Spreading the California Gospel—Enlightenment or Plague?

Joel Fox

Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily


California has long been considered a bellwether state. What happens here often trends across the country. Is the same true with the Golden State’s turn to progressive politics?

Some hope the state’s positions on social, cultural and political issues are a vanguard to change attitudes and ultimately change policies across the country. That is part of the thinking for those who supported moving up California’s presidential primary to March to influence the agendas of Democratic candidates running for president with California sensibilities.

However, others think Californians going forth to spread a California progressive gospel around the country are carrying a plague.

This latter thought occurred after reading a letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal last week. The letter was commenting on an Allysia Finely column on California’s home prices and the root of that problem. The letter writer from Florida raised concerns about Californians selling there expensive homes on the left coast and moving elsewhere in the country—and carrying California ideas with them:

“Affluent beneficiaries of soaring home prices in California can cash out and buy McMansions in less expensive states for a fraction of the proceeds realized on their California properties, and then live large. California emigrants can drive housing prices up because prices in their adopted states seem so cheap. Worse, the affluent Californian transplants bring their progressive sensibilities with them when they settle into well-to-do areas and help tilt red states into purple ones or purple states into blue. Then they work on bringing California regulatory hurdles and housing price miracles to their new homelands. Unless Californians can afford to stay in California, we all may be forced to feel their pain.”

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