All Eyes on California

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This weekend, I had the chance to address the National Young R Conference. There were delegates from all 50 states, many of whom will be deployed to California to help with the Recall.

In my speech, I argued that the Recall has profound national implications. While it’s first and foremost a fight for California’s future, it’s also a blaring warning to the rest of America: Don’t lurch down our failed path.

At this moment, that warning is urgently needed. Gavin Newsom believes California is the “roadmap to success” for Joe Biden. On Inauguration Day, he sent off a delusional 5-page letter touting all the “policy innovations” he wanted Biden to nationalize. The LA Times ran a story headlined, “Make America California Again? That’s Biden’s plan.”

Since then, several Newsom officials have failed up and joined the new Administration – and in his address to Congress last week, Biden rapturously embraced legislation modeled on California’s disastrous AB 5. The fear that our state’s cancerous politics would metastasize is rapidly being realized.

Stopping this in its tracks is an imperative of the highest order. As we’ve seen in California, corruption begets corruption. Once Special Interests capture the machinery of government, they use it to entrench their dominant position. They enrich themselves, expand their power, and install politicians who are all the more subservient.

Gavin Newsom represents the apex of this vicious cycle. His ascension to the governorship wiped away any pretense of politics serving the public interest. His self-coronation during COVID blotted out anything that remained of representative democracy. And his de-legitimization of the Recall would seal off any hope for a revival of self-government.

But in the coming months, California’s corrupt Capitol will be under a national microscope. All Americans will see how the gift of our Founding Fathers is being spoiled by the grift of our floundering governor. If Newsom is removed, politicians across the country will have to take note: voters aren’t fond of political racketeering.

What’s at stake in the Recall, then, is not just the trajectory of California government but perhaps the course of American history. As California’s long-term decline reaches a total freefall, we have a chance to both save our state and spare our country the same fate.

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