In the past year, I have witnessed my university fail to protect my free speech, the Berkeley mayor embolden criminal activity, and now, my Cal Golden Bears won’t be able to go to the Final Four in San Antonio in 2018.
Why? Because California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, says so.
After vulgar condemnation of Trump’s travel ban from high-ranking members of the California government, the far-left government of California issued one of the most ironic policies to date: a travel ban. In September 2016, the state legislature and desk of Jerry Brown has bestowed the authority of declaring which states are ineligible for state-sponsored or state-funded travel to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. As of July 2017, eight states have been given a "discriminatory state" status, including Texas and Alabama.
A state becomes "discriminatory" in the eyes of the Attorney General if laws enacted by state legislatures prioritize religious freedoms. Even the possibility of abuses by evil actors in the system count as "discrimination" and the usurpation of everyone’s freedoms.
California pretends to support democracy and the rights of all people, except when democratic means put into power points of view that differ from their own. For instance, in Alabama, a law was passed that enabled religious adoption agencies to service individuals with similar belief systems. "This bill is not about discrimination, but instead protects … religious agencies," Gov. Klay Ivey said. Yet, Alabama has now been placed on the travel ban.
What makes the AG's decision even more absurd is that California’s travel ban doesn’t hurt the banned states’ discriminatory businesses, but Californians. This travel ban doesn’t place pressure on the federal government to change the way it redistributes funds that are most dependent on federal dollars; rather, it harms California’s universities and businesses with vested interests in associating with these states.
California’s socialist government can’t comprehend that adhering to free market principles would be more effective to facilitate the societal change the Left claims they want to see. In a system that allows maximum personal liberties, there will be evil actors. However, conservatives understand that market forces and consumer tastes will be the most powerful means to combat the abusers of religious freedoms and create societal change. In a competitive marketplace, businesses cannot afford to be discriminatory because profit margins are too thin and eventually they will be out-competed by nondiscriminatory profit maximizing firms.
Representatives from California could support nondiscriminatory businesses and agencies if Xavier Becera would ever so graciously allow Californians to engage with these states by continuing to sponsor state travel. However, the former great state of California is more interested in pushing vitriolic identity politics than effectively combating discriminatory practices through the free market.