I’ve spent my life, along with my husband, raising our two beautiful children. As any mother knows, a household is not a dictatorship, as much as it might seem easier at times to run it that way.
In practical application, though, it takes input from the whole family to maintain a properly functioning, happy household.
Likewise, in our state government all sides need to be considered, and one-party rule just isn’t practical for a healthy California.
It’s imperative that we take the lessons learned in our own homes to heart when electing our representatives. This November, we have a unique chance to do just that.
I know many of us have grown disheartened by this year’s election cycle. Like a child acting out, the presidential campaign has drawn most of the attention. Here at the state level, a near-record 17 statewide ballot measures have caused confusion and frustration as we’ve had to work through a massive voter guide.
Lost in the shuffle has been the middle child: the ever-important legislative races, which this year hold more significance than ever but have been overshadowed by the circus of 2016 campaigning.
We must give these races the attention they deserve. If we send California into one-party rule by electing too many Democrats, the effects will extend far beyond any single bill or ballot measure.
With Republicans in this state fighting for their political lives this year, there has developed a very real possibility that Democrats will gain what’s known as a supermajority in the Capitol. Under a supermajority, they would have complete control over the direction of our state.
As it is, Democrats have held the Legislature for 20 years. In that time, they’ve been able to impose suffocating regulations on our small businesses, free violent criminals – resulting in skyrocketing crime rates – and impose a host of other radical and damaging policies on our state.
But, the most harmful parts of their agenda have been stopped by Republicans who hold just enough seats to block such policies. Under a Democrat supermajority, that safeguard would be no more.
California legislators elected on Tuesday will have a direct impact on our children’s education, the water we drink, the roads we drive to work and the taxes we all pay.
If Election Day results produce a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature, even those Californians who identify as Democrats will not be well served. A one-party ruling class isn’t good for any of us.
In such a case there is no one to check the work, no one to advocate the opposing view, and no one to say “wait a second” when things go too far.
Both parties have their flaws. Luckily, the dual party system ensures balance: When Democrats become too extreme, Republicans sound the alarm. Likewise, when Republicans move too far to the right, Democrats are there to reel them in.
That checks-and-balances system now is in danger. In the case of a supermajority, we will see the full breadth of radical liberal ideology thrust upon our state as Democratic lawmakers, emboldened by their newly increased power, move sharply to the left into more extreme positions.
What might they do? Let’s take a look at some of the proposals they’ve tried already but were thwarted by the minority party.
Earlier this year, they gave us a taste of their appetite for tax increases with a new gas tax of nearly a quarter per gallon. Californians already paid around $1 per gallon in taxes at the pump – the highest in the nation. Meanwhile, our roads are among the country’s very worst.
Republicans were able to block this year’s effort by Democrats to drive gas taxes higher, but if Democrats get their supermajority they will no doubt bring it back – without anyone there to stop them.
Democrats have also shown interest in eliminating Proposition 13, our only defense against severe property tax increases. The minority party would never stand for this, and so it’s yet to be advanced, but with a supermajority anything and everything is possible.
This election may prove to be the most important of our time. And not for the reason many would have you believe.
Put aside the overwhelming number of propositions on our ballot, put aside the dog-and-pony show our presidential election has become. Focus on the races that will have the biggest and longest-lasting impact on us right here in California, in our local communities, in our homes.
Don’t vote for one-party rule – vote for balance.
Vanessa Wilk is a Santa Clarita resident.