A California Columnist in Arab Spring’s Court

How The Golden State Can Strengthen Its Democratic Stride By Watching Tunisia Take Its First Step

A California Columnist in Arab Spring's Court

Living in an exceptional place is hard work. Especially when your place needs big changes.

Californians know this well. We feel such an obligation to live up to our reputation as “The Great Exception” among U.S. states, as the writer Carey McWilliams famously called us, that we routinely embrace novel schemes that other American places run from, like a $70 billion high-speed rail project.

People in Tunisia, where I spent last week, know the pressures of exceptionalism too. The North African country of 11 million is where the Arab Spring began four …

More In: Inquiries