...When they are unwilling or unable to address pre-modern problems in their jurisdictions — crime, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate transportation — they compensate by posing as philosopher kings who cheaply lecture on existential challenges over which they have no control.Read more here.
In this regard, think of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recent promises to nullify federal immigration law — even as he did little to mitigate the epidemic of murders in his own city.
Former president Barack Obama nearly doubled the national debt, never achieved 3 percent economic growth in any of his eight years in office, and left the health-care system in crisis. But he did manage to lecture Americans about the evils of the Crusades, and he promises to lower the seas and cool the planet.
Jerry Brown warned of climate change and permanent drought and did not authorize the construction of a single reservoir. Now, California is experiencing near-record rain and snowfall. Had the state simply completed its half-century-old water master plan, dozens of new reservoirs would now be storing the runoff, ensuring that the state could be drought-proof for years. Instead, more than 20 million acre-feet of precious water have already been released to the sea. There is nowhere to put it, given that California has not built a major reservoir in nearly 40 years.
The crumbling spillways of the landmark Oroville Dam, the tallest dam in the United States, threaten to erode it. Warnings of needed maintenance went unheeded for years, despite the fact that some 20 million more Californians live in the state (often in floodplains) than when the dam was built. Meanwhile, the state legislature has enacted new laws regarding plastic bags and transgendered restrooms.
...We have become an arrogant generation that virtue-signals that we can change the universe when in reality we cannot even run an awards ceremony, plow snow, fix potholes, build a road or dam, or stop inner-city youths from murdering one another.
Do our smug politicians promise utopia because they cannot cope with reality? Do lectures compensate for inaction?
Do we fault past generations of Americans — who drank too many Cokes and smoked too many cigarettes — because we are ashamed that we lack their vision, confidence, and ability to build another Oroville Dam or a six-lane freeway, or to stop criminals from turning urban weekends into the Wild West?
Governors who cannot build a reservoir have little business fantasizing about 200-mph super trains. And dense celebrities who cannot open the right envelope should not be sought for cosmic political wisdom.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
"Governors who cannot build a reservoir have little business fantasizing about 200-mph super trains. And dense celebrities who cannot open the right envelope should not be sought for cosmic political wisdom."
Victor Davis Hanson notices something about progressive politicians.