Most conservatives, and just about all independents, have a huge misperception of the left. They think that the gulf between conservatism and leftism is primarily about means, not goals.
This perception is wrong. It is their goals that are irreconcilable. And until conservatives, independents and the Republican Party understand this, it will not be possible to defeat the left.
Take economic indicators. Most conservatives talk and act as if bad economic news disturbs the left as much as it disturbs them. It doesn't.
Almost everywhere the left is in control -- in California, for example -- the economic news is awful. But this has no effect on the ruling Democrats, the Los Angeles Times editorial page, New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman or others on the left.
There is one overriding philosophical reason and one political reason for this. But before I identify them, permit me to note some of the economic facts of life in California.
Unless otherwise noted, the following data have been culled by Chapman University Professor Joel Kotkin, and published in the Wall Street Journal, the Orange County Register and elsewhere. (For the record, Kotkin is a self-described "Truman Democrat" who voted for the Democrat governor Jerry Brown of California.)
--In the last 20 years, about 4 million more people have left California than came in from other states. Most of those leaving are young families.
--In the last 15 years, one-third of California's industrial employment base has disappeared. That's 600,000 jobs that have disappeared.
--California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. (The Tax Foundation)
--California's electricity prices are 50 percent higher than the national average.
--Middle-class workers, those who earn more than $48,000, pay a top income tax rate of 9.3 percent. That's higher than what millionaires pay in 47 other states.
--California's unemployment rate is fourth highest in the nation.
--From 2010-13, California produced fewer than 8,000 jobs, while the country added 510,000.
California faces enormous underfunded public employee pension obligations. (Bloomberg)
--An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil are sitting untapped in the Monterey and Bakersfield shale deposits. California is therefore sending billions of dollars to Texas, Canada and elsewhere to buy natural gas and oil that it could have produced itself.
--Twitter, Adobe, eBay and Oracle, among other major California tech companies, have moved many operations to Salt Lake City.
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