Who hasn’t had some liberal sneer at him, “Why don’t you conservatives go read a book?” This powerful critique of the intellectual deficiencies of my ideological brethren always cuts me to the bone. I’m usually so upset that I run weeping to my fine German touring sedan, completely forgetting to tip the nose-studded holder of a degree in Gender Neutral Puppetry who pointed out my educational failings while he fetched my latte.
This meme is nonsense. In fact, conservative tastes in books can be quite eclectic. One day last week, Amazon delivered Hugh Hewitt’s new book on happiness concurrently with bassist Peter Hook’s memoir of Joy Division, a band best known to the public for its lead singer hanging himself.
Joy Division’s often depressing, tragic music could provide an appropriate soundtrack for James V. Lacy’s Taxifornia: Liberals' Laboratory to Bankrupt America.If you like footnotes with citations to damning data, Taxifornia is for you. Lacy, a lawyer who I have never met but who shares a book agent and a publisher with me, makes an air-tight case that liberalism is crushing the California dream. There’s no way to come out of reading it not seeing that the reverse alchemy of liberalism is turning the Golden State into a commonwealth of rusty tin.
Lacy powerfully evokes the California’s past as a mecca for those striving to build their futures. My family moved here in 1972; I can still remember how vibrant, exciting and new it was. Today, California is a plodding, dull and decaying mess. Outsiders think of California as a state run by wacky, freaky kooks, but Lacy shows that’s not it at all. It’s now run by the most common and conventional liberal political hacks, Democrat politicians owned by rent-seeking public employee unions who would be comfortable in any Chicago ward. Give me the free spirited hippy-dippy wackos of the past over these cynical plunderers any day.