A woman wrote a blog on this topic, which was posted on the SF Chronicle site on Thursday. She said that based on a recent poll by the Public Policy Polling, “California was the least popular state in the United States.”
She went on to quote a California radio commentator who blames this on a “certain arrogance” we Calis have. The comentator said, “Californians still think it’s this great star. It’s a tarnished star at this point.”
Everyone else she quoted basically blamed the whole thing on simple jealousy.
I thought this was a ridiculous poll, so I checked it out.
It was created by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic affiliated polling firm, founded in 2001. Since we are ground zero for Dems of every degree, I thought we Calis might have grabbed some quick points here. However, the PPP folks pride themselves on their impartial polling, so a little stab in the public relations back of California probably made them feel objective. That said, it appears there’s a huge partisan discrepancy: Dems love the state while GOP’ers hate it.
According to them, the survey “asked American voters nationally what their impressions of each state are.” Hawaii ranked #1 while California was dead last with huge gap between us and Illinois and then New Jersey as the worst states in the country.
Seriously? Somebody out there would rather live in Bayonne than Novato? Of course Hawaii’s #1 – but if I can’t be on a north shore I’d rather be in East Peoria? That’s just plain ludicrous.
This is obviously a case of mixing politics with pleasure. People across the country think our politics are nutso but, since we are so PASSIONATE about our politics, everyone hears about it all the time. (And then of course there’s the price of gas, the price of housing, the union gauging, the pension debacle, the unemployment rate, the nanny state-ism, and the fact there’s no money anywhere to be found.)
But, it is a PLEASURE to live in California and everyone knows that too. Plus, only Calis get to piss and moan about the mess the state is in. Certainly not some fool in Lincoln, whose weather forecast for tonight reads: Rain before 9pm, then rain and snow between 9pm and midnight, then snow after midnight. Low around 30. North northwest wind between 13 and 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
When I was in law school, in Wilmington Delaware, every time we’d study a case from the California Ninth Circuit Appellate Court the professors would say “Ignore this decision. It’s from the land of the fruits and the nuts and it will be overturned.” Now that’s arrogance!
I am a 29-year transplant from Philadelphia and I admit I’ve been known to gloat about living here. Calis, whether born and raised, been around for a while or newcomers, gloat. And that causes a counter reaction, which until now I did not realize was so very strong.
It’s the deadly sin of envy - not jealousy. There’s a whole body of rhetoric differentiating the exact emotion of envy (I want what you have) vs. jealousy (I don’t want you to take what I have). Since we Calis don’t want to take anything from anyone in Trenton, it all just boils down to envy.
Oh and by the way, the woman who posted the blog works out of the Washington D.C. bureau – and the polling firm is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the forecast is: Cloudy with a chance of showers in the morning...then showers with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some thunderstorms may produce damaging winds in the afternoon.. Chance of rain near 100 percent.
Of course I am using the weather as a metaphor for all that is good and bad in various states in the country, and why California is not the worst state in the union.
However, this poll is a wake-up call! Knowing that this is the mindset of so many people makes me think we Calis really need to come together, regardless of party, get out the Tarn-X and start working on our star – before it gets too rusty to fix.