I don’t care if Gavin Newsom is a “beauty.”
I don’t care if John Cox is trying to channel Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Jenner as the “beast.”
Nor do I care that Kaitlyn Jenner is transgender.
What I do care about is California.
There is going to be a recall election, like it or not.
And even if you vote against the recall, you are disenfranchising yourself if you don’t vote for a replacement. The reason is simple. Should the recall pass, there isn’t a second election at a later date. The question of the recall and — if it passes — who replaces the governor is on the same ballot.
You may believe the recall isn’t justified but it is taking place.
Newsom wisely avoided a posh dining venue to kick-off his campaign to fight the recall. If he goes down, his Napoleon moment that was the wind behind the sixth recall attempt since he’s been in office that triggered an election was a $350 a plate meal sans face mask.
But he’s doing himself no favors complaining so stridently the recall could cost millions of dollars where there was nary a peep out of him when the Economic Development Department was caught on his watch just months ago paying out more than $11.4 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims.
As for J.C. & the Bear show launched this week, I get that he needs to get his message out but this is not Alaska.
It might shock someone in the Cox campaign but the bear bit was bad optics. There was the predictable reaction from animal rights activists which were more than justified. Having encountered my share of black bears hiking in California I don’t care if Cox’s sidekick was a bear born in captivity and has been groomed for a land version of the low-quality life whales live at Sea World. It’s still a wild animal which explains the electric wire precaution at his campaign kickoff.
But if we buy into a wild animal being “domesticated” then how is the bear sitting alongside of Cox as if he were listening to a pal chat conjure up an image of Cox being a beast?
And given this is about California and not photo opts, exactly where does Cox stand on the proposal to re-introduce grizzly bears to California, specifically in the southern Sierra?
Personally, I’m against it but Cox certainly seems to leave the impression he thinks an adult grizzly bear is as cuddly as an 850-pound stuffed Teddy bear.
As for Jenner, can we cut the transgender jokes?
I find Jenner’s candidacy disturbing but not the reason you might think. It’s because people act as if she has no right to run especially as a Republican.
She’s transgender and had an operation. Get over it.
Then there are those who argue she somehow is a traitor to transgenders based on the simple fact she’s a Republican.
It should be noted her first clear and detailed political positron was short and sweet. Jenner waded right into the transgender sports debate that is kicking up political fights in state houses across the country.
Jenner said it was a question of “fairness” and that those born as biological boys should not be allowed to compete in girls’ sports in high school.
Many in the transgender community and those who are the Stepford Wives of wokeness reacted as If she was Benedict Arnold.
One would think she’d be given a tad more respect for her position if they disagreed with her. It’s tough to argue she doesn’t know a thing or two about the issue given she at one time was considered the world’s greatest male athlete for winning the Olympic decathlon, had a sex change operation, and is now a transgender woman.
The most inspiring words so far of the recall campaign were uttered by Jenner when she was asked how she reacted to her critics who have often been vicious even by today’s standards. Her reply: “I move on.”
So, let’s move on, shall we?
We can start by embracing California values. That’s right, California values. Not San Francisco values, not Sacramento values, not Fresno values, not Los Angeles values, not Redding values, not Bishop values, and not Merced values but California values.
We’ve always been a tad more tolerant and open minded when it comes to new ideas and people with different backgrounds and views. That’s not to say we don’t have pockets of outright bigotry and such but for the most part if the United States is the proverbial melting pot, then California is the ultimate smoothie.
Conformity has always been an endangered concept in California. It explains how in just 172 years we went for, less than 20,000 that included indigenous people with a relatively few Americans, Latin Americans, and Californios with a smattering of Asians in an untamed land to the fifth larger economy in the world with almost 40 million residents.
Yet nearly half of the state can be described as untamed or being true wilderness.
Californians have been and/or either the trailblazers or near the forefront of agricultural innovation, water development, freeways, the aerospace industry, modern tech, entertainment, and more.
It shouldn’t be viewed as blasphemy whether someone is a liberal from a wealthy family background, an aging tax crusader, or transgender.
What matters are their views and their game plans.
The median value of a home for all of California is rapidly approaching $600,000. Our unemployment rate is north of 8 percent. We are closing in on 200,000 homeless statewide. Wildfires keep getting bigger and the wildfire season now never ends. Droughts keep occurring as they have for centuries. We have a 62 cent a gallon gas tax and a compromised highway/freeway system due to aging infrastructure and not enough funding for congestion relief projects.
Our income tax rate is among the highest in the nation yet our funding for K-12 schools is less than robust. Energy costs keep accelerating faster here than elsewhere in the United States. Deliberate blackouts are becoming more common. Students in the state’s largest school systems are back in the classroom learning via Zoom while many of their teachers are instructing them from home.
Newsom needs to make the case why he shouldn’t be recalled.
As for his challengers, they need to not just convince voters to recall Newsom but they have to offer something that is designed to take California to a better place.
Right now complaining about the election costing money, posing with bears, and Twitter campaigning is not cutting it.