Thank God that’s over. The state Legislature won’t meet again for another 239 days, so productive Coloradans can breathe a little easier; no further confiscations of our hard-earned gains for political purposes can be undertaken at present.
How it happened doesn’t matter. Whether it was the country-club attitude of Colorado’s Republican establishment, who don’t realize that politics is a barroom brawl, not a polite conversation; the bottomless bucket of funding from gay activists; the clouds of cannabis smoke obscuring serious issues; the media’s mindless prattle about cowboy boots and quixotic quests to describe zygotes as persons; or a tragicomic combination of all of these, Colorado’s 2012 election results will produce poisonous fruit for years.
Is it a good thing that Colorado has been the butt of stoner jokes for months on the late-night comedy circuit? We may not want the sort of tourism this publicity will generate, but we’re going to get it — good and hard.
And the impending flood of Cheech and Chong wannabes is the least of our problems. Democrat solons want to raise taxes by about $1.1 billion, making rich school districts in the state “spread the wealth around” to their poorer brethren. That’s a hike of about 10 percent to keep the teachers’ unions and educrats in the chips. Dopers should get set to pay up, too: there will be at least a 35 percent state surtax on marijuana purchases in Colorado.
If you get electricity from a rural co-op, prepare to pay much more for it. Democrats, mostly living in the Front Range, have decided that rural electric co-operatives’ 2007 commitment to obtain 10 percent of their power from renewable resources should be doubled, just because. And since most of these same folks think that milk and vegetables come from supermarkets, don’t be surprised if they propose controls when the price of arugula doubles.
Then there was the Democrats’ anti-gun hysteria. Reminiscent of the effects of Timothy Q. Mouse’s first appearance in “Dumbo,” the very thought of “mean-looking” semi-automatic rifles threw Colorado’s Democrat lawmakers into a tizzy and gave us statutes which wouldn’t have affected James Holmes or Adam Lanza in the least. But they will restrict the activities of law-abiding Coloradans while making liberals feel good about themselves, so ... mission accomplished.
These antics are not only a caution against the dangers of one-party rule, they are a useful insight into the liberal mind. We should pay attention.
Liberals admit no limit to the size or reach of government. There is no end to its ability to control; to pick winners and losers; to interfere and meddle — all in our best interests, naturally. To liberals, government exits to save us all from ourselves, because we are incapable of making proper decisions. Government must address every grievance, right every wrong, cure every care. And government must be controlled by liberals, who are wiser, more compassionate and better informed than the rest of us, who must be regulated and administered so we do not harm ourselves or others in our ignorance and neglect. Liberals are also better suited to dictate the use of our money than we — poor, stupid sheep that we are. And they are perfectly willing to bankrupt our country to prove it.
This Brobdingnagian self-image is hogwash, but many Coloradans willingly accept the idea that others know far better than we how we should live our lives. Perhaps it’s the liberal air of certainty, or airheaded appeal to some nebulous concept of “fairness.” Perhaps it’s fear of being victimized by accusations of racism, misogyny, homophobia, environmental wrecking or grannycide — the stock-in-trade of the Left. Whatever it is, it’s past time to stand up and shout “stop.”
Recent FBI statistics show that gun violence has declined dramatically in the United States over the past two decades. Gun restrictions passed by our Legislature were not driven by a sudden increase in firearms deaths, but by the Left’s lust to control citizens’ behavior.
Pouring a river of new tax money on an educational system, 40 percent of whose graduates require remediation to continue to college or the workforce, will only produce more mediocrities. Profound systemic changes, not greater calls on taxpayers’ wallets, are required.
Pushing a social-issues agenda that moves Colorado to the left of California will only further divide our state. Those in control in Denver don’t care, but anyone thinking on the long history of intractable social conflict must be deeply concerned.
Giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants will not improve traffic safety. If figures from Utah are to be believed, the percentage of uninsured motorists will remain constant, and traffic deaths will actually rise.
We’ve got to look at the facts, and realize we’ve been suckered. Admitting one has a problem is the first step to recovery.
Summit County resident Morgan Liddick writes a column that appears Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News.