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Travis Cunha

Jun 4, 2024

On May 30th, The Los Angeles Times published an article ripping California Governor Gavin Newsom for once again betraying his image as a climate advocate, following his appointees' vote against a solar energy program. Although we don't expect in-depth analysis from a mainstream outlet like the LA Times, anyone who has followed Newsom’s history would not be surprised by this outcome. 

People familiar with Newsom’s track record recognize his tendency to project the image of an ideal liberal Democrat while often acting contrary to his stated principles behind the scenes. After all, this is the same Governor who enforced some of the strictest COVID-19 lockdowns in California, only to be caught dining unmasked with high-ranking members of the California Medical Association at the upscale restaurant The French Laundry. Newsom exemplifies why capitalism simply cannot fix the social ills of California or the United States as a whole, and at the end of the day neither the Democrats or Republicans will ever have the answers to society's problems. 

The California Governor has His Sights on Washington

We can anticipate the California Governor to quickly become a potential candidate for a presidential run in 2028 after flirting with the prospect of it this year before quickly jumping to support Biden. An article from the Atlantic actually states that Newsom admits he has been engaging in a “shadow campaign” to eventually supplant Joe Biden as the Democrat Party leader.

From what we have seen over the course of Newsom’s tenure as governor, it is clear he is the perfect embodiment of what the United States President should be. He has the charisma and deceptive smile reminiscent of Christian Bale in American Psycho, and similarly, this West Coast Patrick Bateman is also driven and blinded by corporate greed.

Newsom has a history of launching his campaigns early. Just a month after former California Governor Jerry Brown won his election, Newsom announced his intention to run for governor in four years. By getting an early start, his opponents had little chance to catch up by the time the elections arrived. Similarly, his actions during this presidential election season suggest he is laying the groundwork for a future presidential run, even if he isn't publicly declaring it yet. Conveniently for Newsom, his term as California Governor ends a year before the next presidential election.

Pacific Pat Bateman has been positioning himself as more of a national character than focusing on his responsibilities in California. In November, he and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis engaged in a strange and otherwise irrelevant debate on national television. Another interesting tactic by Newsom is traveling to many other states on a tour to promote Joe Biden’s election this year. What other prominent governor takes time away from his own state to visit places like Nevada and South Carolina?

For a man who was just a few years ago facing a recall for passing laws that led, according to the petition, to "People in this state (to) suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result," he sure has a lot of time to visit other states to position himself as a Democrat favorite down the line.

Capitalism Cannot Cure Social Ills it Creates

We will have to wait and see whether or not he does run for president, but if he does, his track record of failures and succumbing to monopolies shows he would be a surefire candidate to (mis)lead our nation. In 2004, as the Mayor of San Francisco, Newsom unveiled a 10-year plan to end homelessness in the city; 20 years later, the problem is arguably worse than ever. This, along with his dismal failure to address California’s energy problems, highlights that no matter which bourgeois politician is elected or which empty promises they make, intensifying capitalist crises cannot be avoided.

California’s homelessness problem has made national headlines, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. A government audit on the state's spending revealed that from 2018-2023, California spent $24 billion on homelessness. The problem is there is no reliable data on where this money went or what impact it had on the homeless population.

Republican state Senator Roger Niello said, “California is facing a concerning paradox: despite an exorbitant amount of dollars spent, the state's homeless population is not slowing down. These audit results are a wake-up call for a shift toward solutions that prioritize self-sufficiency and cost-effectiveness."

The quote from Niello perfectly encapsulates how the capitalist mind thinks: throw mass amounts of money at a problem, and the magical hand of market mechanisms will surely solve it. While more tent cities pile up and homelessness hits new highs, politicians from both parties are lost as to why nothing is getting better. The problem arises when there is no long-term plan for the well-being of the people.

We can see major differences in China’s poverty alleviation programs. A problem like homelessness cannot be solved by simply getting people off the streets for a short-term period. They never question where these people will be in 3, 5, or 10 years down the line. Without a plan that encourages overall economic improvement and prosperity, there will only ever be failed attempts like the ones we continuously see in California and the rest of the nation.

Those who have lived through Newsom’s California know how he has failed to address the many issues the state faces, but that may not be enough to convince the nation not to trust him. While in charge of a state that boasts one of the biggest economies in the world, Newsom has continually feigned concern with issues like climate change and homelessness, but like all the rest, he has come up short in the end and somehow fails upward.

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