If you’ve been in a hallucinogenic state — post-election acid vacation, perhaps? — for the last two weeks, you might have missed a few bits.
November 6, 2012 was an objectively bad day for Republicans throughout the country, particularly in California. Mitt Romney took an electoral shellacking while Republican incompetence led to Democratic gains in the House and Senate — gains unfathomable just months ago. Worse for conservatives were California’s ballot proposition results.
The Bald Wizard (Governor Brown) got his tax hikes, designed to disproportionately siphon money from the poorest and wealthiest in the state. True, a quarter of a cent increase on each dollar might not affect you if you’re not buying a car, but those barely scrimping by will feel the pain. At least we spoiled college students won’t see tuition hikes, even if our good fortune is partially built on the backs of our state’s poorest!
An attempt to end the de facto union bribery of state officials failed. Business tax loopholes were closed, and the money is now being transferred to other wealthy capitalists (but these ones love clean energy!) who will become wealthier. Most every other proposition that fell under traditional liberal-conservative lines went in favor of the liberal position. This election might need a trademarked name: Liberal-Guilt-Be-Gone!
There’s one exception: Proposition 34, which aimed to end the death penalty in the state and retroactively grant current death row inmates life sentences.
Proposition 34 failed, as all iterations of the death penalty ban do every time they’re put in front of Californians. About 4.8 million of us gave a rousing endorsement of executing violent murderers. Half a million less hoped to see the gentle giants rot in prison for the rest of their life.
Me? I couldn’t care less. I like the idea of murderers wasting away in a cell, earning associate’s degrees that they’ll never use. Likewise, lethal injection seems suitable for serial killers and especially heinous individuals who are obviously guilty beyond any doubt.
I didn’t vote on 34, though. It would have required too much brainpower. (And I’m sure the sympathies of this column have led many of you to believe that I do have rather limited brainpower.)
I’m apathetic about 34 because I’m more interested in macroeconomic decisions that affect millions, and less so with emotionally wrenching ones that, in reality, affects far fewer.
Look, I know UC Irvine’s bleeding hearts – and some fiscal conservatives – hoped to see an end to the death penalty. Fiscal conservatives, and guilt-ridden liberals pretending to care about the state’s finances, must be really bummed that we’ll keep spending money on appeals processes and other absurdly costly death row features.
But don’t fear, big-spending, whiny campus liberals. You will be able to sleep well at night: the death penalty is already banned in California.
Since 1978, only 13 inmates have been executed. Four times as many died of natural causes. With each governor, we see less and less executions. And since US District Judge Jeremy Fogel issued a moratorium on the death penalty six years ago — those pesky self-determining peasants be damned — no one has been executed. It’s looking like the moratorium will continue into the near future. And the burden of proof has become infinitely higher. No one’s getting executed in California, Prop. 34 or not.
So sleep well, “Mother Jones” readers; that is, if you can forget that GMO foods don’t need labeling.
Adam O’Neal is a third-year literary journalism major. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Filed Under: Opinion