Governor Gavin Newsom of California may have survived the recall campaign. Still, he appears to have taken no lessons from the process, as he has indicated a desire to rein in the primary reason his job was challenged in the first place. In addition, CBS News reports that Newsom was convinced by his recall victory that voters need tougher COVID-19 lockdowns and limitations. Devout Democrats, he thought, should strengthen the spines and lean toward keeping people safe and healthy.
Newsom was well aware that his harsh actions during the pandemic jeopardized his career, but he has embraced his survival as a mandate to govern. While the state was on lockdown, California routinely ranked among the worst states for COVID hospitalizations, outpacing even the states Democrats chastised for failing to take the virus seriously. Florida and Texas, for instance, had fewer hospitalizations than California combined. While California’s economy continued to sink under his instructions, the state experienced a worse-than-normal period of stagnation. To top it all off, Newsom showed that he wasn’t only a terrible leader who made wrong judgments. He also showed that he wasn’t bothered by obeying his own rules when he appeared at a posh restaurant during his lockdown.
The following are the consequences of enabling tyrants such as Newsom. Despite a determined campaign by Californians to recall him, his recall survival convinced him that people demand increased lockdowns and control over their life. Any re-election of hard-left authoritarians would undoubtedly elicit a similar reaction. What this means for Californians in the future is uncertain, but based on experience, we can anticipate that it will exacerbate existing anguish. While Newsom may have learned nothing, his following action may teach us all something.