California is about to get democracy 'good and hard'
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) defined "democracy" as "the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."* Gavin Newsom, flush with his successfully having defeated the recall election, has interpreted the election's results to mean that Californians want him to double down on COVID restrictions. I would assume he also wants to increase the misery of those who dared challenge his regime.
When Newsom was interviewed on CBS News following his victory, he made it clear that the lesson he took from the whole experience is that Democrats must be even more aggressive about their policies:
In response to a question about what his victory means for national Democrat leaders, Newsom was clear that the message for Democrats across America was to get even tougher on policing everything to do with COVID.
[It means t]hat we need to stiffen our spines and lean in to keeping people safe and healthy. That we shouldn't be timid in trying to protect people's lives and mitigate the spread and transmission of this disease. That it's the right thing to do but it's also a motivating factor in this election.
Newsom said that he regretted his appearance at the French Laundry, unmasked, with a crowd of people, while Californians were locked up, isolated, and wearing face diapers. However, the way he referred to it and sloughed it off makes one think that Newsom is like the thief who isn't sorry he stole but is terribly, terribly sorry he got caught:
Humbling. Made a mistake. And you own it. And no one has beaten me more up than I have myself for just not getting up when I sat down.
But more than anything, Newsom's lesson from the recall election is that Californians must want more, and more stringent, COVID policies. He advised Democrats, "Don't be timid. Lean in." Ultimately, as far as Newsom is concerned, his moral high ground was just affirmed. "It's not just about the formal authority of setting the tone and tenor on vaccines and masks, but it's the moral authority that we have."
It is true that, despite being the most populous state in America, California is not in the top ten for deaths. Indeed, according to Statista, California comes in at 33 for the number of deaths in America. However, by October of last year, over 19,000 businesses had permanently closed in California. That's 19,000 lives and dreams ruined — that we know of. The real picture is almost certainly worse, but after October 2020, the media lost interest in closed California businesses, and you can't find records for the numbers that have closed in the 11 months since October.
And while California may have saved some lives by locking people up, shutting down businesses, closing schools, and traumatizing children, it lost many more people than usual thanks to drug overdoses. Overall, in 2020 alone, America suffered a 30% increase in drug overdose deaths. California was part of this trend, with COVID and the homeless crisis that has grown under Newsom resulting in a sharp increase in overdose deaths in just the first two quarters of 2020. California still isn't talking about drug deaths in the remainder of 2020 or during 2021.
So it's questionable how much good Newsom did for the people of California. Still, fraud notwithstanding, Californians were scared by the thought of a conservative governor and went with the Devil they knew — and we can predict that the Devil they know will force vaccines on them and their children, prevent normal education for those children, continue to force people to wear masks (despite their dubious effectiveness), and keep the screws on small and mid-sized businesses.
I would say this serves Californians right, but I know what's really going to happen: a mass exodus, and that's a very bad thing. We've seen with Colorado and Virginia what happens when Democrats, having despoiled their own communities, move into well-managed Republican regions. Having learned nothing from fouling their own nests, they proceed to impose their leftist policies on their new community, wreaking havoc wherever they go.
*For those wondering, yes, I know that Mencken opposed all forms of democracy, believing that the common man is a numbskull and that the elites ought to control government. Were he here today, I think he would say that, at least as to California, he was right about the common man but wrong to think American governance should ever be left to self-styled "elites."
Image: Gavin Newsom. YouTube screen grab.