Judd Gregg: The Kamala threat — the Californiaization of America

Much of what sets the tone in American culture has come from the west to the east.

Hollywood for decades has enamored the American psyche. Electric cars, the Beach Boys, Napa wines — the list of things California has injected into our nation’s way of life is impressive and pervasive.

Now something else is coming our way from California.


It is governance by an elitist class that puts political correctness on steroids and holds a deep antipathy to the historical drivers of America’s prosperity and liberty.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden, Harris push big lie about Border Patrol Two 'View' hosts test positive for coronavirus ahead of Harris interview Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report MORE (D-Calif.) is probably a nice person.

As a vice-presidential candidate, a role that requires her to be the responder-in-chief to the inanities put forth by President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE, she has been formidable.

She has taken a tone of modulated disbelief and correction rather than the shrillness favored by other Trump critics such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn defense of share buybacks Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo In Washington, the road almost never taken MORE (D-Mass.).

It is an approach that bolsters her credibility. It is made all the more effective by the contrast it poses to the president’s bombastic style.

That said, however, she is also the product and adherent of the California political cult of leftist governance that has subsumed that state like an ideological virus.

Think about what Harris and her colleagues in charge of California have wrought.

Begin with rolling blackouts — something usually only seen in developing countries.

These blackouts have darkened ordinary daily routines and handicapped the ability of businesses, especially small businesses, to function.

They are a direct result of governance that is subservient to a culture of political correctness regarding energy production.

This mindset puts ‘feel good’ politics ahead of the real-world needs of those who cannot afford its excesses.

Ironically, California actually has the resources to produce more than enough gas to light the entire west coast without any self-imposed darkness.

This is not an acceptable approach to Harris’s crowd, however.

Alternative energy sources like wind and solar do make sense, but not if they are promoted as the sole acceptable form of energy production. This kind of dogmatism retards an entire society, and turns out the lights in the process.

It is a recipe for economic stagnation and dislocation.

The effects are fairly obvious, even if they must be seen in the dark.

Harris’s crowd wishes to govern America. A California rolling darkness will fall on us all.

The politically correct culture is also seeking to seize the California elementary and secondary school system.

This is an extreme ideological agenda.

The core of the curriculum would teach students a deep dislike of American’s traditional history, and of the ideas that have created this extraordinary nation.

The educational indoctrination that is being proposed for California’s public schools is built on the “new possibilities for post-imperial life that promotes collective narratives of transformative resistance,” according to the website of the state’s department of education.

These courses appear to have been developed by legatees of the 1960s radical left who hang out in the corners of California’s elite “educational” societies.

The underlying theme is that we are a fundamentally evil nation, whose historic leaders like Washington, Jefferson and Jackson must be expunged from memory.

This approach can best be characterized as an intellectual sickness. But it is a sickness, which the California elite intends to spread across the nation.

It is something we can all do without. But we will most likely be subjected to it if Kamala’s people have their way with our nation’s educational agenda.

Raising taxes is of course a primal cause of the left.

We have a society where almost all income tax revenues come from high-income people. The top 20 percent of earners pay 87 percent of the income taxes; the top five per percent pay about 60 percent of the income taxes.

This is not enough for our liberal colleagues.

The tax plan proposed by Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Pressure grows to cut diplomatic red tape for Afghans left behind President Biden is making the world a more dangerous place MORE in effect doubles capital gains tax for high earners, and takes the overall tax burden for those folks up to over 42 percent.

But for Harris’s California government types, this is also not enough.

Biden is a piker by California standards.

The California legislature has proposed that, on top of the federal income tax burden, there should be added an additional 16 percent tax on high income earners.

This would make the general tax burden on productive people stratospheric.

It would mean that almost 60 percent of all income would go to the government.

These massive tax increases would allow the people who run the government to redistribute it to the folks who elect them, or to support the patronage of the folks who work for them.

It is not likely that Californians will stop at their state’s border in their quest to fleece the few to elect themselves.


Harris and her people will bring their ideas, on taxes and everything else, to Washington with great gusto.

This is accurately described as socialism.

It is a value system built on the theme of beggar thy neighbor.

It subscribes to the philosophy that productivity and entrepreneurship can be managed better by those who govern than by those who work in a market economy and take risks.

These Californian leftists ignore the natural laws of economic expansion, which require that people who work, build businesses and create jobs should enjoy reasonable financial returns.

The left’s excesses suffocate the energies that generate economic expansion by limiting the returns on that effort.

The socialism of the Californian governing class is not an idea whose time has come.

Socialism reduces the standard of living of all societies that have pursued it.

Delivering this Californian gift to the rest of the nation will deliver the rest of us to a country with less opportunity.

California does have much to offer.

Its politics as practiced by the Kamala cabal is, however, not among those things.

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.