Currently, there is a statewide effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, an action that has only succeeded one time in the history of California when Gov. Gray Davis was given the unceremonious boot by the state’s voters.
Recently, the campaign to recall Gov. Newsom surpassed one million votes, only 500,000 voters shy of getting it on the ballot sometime later this year.
I did my civic duty by enthusiastically downloading the petition and mailing it to the assigned address. Although I was happy to spend the few minutes completing the petition, I am under no illusions it’s going to solve the massive problems this state currently faces.
Unfortunately, my faith in my fellow Californians is not very high at the moment. I fully expect they will replace Gov. Newsom, if he is recalled, with someone equally incompetent.
But first, before I elaborate on why I am so pessimistic the voters will do the right thing, it may be illuminating to list the manifold reasons why he may be the worst governor in the U.S., and that’s saying something.
Under Gov. Newsom’s tenure, we have had to endure rolling blackouts, massive lines at motor vehicle offices, billions of dollars of unemployment checks sent to prisoners around the country while thousands of unemployed Californians are still waiting for their benefits, and a haphazard and ineffective response to massive wildfires throughout the state.
To be honest, I could write a doctoral thesis about all of Gov. Newsom’s failures. Whether it is the burgeoning homeless problem, exploding crime rates, the lack of affordable housing or one of the highest poverty rates in the country, Gov. Newsom has managed to make almost everything he’s touched worse than even many of his detractors thought possible.
The only thing preventing him from utterly destroying California are a few high-tech companies minting new millionaires every day.
The stock market has kept California’s coffers full, giving Gov. Newsom ample opportunity to waste billions of dollars for all the special interests that happily pull his puppet strings. Just ask the teachers’ unions, if you don’t believe me. Did I mention the state has one of the worst public education systems in the country?
If I had stopped here, there would be more than enough reason to recall Gov. Newsom, but the coup de grâce has to be his insane and arbitrary edicts in response to the pandemic.
If you don’t believe me, just ask the thousands of small business owners in the retail industry who are slowly twisting in the wind until their final demise.
Despite there being no evidence that restaurant patios or retail establishments, like hair salons, are spreading the virus, these courageous owners are on a roller-coaster ride of changing rules, without any warning or explanation from state authorities for their actions.
Imagine spending thousands of dollars buying equipment to provide safe outdoor dining or services only to have the rug pulled out from under you at the last second.
To add insult to injury, while these owners and their employees are suffering immeasurably, our governor is breaking all his own rules by dining inside at one of the most expensive restaurants in the state with paid lobbyists. When given the opportunity to apologize, he prevaricates by claiming the dinner was outside.
What Gov. Newsom and many of the people in the state — who lack even an elementary understanding of how to operate a business — fail to realize is that when this pandemic comes to an end, there may not be a functioning economy in California.
And don’t get me started about the abysmally low vaccination distribution numbers in the state or closing our public schools, particularly K-6, for a year and a half or the increasing suicide rates in the state, especially among our young people. And don’t forget this is the same governor who sends his kids to an open in-person private school.
So why am I so gloomy if the recall effort succeeds? Because I have no faith my fellow Californians will select a competent replacement.
For reasons I can’t fathom, too many voters are like automatons, voting for whomever the Democratic machine selects. Maybe it’s because many voters work in the public sector, receive generous government pensions, are dependent on public welfare or supported by rich parents, so that their fate is not tied to the vagaries of the economy.
Regardless, it’s time to put Gov. Newsom out to pasture. Although I don’t expect anything to change anytime soon, I am willing to be surprised. C’mon California, do the right thing just once.
The author lives in Santa Barbara.