I am writing this column upon returning home to California after five days in Florida. For the first time since my first trip to Los Angeles in 1974 and moving there two years later, I dreaded going to California.
That first trip, as a 25-year-old New Yorker, I experienced the palpable excitement looking at the American Airlines flight board at JFK airport and seeing “Los Angeles.” For most Americans, the very name “California” elicited excitement, wonder, even envy of Californians, and most of all … freedom. While America always represented freedom, within America, California exemplified freedom most of all.
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Yet, here I am, sitting in a state where corruption reigns (one of the leading Democrats of the last half-century told me years ago that politicians in California are window dressing; the real power in California is wielded by unions) and where, for nine months, normal life has been shut down, schools have been closed and small businesses have been destroyed in unprecedented numbers.
During these last five days in Florida, a state governed by the pro-freedom party, I went anywhere I wanted. First and foremost, I could eat both inside and outside restaurants. At one of them, when I stood up to take photos of people dining, a patron who recognized me walked over and said, “I assume you’re just taking pictures of people eating in a restaurant.” That’s exactly what I was doing. I even took my two grandchildren to a bowling alley, which was filled with people enjoying themselves playing myriad arcade games as well as bowling.
None of that is allowed almost anywhere in California. It is becoming a police state, rooted in deception and irrationality.
Restaurants have been shut down (except for takeout orders), even for outdoor dining, for no scientific reason. After ordering Los Angeles county restaurants closed, the health authorities of Los Angeles county acknowledged in court that they had no evidence that outdoor dining was dangerous; they ordered restaurants closed, even to outdoor dining, solely in order to keep people home.
The left’s claim to “follow the science” is a lie. The left does not follow science; it follows scientists it agrees with and dismisses all other scientists as “anti-science.”
Science does not say that eating inside a restaurant at least six feet from other diners, let alone outside a restaurant, is potentially fatal, but eating inside an airplane inches from strangers is safe.
Science does not say mass protests during a pandemic (when people are constantly told to social distance) are a health benefit, but left-wing scientists say they are — when directed against racism. In June, Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, tweeted: “In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.” She cited the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden: “The threat to Covid control from protesting outside is tiny compared to the threat to Covid control created when governments act in ways that lose community trust. People can protest peacefully AND work together to stop Covid. Violence harms public health.”
Even The New York Times, in July, acknowledged the double standard: “Public health experts decried the anti-lockdown protests as dangerous gatherings in a pandemic. Health experts seem less comfortable doing so now that the marches are against racism.”
Science does not say, “Men give birth” or, “Men menstruate.” But the left routinely argues that “science says” such things and that “science says” there are more than two sexes, many more.
The last time I felt I was leaving a free society and entering an unfree one was when I visited the communist countries of Eastern Europe. As a graduate student majoring in communism, during the Cold War, I would travel through the countries known as Soviet satellites: Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. In the middle of my trips, I would stop in Austria to breathe free air.
Never did I imagine I would ever experience anything analogous in America, the Land of the Free, the land of the Statue of Liberty and of the Liberty Bell. But I did yesterday, when leaving Florida and returning to California.
There is no question that America is becoming, if it hasn’t already become, two countries: one that values liberty, from small businesses being allowed to operate to people being allowed to say what they believe, and one that has contempt for liberty, from eating in restaurants to free speech.
I am asked almost daily by friends around the country and by callers to my national radio show whether I intend to stay in California. Were it not for all the close friends who live here and the synagogue I and a few friends founded, the answer would be no. But at a given point, I am sure that I will leave this Soviet satellite for a free state. The bigger and far more important question is: How long will the Soviet states of America and the free states of America remain the United States of America?
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.
Dennis, Great commentary! You hit the nail on the head. Much of the United States is now communist.
For California to STOP being a communist state, the people there must vote Republican and NEVER VOTE for a communist demoncrat again!!
TILL they oust all the commies ALREADY THERE< especially in the entire schooling system, from K to college, it won't matter.
