Two weeks ago this paper ran a top-notch, front-page story on the current effort to recall our governor, Gavin Newsom. It included a photo of the highly successful woman in charge of that effort in the southern six counties of the valley, Ellen Woitalla, a retired teacher from Visalia. Let me just mention here that in the photo she was not wearing a mask.
Of course, we’re kinda used to that here, but what makes it noteworthy is that the masterminds of this campaign use the fact that Gov. Newsom was photographed not wearing a mask as the essential tipping point of their campaign. Randy Economy, the chief media spokesman, is quoted as saying, “This will go down as the last line in Newsom’s political obituary.” Really? Is this not the pot calling the kettle black?
Because, among politicians, nobody tops the Rabid Republicans for going maskless. Newsom’s so-called crime is being inconsistent about it: applying “heavy” regulations to customers and businesses that he did not, at least once, apply to himself and his associates. The RR’s offense, to me, is far higher: denying the need for protection of people and flaunting the dire warnings of the medical scientists that an epidemic was coming if we didn’t take swift action. Putting the economy ahead of the people’s health. Putting themselves in the position of knowing the truth when half of them can’t even spell.
Okay. Maybe I’m exaggerating. But look at this quote from the official recall petition, as posted on the web site welovetrump.com:
“Recently, in 2019 within months of taking office, Governor Gavin Newsom pulled troops off the southern border when President Trump attempted to stop illegal immigrant caravans from entering the United States which threaten all of the United States not just California, and continues to allow immigrants to flow into California threw (sic) the Southern border.”
If you visit the official website, www.recallgavin2020.com, you will find similar interesting sentences that should have made the retired teacher from Visalia weep.
I think Gov. Newsom has handled the pandemic as well as it can be handled, given what was handed to us especially from above. But his real offense, if you examine the roots of this and the other five efforts to recall him since he became governor in 2018, is his non-Trumpian stance on immigration. In fact, his real offense is being a Democrat with values of the kind Jesus had.
“The People have Spoken!” their web site declares, celebrating the number of signatures gathered. What galls me most is their flaunting of our entire political system. The people spoke Nov. 6, 2018 at the polls; by a wide majority the people of the state elected Gavin Newsom to run it for four years. In Tulare County, he lost by only 14,310 votes: of the 101,066 of us who voted in that election, 42,702 of us in the county said “yes” to his candidacy, while 57,012 of you wanted John Cox, and the rest wanted a handful of other people. We spoke as we are privileged to do, and it seems to me that out of respect for the system, if not for the winner of that election, we ought to at least let him do his job.
That’s the argument the Trumpians kept raising, anyway, even when their hero’s presidential performance put the entire country in danger.
Which brings me to Devin. Two of the most Trumpian Rabid Republicans are congressmen from our end of the valley, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy. Their continuing re-elections have paralleled the percentage of voters registered Republican in their districts. The margin between registered Republicans and Democrats, however, isn’t as big as you’d think, and if real Republicans got a clue what these Trumpians are doing with their flamboyant and irresponsible rhetoric, that margin wouldn’t be as meaningful as it has been. But if they don’t, it seems to me that a relatively comprehensive voter registration effort by Democrats could take enough bite out of their hold on our region. The cities of Dinuba, Farmersville, Lindsay, Porterville and Woodlake all have majorities of voters registered Democrat, some more than twice as many as Republicans.
It would be more responsible—and respectful of our democratic voting system—than the enormous public cost of a recall election.
Trudy Wischemann is a writer who is sick of this crap. You can send her ideas about reform c/o P.O. Box 1374, Lindsay CA 93247 or visit www.trudysnotesfromhome.blogspot.com and leave a comment there.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.