We’ve been subjected to what feels like endless years of negativity flowing out of Washington, smothering us under a blanket of gloom. As taxpayers, we pump billions of dollars from our incomes to keep Washington afloat and pay our elected politicians to watch out for us. On top of that, there are, according the Office of Personal Management, an estimated 2.1 million people in the federal workforce who we’re also paying for, but we never elected. And that doesn’t count the post office, military and other peripheral agencies.
When we hold local elections for congressional representatives or senators, we cast those votes for the people who we feel will reflect our values and work on local concerns. They speak for us, 3,000 miles away. They’re our voice in the swamp of Washington. They’re supposed to do the job for us at home we can’t do, because we have to work to survive and don’t have the time, or money, to dedicate toward causes that affect our daily lives.
These elected officials are supposed to represent all of us. They can’t pick and choose who they like and don’t like and impose their ideals on everyone. In the case of California, and especially in Santa Barbara County, it doesn’t quite work that way. Electoral districts have been reconfigured so dramatically that it’s nearly impossible to have a Republican make it to Sacramento, much less to Washington. And for the Democrats who do get to fly back and forth to bring a vote to the table, they only do it for a portion of us voters. This truth is all across the country, but California has to be the leader of drowning out more voices than a jet engine.
As an example, Salud Carbajal was crowned our congressman as he climbed out of local politics to enter the big-time circus tent. Salud imposed his beliefs and one-sided policies on Santa Barbara County for years, and now he’s doing it at the national level. Salud voted for the impeachment of President Trump because his strings are pulled by Nancy Pelosi and company; he voted to hamstring the president from making critical military decisions; he eliminates jobs and millions of dollars of income for the county because oil is evil while at the same time fueling those big jets back and forth.
However, Salud and local hypocrites have no trouble collecting millions of dollars from cannabis. One runs our cars and the other fries your brain. And Salud shares a mattress with every environmental group in the county who do nothing but fight every single thing they think is wrong or right. Their actions cause nothing but grief for farmers, land owners and businesses, and make surviving in this county of massive overregulation nearly impossible. Salud, along with the rest of the liberal followers, are moving socialist causes forward — Medicare for all, free college, open borders, and always higher and higher taxes.
I realize it’s unrealistic to expect either side of the political spectrum to represent everyone. That’s dreaming. The very definition of when a compromise is reached is that both sides are unhappy. However, it’s imperative that any politician really listen to both sides of the equation and not just nod their head as if they care. All common sense in Washington has been lost. At least for the near future, nothing seems to matter except to get rid of Donald Trump.
So what’s going to change, or how can it be changed? It has to be done with one voice at a time, and it starts here at home. For years, Andy Caldwell, a local watchdog, has been diligently keeping county supervisors and politicians in check as much as he could. Salud was one of them. And now Andy is taking him on.
I know it’s challenging to clearly see each other’s perspective, but some things are cut and dry. Andy knows we have to end the nonstop tax increases, control exorbitant regulations, simplify things and help small business, any business, to grow and flourish. Santa Barbara County has to be one of the most anti-business climates in the world.
You hear every day how people are leaving the state, and are fed up with overreaching regulation and insane taxes. That trend has to change, and someone has to try and tackle that crisis. In 2020, Andy is that first step toward reversing the abysmal direction California is going.
Every one of these things I listed should not have a political leaning one way or another. They are for the common good of all; they improve our lives and help us to survive in a state more challenging than the other 49 combined.
We really need help in California. With a staggering number of over 150,000 homeless — and that’s probably low — we just can’t allow and continue to have politicians completely ignore over half the populace.
As an example, here at home, I bet Salud and all local politicians are clueless to the large homeless camp along the bike path leading to Goleta Beach. And right next to it, a massive pile of polluting trash leaching into the ocean. Dealing with those kinds of disasters in their backyard actually takes work, and challenging decision making, and focus. Nothing gets accomplished if your only motivation is getting Mr. Trump and giving away free stuff.
Anyone running for office has to ask themselves, why am I doing it? The answer should be, I’m doing it for the people who voted for me and for those who didn’t, but hope I do the right thing for them as well. That requires common sense, not ideology. Otherwise, why bother?
The author is a regular contributor to Voices. He lives in Santa Ynez.