National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson continues his chronicling of the downfall of the once-Golden state in his latest piece, describing an odyssey across the state’s highways. Excerpt:
Walking to the car in San Francisco was an early morning obstacle course dotted with the occasional human feces and lots of trash. The streets looked like Troy after its sacking. Verbal and physical altercations among the homeless offered background. The sidewalks were sort of like the flotsam and jetsam in the caves of the Cyclopes, with who knows what the ingredients really were. Outbreaks of hepatitis and typhus are now common among the refuse of California’s major cities.
The rules of the road in downtown San Francisco can seem pre-civilizational: the more law-abiding driver is considered timid and someone to be taken advantage of—while the more reckless earns respect and right of way. Pedestrians have achieved the weird deterrent effect of so pouring out onto the street in such numbers that drivers not walkers seemed the more terrified.
The 101 freeway southbound was entirely blocked by traffic—sort of like the ancient doldrums where ships don’t move. About 20 percent of the cars in the carpool lane seemed to be cheating—and were determined not to let in any more of like kind. The problem with talking on the phone and texting while driving is not just cars, but also semi-trucks, whose drivers go over the white line and weave as they please on the theory that no one argues with 20 tons of freight.
How can this be the state of affairs in a state that is rich in natural resources, graced with gorgeous scenery and a salubrious climate?
How can this be the state of affairs in a state that hosts some of the most prosperous tech companies in the world, not to mention the heart of the motion picture industry?
How can this be the state of affairs in a state that has so joggled their election laws so as to virtually guarantee one-party rule, eliminating the need to make any accommodation to a pesky opposition party?
Maybe it has something to do with the party that has seized that unchecked power? The taxes, the winking at immigration status, the selective enforcement of statutes, the endless over-regulation of private property selectively enforced so that Central Valley farmers pay tens of thousands for minor infractions of obscure environmental regulations while Third-World-styled immigrant encampments are ignored?
All of that might have something to do with it. And what party was that again?