Whether you may be involved in local politics or not, you are likely aware of the recent recall campaigns for Gavin Newsom. Petitions to have him removed from office began as early as February 2020. It is important to note that the main reasons for the original recall action are not exclusive to the way he handled Covid-19. Some of the grievances from petitioners include Newsom’s policies on immigration, homelessness, parental rights, property taxes, and the death penalty. They believe that he supports illegal immigrants over actual citizens of the U.S, and that he is permitting an extremely low quality of life, just to name a few.
But, as Covid-19 became an increasing issue in 2020, more desire for his recall festered from people of all different political standpoints. Some mentioned he was too slow to reopen businesses and caused the economy to crash. Others say he wasn’t strict enough with Covid-19 regulations and that those who broke the rules with those policies in place should have been punished.
His leading competitor, Larry Elder, contrasts his views heavily as an extreme conservative. I am indifferent with both Elder and Newsom. I consider myself left-leaning, so I am definitely against Elder’s ideals. However, Newsom has proven that he consistently does a poor job as governor. Both of these aspects have caused me to have conflicting feelings on the event. Do I prefer a candidate that I almost completely disagree with who can do the job well, or a candidate who I mildly agree with who will do a poor job and likely damage our community?
Now that the results are in, and it's clear that Newsom won by a landslide, my thoughts on the two candidates aren’t as relevant. However, I most certainly believe that the recall was a waste of time and money. Roughly $276,000,000 were spent on this, all for the recall to fail. It seems absurd to spend this much money for a recall campaign, especially considering that Elder lost. On top of that, elections are only a year away. We could have waited one more year and put that money into something worthwhile. I don’t understand how people expected the recall to work. California is notorious for being a very liberal state. There is no way a significant amount of people would vote for a candidate that supports everything they’re against, even if they dislike Newsom. Hopefully, next year will have a better selection of candidates from both parties.
Not much is known about the future candidates, but more information should be coming soon. I hope that when more information comes out, people will do their research and vote for a candidate that will benefit everyone. This rarely happens, but I think these past two years have opened some people’s eyes. Some are still relatively close-minded in practice, but little by little, we are becoming more accepting of different opinions and identities.
I think the usage of political parties is useless. There is no need to have to “identify” with one party. It just confines people to one group or central idea. Many people assume that those who are in a different party are incorrect, or just bad people in general. This, of course, is typically not true. It also leads many to vote on candidates based on party rather than policy. It is important to look at both sides and understand all the candidates' views before jumping to decisions. Nobody is a good or bad leader simply because they are Democratic or Republican. Time after time again, we have had terrible officials in office from both parties. At the end of the day, the candidate’s party should be the least of people’s concerns. Before voting, voters should do more extensive research before jumping to vote for someone who “seems” like an ideal leader.