Once the tallies were in, and they arrived swiftly, almost within an hour or so of polls closing, the hope for change in California slumped with a whimper. Governor Gavin Newsom survived the vote to recall him, and by a large margin.
And my guttural but eloquent response, which no one who voted in support of him would approve of: Dip shits! The whole lot of them. With a shake of my head, in disbelief. Of course I didn’t keep this sentiment in my head. Rather, instead, let barbed words live on in social media.
A friend replied soon after that it wasn’t nice to name call. Another, by text, called it vindictive, beneath me. I took pause with both of those thoughts, having respect for each of them.
Since I moved to California, sharing my worldview has become an exercise in frustration, futility and occasional banishment, except when agreeing with a singular line of thought. But at heart, my philosophies on politics fall closest to the classical liberal. Live free. Speak (and write) unencumbered. Keep governance small and (as much as possible) out of my pocket.
It's not without irony though that here, a mixed crowd in California would peg me solely and indelibly as Republican, and has. But not just Republican, but a Trump Republican, which all Republicans seem to be in the broad stroke California perspective.
Which, too, in itself has become meant as derogatory. Trumper. And with it, the auspice of a racist, Nazi, Bible thumping rube, with AR-15 in hand — and now, devout tinfoil-clad anti-vaxxer to boot. None of which are applicable descriptors. By the way, remind me how you castigate name calls and vindictiveness and being crass.
In spite of Newsom’s rally cries that the recall vote was Republican tomfoolery, it wasn’t. You let us down, Sir. You ran businesses into the ground and closed public schools for a full year. You sic’d our local lifeguards on us to keep beaches closed when we sought moments of fresh air sanity. And Sir, you did it while you squired your own children to private schools for in-person learning. While you dined in opulence. In the company of others. While forbidding us from any semblance of similar respite from the isolation you continued to impose.
Never mind the routine emergencies: homelessness, wildfires, drought management, business restrictions and taxes to the moon — enough to make Elon Musk blush and bail for Texas.
Schools reopened not because you thought better about it — but because parents in San Diego sued California. And absent that recall you called so-Republican-partisan, you wouldn’t have otherwise reopened our lives on June 16th. We’d still be six-feet social distancing and masked up outdoors. The whole shebang gone — but only when your political life depended on it.
And now onto you, his voters. I shake my head in disbelief, wondering when you'll realize Gavin Newsom, just now, has already forgotten you. Until next when he needs your vote, he has forgotten you.
But you feel vindicated today. The recall failed. You opt to keep going this route. You fixate on the hyperbole someone else espouses, while excusing the same that you outbound to others. You polarize everyone. And those who don’t think (or vote) the way you do, you have choice words for them.
Voting to keep him in office, in spite of all what he put us through, will stand as a tremendous mistake. Still, today, you sit quite so pleased. And I’ve got a name that so well describes that.