Florida is the GOP's alternative to California

Goodbye, Golden State. Hello sunshine!

An elephant.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Warren Zevon's song "Desperadoes Under the Eaves" is a classic of disillusionment. Composed when memories of the Vietnam War and Watergate still hung like the haze over the Los Angeles skyline, Zevon considered the erosion of the American dream in its archetypal home. "If California slides into the ocean, like the mystics and statistics say it will," he sang, "I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill."

California pulled out of that slump, thriving during the 1980s defense buildup. Half a century later, though, we've entered another moment of doubt about its future. "The California Dream is Dying," writes Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic. It's Paradise Lost all over again, argues Michael Barone in Law & Liberty. Both writers lament the state's declining population, growing economic inequality, and unresponsive political institutions.

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Samuel Goldman

Samuel Goldman is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. He is also an associate professor of political science at George Washington University, where he is executive director of the John L. Loeb, Jr. Institute for Religious Freedom and director of the Politics & Values Program. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard and was a postdoctoral fellow in Religion, Ethics, & Politics at Princeton University. His books include God's Country: Christian Zionism in America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) and After Nationalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021). In addition to academic research, Goldman's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.