- The Washington Times - Monday, November 12, 2012

I’m a California native. I was born and raised there, went to college there, got married there and had my first child there. My grandparents are buried there, and the rest of my family still lives there, however, I moved to Maryland in 1994 because the business environment and the economy in general were better here.

In the years since moving, I have watched my family in California struggle. Leftist priorities, social engineering and a hostile business environment have taken my beloved former home and run it into the ground. My nephews can’t find work, and my cousins are struggling to survive. My father has watched the value of his only asset, the house where I was raised, collapse. My hometown has become overrun by gangs, drug dealers and violence.

You can imagine my surprise and dismay last week on Election Day when my current home, Maryland, went in for exactly the same idiotic agenda that is destroying the formerly great state of California. Maryland voters approved a Las Vegas-based casino in National Harbor, with the loan sharking, prostitution, drugs and corruption that we all know go with organized gambling. We welcomed homosexual “marriage,” which not even Californians would do, with its hidden pension and health care costs. We even have agreed to pay for the education of illegal immigrants’ children with money we don’t have.

I think the worst thing about living in Maryland now is just the attitude. Being white seems to make you a disdained minority in many communities — and being a Republican in Maryland almost makes you a de facto racist. Are you a fan of enforcing federal immigration law? Then you are the oppressor of the world’s poor and downtrodden. If you should become wealthy by dint of hard work and personal sacrifice, you didn’t build that, and you sure as heck won’t get to keep much of it after taxes. If you would rather not pay for some woman’s abortion or even her birth control, then you are an oppressor of women.

The huge chip on the shoulder of the political left is a heavy burden to bear. Ultimately, they will end up bearing it alone — or at least without me. I’ll be moving to Virginia.

ERIK VESTERSON

Waldorf, Md.