Voters suffer a dementia that responds to no remediation. We keep falling for the same sucker punches dealt by manipulative politicos. They bundle unrelated, minor irritants into constellations of supposed abuse linked by invisible threads in the ether, entangling in this web all those who thrive on dissatisfaction. Often these points of artificial light cancel one another –but instead of darkness, those trying to navigate by false stellar cues accept contradictions and the whole spectrum of gripes.
Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to blow up the boxes that comprise California Government? He won over the people because of his star status among 135 candidates for the job. The precipitating event bringing on the recall: then Governor Davis had acted responsibility by reinstating an auto registration fee after reducing it had exacerbated a state treasury shortfall to about $38b. California ended up with a state budget deficit of $34b in 2003. By the time Arnold left office, that deficit had tripled to $91b. He blew up fiscal responsibility. Was that one of those mythical boxes?
Schwarzenegger learned on the job quickly—that he was indeed unqualified and inept. Unlike Trump, Arnold admitted it and the state survived more intact than our nation did after our journey into Trump hell. But it was rough going indeed for resilient California.
The California economic success story puts the lie to every GOP closely held mirage. If Governors were judged on their state economies, Newsom would not be facing this recall. California’s economy is booming despite the pandemic. The state has a huge budget surplus, resulting in the largest tax rebate in history. By every measure of economic success, we demonstrate that progressive values and programs bury the myths of the GOP. State GDP has grown faster than our nation’s—indeed faster than any nation except China (California Defies Doom With No. 1 U.S. Economy – Bloomberg).
One of the factors driving us to the cliff of recall is resentment that CA is doing such a decent job of controlling covid-19 , that so many fewer Californians are overwhelming hospitals with Covid, that we don’t need to borrow refrigerated trucks for temporary morgues, that our students are going back to school in relative safety. We defy the “masks are evil and don’t work mantra” and the associated stupidity that mask or vaccine mandates are an infringement on personal choice. Every day we demonstrate that GOP stars DeSantis and Abbott are deadly self-parodies.
All of the different ways that California triumphs defy and expose GOP resentment that California is a beacon of success, and that we put to shame Texas and Florida with their sacrifice of lives to right wing ideology, their crazy energy grid and their fraudulent claims about vaccinations and masks. Maybe the drought and fires stoked by climate change will unite people to act against global warming by undoing the corporate welfare sustaining fossil fuel donors to the GOP.
My hope is that Californians are smart enough to continue to wear our masks, celebrate our story that gives the lie to Republican nay-sayers, and vote a resounding NO on recall.