The opinion video produced by The New York Times and posted on Thursday reveals not only what Democrats do when they have all the power (see California), but what politicians in general do when given the opportunity: they mess things up. The greater the power, the greater the mess (see California).
The Times’ video journalist Johnny Harris teamed up with the Times’ lead writer on business and economics Binyamin Appelbaum to create the 14-minute-long video available on YouTube.
Harris focused on California where the mess is the greatest. The Democrats running the state follow the general Democratic Party platform which informs its progressive constituency that its three core values are “affordable housing,” “economic equality,” and “educational opportunity.”
But when focusing in on how California actually looks, Harris discovered that “liberal hypocrisy is fueling … inequality” in the state. In a written report supplementing the video the writers said:
In key respects, many blue states are actually doing worse than red states.
It is in blue states [like California] where affordable housing is often hardest to find, [where] there are some of the most acute disparities in education funding and [where] economic inequality is increasing most quickly….
Blue states are where the housing crisis is located.
Blue states are where the disparities in education funding are the most dramatic.
Blue states are the places where tens of thousands of homeless people are living on the streets.
Blue states are the places where economic inequality is increasing most quickly in this country.
They point out that nine of the 15 most expensive metropolitan areas in the country are located in California (for instance the median price of a house in San Diego is $830,000, more than twice the national median).
The report exposes the bottomless hypocrisy of liberals who claim one thing and behave in another. Take Palo Alto, for example. The Democrat-controlled city council voted unanimously to rezone a 2½ acre site to allow construction of a high-rise housing development. The liberal community was outraged and voted it down, 85-15. Not in my neighborhood!
As Applebaum wrote, “I think people [there] aren’t living their values. There’s an aspect of greed here.”
Of course. Human beings seek their own best interests first, ideology be damned.
The report missed several opportunities to inform its readers. It’s not just Democrat hypocrites who are ruining blue states like California. Republicans have a long and tawdry record of ruining things as well, just more slowly.
That’s why limits must be placed on all politicians, not just in blue states. They must apply to all politicians everywhere or liberty is threatened and eventually lost.
As the author of Federalist 51 (either James Madison or Alexander Hamilton, writing under the name “Publius”) noted:
It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices [as separation of powers] should be necessary to control the abuses of government.
But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
But, as Lord Acton said, men are not angels: “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
That is the message that is missing from the Times’ opinion video.