The refounding of the state of California must thus involve the de-intimidation of our elected officials. The budgetary process has become the single most relevant and compelling way that California is thinking through its future. Mere polls or plebiscites are incapable of such an intellectual challenge. Only individual men and women -- elected officials, such as those who met in Philadelphia in 1787 or those who gathered in Monterey in 1849 -- are capable of the nuances and subtleties, the trade-offs and compromises and the courage that such foundational thinking and action requires.
A people, the English poet and political writer John Milton tells us in "Areopagitica," gets the government it deserves in the long run.