Originally Posted on The Orange County Register
As one of the state’s few right-of-center editorial pages, readers — and the state’s political leaders — no doubt expected us to come to our conclusion that voters should recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. Perhaps that explains why Newsom, whose policies we’ve often criticized, would not meet with our editorial board, despite our numerous attempts to arrange a meeting.
Nevertheless, our decision wasn’t easy and we earnestly wanted to hear the governor make his case. We want to walk readers through our decision-making, by first debunking the most overheated “no” arguments. For instance, the Sacramento Bee recently argued that the genesis of the recall is “bitter partisanship and right-wing nationalism” and called it a “serious threat” to the state.
Yet California’s unique brand of direct democracy sprung from Progressive Era attempts to give the People the power to check special interests and politicians. In his First Inaugural Address in 1911, Gov. Hiram Johnson argued that its opponents, “however they may phrase their opposition, in reality believe the people cannot be trusted.”
Such reactions reinforce our support for the process. Democrats control every statewide office and hold legislative supermajorities. Direct democracy remains the People’s sole remaining check on their power. The recall power is not so much a threat to the state as it is to the status quo.
But what about this particular recall? Is it justified? We believe so, and even the Bee noted that, “Sacramento establishment politics are failing to deliver the scale and speed of change that’s needed to address California’s existential crises.” For us, that’s the bottom-line reason to vote “yes.”