone in this country displayed such an accurate understanding of the principles upon which the constitution was founded.

Too many fail to understand that at the top of the American pantheon sits one value so far above any other in importance that the mere mention of its name cannot fail to inspire awed weeping. Without recalcitrance the temporarily united states of America are, have been, and will be nothing.

Why is it that we enjoy the freedom we do? Is it due to some kind of beautiful philosophical tradition of intellectual freedom and respect for compromise? Or is it because a few folks 250 years ago decided that, darn it, they didn’t want their taxes raised?

Of course more issues lay behind the American Revolution, but the fact remains that one of the key catalysts of that conflict was the issue of just how much the colonists were going to pay in taxes. There was no obvious resolution to that conflict…besides an ever-increasing cycle of violence. The obvious resolution was the one chosen and, after several years of conflict, out popped the original colonies of the USA.

Out in California there’s a conflict brewing between the agricultural inland regions and the more heavily urbanized coast; the differences between the groups are deep, and the one group that feels put upon sees secession as the way out of the conflict. Those ideals that the groups should share are moot. Legislation is no way out of the conflict, is it? These individuals, after all, seem to want a quick solution to the problem. Legislation and compromise don’t offer that. Laws don’t offer that – except, of course, to their makers.

March 29, 2009

Reporters

Andrew Hamner

Opinion Columnist


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