Therein lies the problem. Too many socialists now live there and enjoy all the freebees given by the socialist democrat house, senate and governor. Those who can are moving out and taking their money with them and those moving are also the ones working. Now the legislature is proposing to TAX anyone on their earnings when they move out of state or if they visit the state for more than 60 days. Ca., like N.Y. is hemorrhaging people and will definitely be losing as least one congressional seat AND one vote in the Electoral College!
What makes you believe any election is fair or can be trusted? I never thought I’d say this but everything in this country appears to be rigged. Starting with the propaganda press often called the mainstream media, the education system, the judges, the IRS, FBI, CIA these people are owned lock stock and barrel by the Chinese Communists and international corporate fascists.
Not when you consider they keep ADDING IN all the illegal aliens..
And don’t forget the Saints. direct link to government control. Make them loose.
I was born and raised in CA. Now I am selling my real estate and getting out. AND I CAN”T WAIT!!!
What needs to be done to turn around California and any other state away from this liberal nonsense we see happening? Do we have to have a Civil War?
Ca is getting the government that it wants. Look at the re-election of crazies like maxine stagnated waters, feinstein, schiff, pelosi, etc. Maybe only the black people turn out heavily to vote. The state is very “blue” ! Seems that the majority want leftist democrats. Did not camel hairs get elected? willie brown’s condom? The black run cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, etc., seem to be dominated by elected officials who are virtue-less. Why? Color is the first specification. Must be black. Virtue seems to be the last thing on specifications. just write “rev” in front of the name and a black is guaranteed success.
HENCE why i have not one iota of sympathy for those there… THEY GET the govt they voted for, and deserve.
I live in California and I can tell you that there are lots of conservative voters like me in this state! That is one reason we flipped 4 House seats in November. The problem is L.A., San Francisco and San Diego are so heavily populated with Democrats that they out-vote Republicans!. Plus I truly believe there is wide-spread voter fraud here too. Don’t throw us all away, please!
Question; I can’t figure out. Why does the overwhelming majority of the African-American community turn out to vote for low-IQ, corrupt, lying white Democrat politicians. What’s in it for them? Are they that gullible? or has the Democrat machine stolen their votes all these years? Has anyone ever looked into this strange phenomenon? I know a lot of smart independent Black Americans that don’t think the Democrats are doing them any favors. Isn’t Mad MAXine Waters and Sheila Jackson Lee about the stupidest morons the Democrats could dig up. I ask you. Do the Republicans ever run anyone that corrupt and stupid? Another double standard the MEDIA over looks.
Unfortunately, YES it appears a lot ARE that gullible.
Yes, we are having an undeclared civil war right now.. Haven’t you noticed the government has been at war with the taxpayers for at least 12 years if not longer. These career bureaucrats see the American taxpayer as a cow they can milk and one big pig to feast on. They spend money on everything except what’s good for the country. California, Oregon and Washington along with New York by encouraging sanctuary cities and illegal immigration have in effect seceded from the USA. And the Judges let them get away with it.
I thank God, that I live in Florida, which is like Dennis described it. When I go out of the house I do wear a mask and most public places do ask you to wear one. I CAN go to a restaurant and eat either inside, or outside. They do have social distancing, so people are not that close to each other, and many restaurants have tables, separated by a plastic sheet. Florida DOES want to keep people safe, but they are NOT like the Soviet Union or the Gestapo like California is !
Give them time. I AM sure all the rejects from CA and NY who have fled to florida, are working their evils, to turn that state into just another ruined liberal cesspool..
I hope not…but they are here. Hopefully, just for a vacation.
You are correct. Most of The American people are independent and smart people. They are not children to be scolded and talked down too, As free citizens, each individual needs to be allowed to determine their own destiny, their own degree of risk and who and when they associate with. If the risk is too high please stay home and quite being a nag. If you want work or go out dinner it should be up to you to decide. Buyer beware. Life has no guarantee of safety of out come. Life itself is a **** shoot. If schools and teachers are essential (which they are) they should be teaching or children every day. Life and livings does not and can not take a holiday. if the risk is too much they need to resign and take their chances like everyone else. Quit throwing the baby out with the bath water and quit punishing everyone .
