LA Times Editor Makes Bizarre, Elitist Plea to Exiting Californians – ‘Don’t Insult California on the Way Out’

In a recent Los Angeles Times article, editor Paul Thornton addresses the substantial exodus of Californians, urging those departing to refrain from disparaging the state.

Thornton’s piece, entitled “Commentary: If you want to leave, fine. But don’t insult California on the way out.” is dripping with a sense of nostalgia and defensiveness yet fails to grasp the underlying reasons behind the mass migration.

“To the people leaving California: May the road rise to meet you as you seek better lives in new places. Now, can you please extend some goodwill to those of us who remain?” Thornton asked.

Thornton notes the staggering statistic: over 800,000 Californians moved away in 2022, with many more following suit in the subsequent year. These departees with “cash in hand from the sale of their $1-million bungalows, feel the need to express disdain for their home state, and even some anger too,” he wrote.

The entire article reflects a disconnect from the realities driving residents away.

He recounts an anecdot of a relative who moved out of California to a another state who was cautioned against bringing “those weird California ways” with them to their new small town. Thornton extrapolated it is California’s liberal politics and its embrace of LGBTQ+ rights.

“And which ways would those be?” Thornton asked rhetorically. “Perhaps it’s our embrace of LGBTQ+ Californians. Or it’s our liberal politics, with the state Republican Party shrunk to irrelevance after its vicious attempt in 1994 to marginalize immigrants with Proposition 187.”

Proposition 187, which proposed extending state benefits to illegal immigrants, passed by almost 60%. However the courts blocked it from ever taking effect.

Thornton’s commentary glosses over critical issues. California’s liberal politics, exemplified by the historical Proposition 187 and recent policies extending government benefits to illegal immigrants, highlight the state’s controversial stance.

Subsequently, starting this year, California offers free healthcare to illegal immigrants, covering even sex change surgeries, irrespective of citizenship status, all while facing a daunting $68 billion deficit.

Thornton’s portrayal of California as a beacon of progressive ideals, a haven for reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, is overshadowed by severe problems like income disparity and the housing crunch. His argument seems almost clueless to the fact that these very “ideals” and policies might be the driving force behind the exodus.

“Perhaps I’m sensitive because California — and especially Los Angeles — used to be the place people would come,” Thornton said. “And plenty still move here, especially immigrants. I come from an immigrant family blessed by the working-class riches our state once offered.”

Despite Thornton’s sentimental attachment to California, as a place that once offered riches to immigrant families like his own, the current reality is starkly different. The progressive goals he champions appear to be in conflict with the practical needs and concerns of many residents.

“California is big, powerful and therefore tempting to disparage. We have 39 million people, Hollywood and Shohei Ohtani,” Thornton continued.

“This state is a haven for reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, but income disparity and the housing crunch are critical problems we have to fix for progressive ideals to match the reality on the ground,” he said.

While seeming to acknowledge the state’s critical issues Thornton seems to completely underestimate their impact on the population decline.

California is facing serious economic woes with monster deficit and a shrinking tax base. The state boasts the highest individual income tax rate in the nation while contending with a growing crime, homelessness and drug crisis. The state can embrace all the social issues it wants but the dollars and cents will never support the liberal agenda.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s report of a net loss of 75,423 people in 2023 is likely the tip of the iceberg.

Meanwhile, Thornton pleads, “If you must leave California for Texas, Arizona, New England or anywhere else, don’t be a person who trash-talks the home of 39 million people.”

In the end, Thornton is a typical progressive who piously stands on distorted principle rather than reality, whining about people saying “hurtful things” as if he is the victim of bullying rather than part of the cause of the disaster that is California.