Thomas Sowell

The California recall election and its surrounding hoopla may have confirmed the suspicions of some people in other parts of the country that Californians are crazy. But not all Californians are crazy -- just the most affluent and highly educated ones.

Although the state as a whole voted to remove the disastrous Governor Gray Davis from office by 55 percent to 45 percent, he received a solid majority of support in most of the upscale northern California coastal counties.

In San Mateo County, where the average home costs more than half a million dollars and the environmentalists reign supreme, keeping the vast majority of the land off-limits to building, 63 percent of the voters wanted Gray Davis to remain in office. In even more upscale Marin County, 68 percent of the voters were for Gray Davis. And in San Francisco, the furthest left of them all, no less than 80 percent voted to keep Gray Davis as governor.

There is a certain irony here, since the Democrats like to portray themselves as the party of the working people, with special solicitude for "the children" and for minorities. But working people, families with children and blacks are precisely the kinds of people who have been forced out of these three affluent and politically correct counties.

All three of these ultra-liberal counties have been losing black population since the previous census. Kindergartens in San Mateo County are shutting down for lack of children. The number of children in San Francisco has also gone down since the last census, even though the population of the city as a whole has gone up.

Out in the valleys to which those who are not as affluent have been forced to flee, in order to find something resembling affordable housing, the vote was just as solidly against Davis as it was for him among those further up the income scale. Out where ordinary people live, the vote against Governor Davis was 64 percent in Merced County, 72 percent in Tulare County and 75 percent in Lassen County.

The time is long overdue to get rid of the outdated notion that liberal Democrats represent ordinary people. They represent such special interests as trial lawyers who keep our courts clogged with frivolous lawsuits, busybody environmentalists who think the government should force other people to live the way the greens want them to live, and of course the teachers' unions who think schools exist to provide their members with jobs.

Many of these people are over-educated, in the sense that they have spent many years in institutions which have propagandized them with the politically correct vision of the world -- even if they have not taught them much history, economics, or other mundane things.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate