Nonpartison sorrow

Partisan politics plays an important role in California and legislators seem locked within their parties, but when Governor Schwarzenegger gave his last state of the state address, you didn’t have to be partisan to feel sad. Timothy Egan in the N.Y. Times expressed best perhaps the general sense of sorrow for lost opportunities that now pervades the state. The high hopes of six years ago when Californians thought a new hand at the helm could steer the state through its problems have faded. The governor and the legislature are locked into an endless battle of meeting ever-growing needs with ever-shrinking resources. It’s not the government that has failed us, however, but we the citizens who have failed at directing ourselves. Californians struggled for the right to change the state through citizen initiatives and the idea was a good one. What has happened over the years, though, is that we have voted in opposing initiatives, demanding services but making it impossible to raise taxes to pay for them while making no provision for facing a recession like the one we are currently facing. Many concerned citizens believe the initiative process is broken. Our constitution surely needs an overhaul. It’s time for citizens to take responsibility. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars…and not even in the politicians, but in ourselves.

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