Those words, “Being independent and smart”, or “free citizens” are CURSE words to liberals..
Keep your fingers crossed. The Cancer that is the Democrat party has a way of spreading into every nook and cranny. The bloated federal bureaucracy is just too Damn big and getting bigger and more wasteful all the time.
“The left’s claim to “follow the science” is a lie. The left does not follow science; it follows scientists it agrees with and dismisses all other scientists as “anti-science.”” Absolutely the nail on the head. The left comes up with all kinds of crazy stuff that they call “science” from “scientists”. It’s like the baloney they feed us on “doctors say” or “pharmacists agree” to sell you snake oil. Every time I hear Pelosi or Biden say “follow the science” I want to vomit.
“The left’s claim to “follow the science” is a lie. The left does not follow science; it follows scientists it agrees with and dismisses all other scientists as “anti-science.”
Another example of the liberal Democrat deranged mentality.
To Democrats, Facts, Truth, Reality and History are all irrelevant if the Democrats DO NOT WANT to believe them.
The Democrats will just make up their own Facts. Truth, Reality and History to fit what THEY WANT to believe.
I do follow the science. That’s how I know Pelosi and Biden are frauds and hucksters. Its fake science. Just like the fake news. You can always find some one who will to prostitute themselves for money or lie for ideological reasons. Science is the art of discovery and constant questioning the way of the world. Science is constantly learning. Science is the on-going debate of truth and reality. In science all hypothesis are open to continual scrutiny and questioning. Anyone who asks you to accept a statement at face value with no explanation, facts or proof is not a scientist but is a con man. These politicians, journalists and so-called scientist are preachers of political faith not truth and science. They are con men and con artists thru and thru.
“…a state where corruption reigns (one of the leading Democrats of the last half-century told me years ago that politicians in California are window dressing; the real power in California is wielded by unions)…
The fix for this is changing Federal law to establish national Right to Work and eliminate the right of public sector employees at all levels to unionize.
I firmly believe in right to work but it’s a state choice, not federal. Unions absolutely control the California legislature. You have unions backing candidates that then are beholding to the state employees unions. What is laughable is that in Ca. law enforcement are prohibited from unionizing but firemen, teachers, janitors and every other “public employee” can. Even their beloved President Roosevelt was opposed to ever allowing public employees to be unionized.
That is why i’d love to PERMANENTLY SMASH down, every ******* union out there.
If we really had a right to work we wouldn’t be shut down.
Yea, that whole phrase “Right to work” is an oxymoron, as it makes it EASIER FOR You to get FIRED by your work, for no reason what so ever..
IMO, I believe these Dem. states are crashing their economies on purpose. They were already on the verge of bankruptcy because of pensions and welfare, so they believe that if they completely crash their states economies we (i.e. US taxpayers) will be forced to bail them out. Pay for their pensions and their unions and their welfare and for all the illegals that have overrun particularly Cali.
It very obvious they want the responsible to bail out the irresponsible. The Democrats never have any skin in the game but they will take everything you have and skin you alive to pay for their corruption.
Hence why there’s times, i’d LOVE TO see us “responsible folk” RISE UP and cease paying taxes… Can you imagine if everyone stopped paying them? THERE WOULD BE NO WAY the govt could punish us all.
It is absolutely frightening how quickly Americans are handing over basic freedoms that so many sacrificed greatly to gain/protect! I am glad my father (who served in WWII) is not here to see it.
Worse, they seem to be WILLINGLY DOING so, and bashing / arguing against anyone who points it out….
How bad do things have to get before the national tea party starts? Definitely, if the GOP loses the Senate later this week that will help the onset. But, God forbid that doesn’t happen for everyone will suffer. I pray that America’s citizens wake up to the truth of what is happening in this country.
You assume, even if we DO some how hold onto those seats, that we STILL won’t suffer….