Has Gavin Newsom Ruined California? He’s a popular governor, at least for people who decide to live in California.
Gavin Newsom’s approval stood at 58 percent back in March. However, others who have migrated from the state believe woke policies and politics have damaged their former home, high crime and drug use, unsustainable levels of homelessness, and unaffordable housing, not to mention a tax burden that kills household spending and stifles innovative business practices.
Get Out of California
At least 500,000 people have left the state in the last two years.
More residents are allowed to work remotely from anywhere, so they have looked at all of the problems in California and uprooted for locations around the country that have favorable laws and policies. Texas is a popular destination as is Florida, which has no personal income tax.
Nevada and Utah are seeing more Californians coming in who are looking for cheaper housing and a better quality of life. Newsom is governing a shrinking state.
Covid-19 Police State
Gavin Newsom also instituted some of the most draconian anti-liberty policies during the Covid-19 pandemic, with never-ending lockdowns, vaccine passports, business closures, and no in-person schooling.
Gavin Newsom Touts California as a Liberal Oasis
The governor seems impervious to bad news and criticism. He has won an award for education reform and is battling Florida and Texas in the culture wars by touting California as the best state for individual freedoms for access to abortion and friendliness to the LGTBQ community. He thinks the California brand of progressivism is the best way to govern and he has run ads in both states to tout this philosophy. But despite these claims, Californians are leaving.
Education Suffered Under Lockdowns
And the people who stay are frustrated by the Gavin Newsom school lockdowns that hurt learning and educational achievement. Even the liberal Brookings Institution conducted research that found K-12 students suffered under the closures. The study concluded that national “test-score gaps between students in low-poverty and high-poverty elementary schools grew by approximately 20 percent in math and 15 percent in reading.” The gap was the worst in California.
Never-ending Crime Hurts Californians
Soft on crime district attorneys in large cities around the state are not prosecuting crimes that have led to social dysfunction and homelessness, dirty streets, and rampant drug use. This has resulted in more violent crime too. Los Angeles had an increase of 36.1 percent in murders from 2019 and 2020 and a further 13.7 percent growth in homicides from 2020 to 2021. This is the second highest rate in the country, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
Ranking Last Is Becoming a Regular Occurrence
The conservative Hoover Institution has blasted Newsom for his failing policies. “California continues to be near the bottom in the rankings of all states in terms of traffic congestion, poverty, school performance, air and water quality, and infrastructure,” the think tank said in a report.
People Can’t Afford to Live There
High costs in housing have made the state unlivable for the middle class. The median home price is $600,000. The state ranks 49th in housing affordability. Only 20 percent of the population can afford to own their homes. This problem has worsened under Newsom, even though he has repeatedly promised to solve it.
Governor Leaves Some Residents Stranded
Newsom also has an arrogant and self-righteous governing style.
He often claims he is a man of the people, but he can show callous disregard for his constituents’ wellbeing. During the recent snow and rainstorms that plagued parts of the state creating power outages and stranded residents, Newsom inexplicably left the state on personal travel.
Recall Effort Failed
He has been recalled, although to his credit, his supporters came out in droves in 2021 to handily beat back the recall challenge in a referendum. But this shows he still has numerous people who despise his rule.
Sure to Run for President
Despite all of these problems, Gavin Newsom still has national ambitions and is often mentioned as a presidential hopeful, although he has repeatedly said that he would not challenge President Joe Biden in a primary in 2024.
Gavin Newsom is likely to run for the White House in 2028 and it remains to be seen what record he will run on. California has numerous drawbacks that have happened under his watch. The state is struggling and people are voting with their feet. There are so many problems, it is difficult to pin down the number one downside to living in California – it’s likely a combination of the high cost of living, crime, and homelessness.
Newsom appears to ignore these issues and if he doesn’t succeed in mitigating them, he could find that a national run for president is harder than it looks.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.