The California gubernatorial recall election was a dull affair that looked to be a loser for those who want to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office. Then Larry Elder entered the race. Now we get to see how ever-so-tolerant, diversity-obsessed Californians deal with the angst of seeing a black man with a serious chance on the Sept. 14 ballot.
No one would shake up single-party California more than Elder, a talk show host – the “Sage of South Central” – who is also a small business owner, author, and columnist. Though the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace recalled Gray Davis in 2003 was a landmark political moment, it’s small-time compared to the state electing a black libertarian-leaning Republican, one who happens to lead the field of possible replacements by a large margin.
Anyone who has listened to Elder’s radio shows knows he’s smart, that he supports his beliefs with facts. He’s also a happy warrior, not a scold like the current governor, who is an operator; a slickster, who according to veteran California journalist Dan Walters “continues to say and do things to bolster that image”; an angle-player; and one lucky man who has relied on his good looks and extensive Democratic Party IOUs to reach the governor’s mansion.
(Which will be his final political destination. It’s obvious he’s been eyeing the White House, but the presidency is no longer possible for him, even should he survive the recall. He’s too wounded.)
Elder’s top campaign themes are lifting the statewide ban on cash bail, unwinding harshest-in-the-nation pandemic restrictions, expanding school choice programs, and easing the state’s burdensome environmental regulatory framework. If successful, his policies would reduce crime, which has become world famous, thanks to viral videos; free Californians from the grip of elected and unelected officials who have used the pandemic to manipulate and control; repair the state’s once highly regarded schools; and set off the homebuilding boom California desperately needs.
The election of Elder, or any Republican or Libertarian among the nearly 50 candidates, would have an impact all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Newsom himself has said that if the recall is a success, “it would have profound consequences nationwide and go to not just politics, but to policy and policymaking.” If his party is harmed, as he fears, that would be a bonus for a country that is under the boot of a powerful complex of Democrat elitists hungry to rule rather than govern under constitutional limits.
California voters have brought the multitude of problems plaguing the state on themselves by electing more and more leftist Democrats over the past decade. These politicians have produced twin housing and homelessness crises; the highest poverty rate in the country; a rancid business environment; commercial and residential flight; endless wildfires and man-made drought; blackouts and extreme energy costs; and a tax-and-regulatory framework that’s destroyed economic freedom. The California Dream is now restricted to only the uber-wealthy, the rest with no other choice but to stay awake nights wondering what happened.
The majority of California voters, those who have been installing expand-the-government Democrats over a lengthy series of elections, might not deserve the rescue that Elder offers. But he is the type of man who brings what they and the voters who don’t reflexively vote for the D need: a separation from the blue state agenda and the single-party regime that uses its power to enact the worst policies imaginable.
That Elder is a Republican of color is a fact that voters accustomed to seeing life through a racial lens cannot ignore. Will their dedication to diversity steer them his way, or is his life a black one that doesn’t matter because he dares challenge Democrat orthodoxy? No matter who is ultimately chosen, though, California would be better off without Newsom. He and the Democrats should be out of chances by now.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board