Newsom, his ‘Campaign for Democracy’ & political equivalent of drive
Aug 25, 2023
Assume, for a second, that Gavin and Jennifer Newsom aren't daydreaming about picking out china patterns for future state dinners at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Then what is the rationale behind his "Campaign for Democracy" that kicked off in April?
You know the one. It's about his call to fight oppression basically in red states.
The oppressions, as the governor delineated in a March 30 tweet, are "extremist Republicans (who) are systematically attacking the very institutions of our free society, denying women equity, attacking communities of color, fetishizing weapons of war, banning books, restricting speech, and undermining the right to vote."
Regardless of whether one thinks Newsom is speaking the truth or uttering political mumbo jumbo that severely overstates reality, one would hope we can agree on one thing.
Newsom would be doing California — and arguably the rest of the nation — a favor if he tends to business in his own backyard.
After all, if Newsom can make California's the proverbial "shining city on the hill" that John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony sermonized about in 1630 and Ronald Reagan made the centerpiece of his political career, then they’d be no reason to bombard the Internet with self-righteous tweets.
Action speaks louder than words.
And if most people see California as a paradise on earth, they would follow the shining example.
Of course, firing clips of words into the vacuum that is the Internet as if you were conducting the political equivalent of a drive-by shooting doesn't foster an atmosphere of people coming together to solve problems.
It spurs retaliatory responses of equal, if not greater, measure.
For those that despise Newsom, he did not start the proverbial fire.
He is just one example of many leaders in positions of authority populating the red-blue political spectrum that engage in feel-good cheap shots instead of unappreciated grunt work to change the world.
Newsom simply is the highest ranking Californian. As such one would expect him to put California first.
And with 39 million plus people and a long list of problems that are far from being solved or even addressed, any governor has more than enough on their plate without devoting time lecturing Oklahoma.
At the start the year, we got a glimpse of day-to-day oppression thousands — if not more — people endure daily in the Golden State that we, as Californians, refuse to acknowledge or simply don't want to address.
The mass shooting in Half Moon Bay revealed farm workers laboring for substandard wages a full $6 below the state minimum, forced to live in squalor, and fleeced of their paychecks with sky-high rents for shipping container living arrangements not much better that living in a makeshift pallet house on the streets.
We know this because on Jan. 26 Newsom told us so during a press conference regarding the mass shooting that left seven farmworkers dead.
Since then, Newsom has weighed in on virtually every mass shooting calling for tightened gun control in a bid to try and reduce more mass shooting tragedies. Nothing wrong with that.
However, there has been nary a peep from the governor about the squalor conditions that are clear-cut violations of state laws enforced by bureaucracies that Newsom directly oversees that a good number of farmworkers that power the state's economy and help feed those in blue and red states alike deal with day in and day out.
Rest assured, there are Californians out there right now who are doing all the right things — working to try and support themselves as well as fed and shelter their families — who aren't worried about the nuances of the voter registration procedure in Texas or whether Florida is barring drag queens from reading to students in Florida's schools.
They are following the rules.
Yet, they and their families are being held hostage to crime, schools that aren't in the right locations, and a regulatory system that makes the 13 years a solar project tied up in red-tape that Newsom wants to liberate by fast-tracking green projects seem like government operating at warp speed.
A good number of them are farmworkers and they’re not in the 23 states that the California Legislature has banned state-funded travel because of a wide away of perceived wrongs.
There are in counties of California like Kern, Salinas, San Benito, Tulare, Kings, Merced, Madera, Imperial, and even San Joaquin and Stanislaus where governors like Newsom rarely visit or tweet about. That's because they are not on the path to the White House or even being elected governor of California.
Ironically, given the "red state tendencies" of much of the San Joaquin Valley even though the Democratic Party leads in voter registration, you’d think Newsom would be spending as much time tweeting about wrongs in Oildale, McFarland, or Orange Cove as he is about perceived wrongs in Alabama.
In defense of Newsom, none of it is of his doing.
But he was elected governor of California to govern — or at least worry about — California and not Iowa.
Rest assured that the malady that exists in Sacramento to worry about other states and not California first, is still alive and strong today even with a looming $32 billion budget deficit.
California Senator President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins has proposed establishing a state-funded endeavor to "promote social equity, civil rights, and antidiscrimination through marketing and advertising."
Such a campaign is not aimed at California, but red states.
Newsom's Office of Business and Economic Development would be charged with — and given the money to fund — such an endeavor.
The red state propaganda war, of course, will be at the expense of Californians including its most vulnerable population.
Hey, but at least Gavin Newsom is sticking it to Ron DeSantis, right?
This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Courier or 209 Multimedia.