The Citizen Army That Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Even in deep-blue California, it is possible to achieve the impossible. The technology to facilitate mass uprisings is mature and ubiquitous and will function with or without the complicity of the social media and search monopolies. The political realignment we are witnessing in California is not partisan, it is not conservative or liberal, Right or Left, or Republican or Democrat. It is comprised of old and young, rich and poor, black and white, and everyone else. This is a mass uprising.

California’s pandemic shutdown isn’t just pushing the economy to the brink, it’s taken away whatever remained of the trust that Californians had in their elected officials.

This mistrust is finding expression in a growing movement to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom. Already, tens of thousands of California voters have signed up as volunteers to sign and circulate recall petitions. That number is growing every week. 

But that isn’t all. Agendas are aligning. Alliances are forming. Newsom’s actions have forged a unity that transcends political ideology and defies conventional labels. This is exemplified in the Open California movement.

The Open California movement isn’t found on just one website or Facebook group, and its members are as diverse as California’s electorate. What appears to be the largest group on Facebook is “Reopen California,” established on April 11 and already attracting over 170,000 members. And along with large membership, there is high intensity, as exemplified in the Freedom Rally that took place on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on May 24. Along with Reopen California, which appears to be the biggest Facebook group, there is “Reopen California…NOW!” (7,168 members), “FULLY REOPEN CA NOW MOVEMENT,” (6,350 members), “Re-Open California #EndTheLockdown” (5,124 members), and dozens more groups, many with thousands of members, even more with hundreds of members.

This just scratches the surface of the resistance that is forming. There’s “Californians Against Excessive Quarantine” (13,460 members), “Leaving California” (10,500 members), and partisan groups such as “Flip it Red California” (31,484 members) and “Make California RED Again!” (21,895 members). There are thousands of smaller groups. All of these have seen their membership surge in the past few weeks. This is evidence that hundreds of thousands of Californians, if not millions, have been mobilized in resistance to the lockdown, and nearly all of them want to recall Gavin Newsom.

How many of these activists will sign a recall petition, or circulate one? And then there is the recall movement itself, including two groups, already working together, “Recall Gavin Newsom” (42,673 members), and “Recall Gavin 2020,” which has “only” 7,567 members, but is linked to 58 satellite Facebook groups, one for each California county, comprising over 25,000 total members.

Where else can we find natural allies of a grassroots recall movement in California?

California’s Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has over 200,000 members. Every one of them knows that Gavin Newsom is the leader of a government that has imposed the highest taxes in America onto Californians. Every one of them knows that if Gavin Newsom has his way, taxes are going to keep going up. How many of them will vote for a recall?

Then there are California’s dozens of local tax-fighting organizations from San Diego to Eureka, California’s Tea Party chapters, Second Amendment supporters, people who resist over-vaccinating their children, preppers, three-percenters, constitutional oath-keepers, and State of Jefferson rebels. These groups add additional tens of thousands of members who want to recall Newsom.

But we’re just getting started.

The resistance in California is a mass movement, with broad populist appeal. Gavin Newsom hasn’t done anything to control the takeover of our public education system by fanatics. They have made it almost impossible to discipline students who are disruptive or even violent, turning many California schools into war zones where learning is impossible. These same fanatics have turned basic sex education into extremist “gender” indoctrination. Millions of parents are enraged by this, and now they can send a message by recalling Gavin Newsom.

When you add it all up, it’s more than a movement, it’s an army, and recruits are everywhere.

What about California’s 2 million independent contractors whose jobs were threatened the day Newsom signed AB 5? How many hundreds of thousands of them lost their jobs, or now have to worry about their jobs?

What about the nearly 3.7 million Californians who have already filed for unemployment benefits in just the last two months because Gavin Newsom chose to quarantine the healthy, instead of just protecting the vulnerable? What about California’s now 4.6 million unemployed, more than 25 percent of the workforce?

What about the Christian evangelical communities in California, with millions of voters, who are all appalled at what Newsom has done? And of course, what about the 4.5 million Californians who voted for Trump in 2016, who are politically disenfranchised and determined to do something?

Newsom’s problems have just begun. California’s state and local governments faced unprecedented financial hardship before the pandemic shutdown. Only a light breeze was necessary to disrupt their finances, and what’s happening today is a hurricane. And even after the economic weather stabilizes, the state government’s financial house of cards will remain scattered. Newsom squandered his time in office, fixing nothing, only making problems worse. And his attitude, which consistently favors cronies and noncitizens over normal hard-working Californians, is his undoing.

Despite rhetoric to the contrary, Newsom never cared about normal Californians who want affordable housing. Instead of deregulating so developers can build affordable housing again, he’s spending billions to subsidize “affordable housing” that costs taxpayers over $500,000 per unit.

Newsom also doesn’t care about people who want safe streets. Instead of helping the homeless by getting them off the street and into treatment centers in places where they are affordable, he’s building shelters on some of the most expensive real estate on earth, and actually providing them drugs and alcohol.

Moreover, Newsom has locked Californians in their homes at the same time as he’s eliminated bail and released thousands of prisoners. Along with millions of civilians, expect plenty of members of law enforcement to support a recall of this governor.

Realignment is coming to California. Gavin Newsom has provided the spark that lit the fire, illuminating decades of mismanagement and abuse by the one-party state.

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About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is also the director of water and energy policy for the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. Ring is the author of Fixing California: Abundance, Pragmatism, Optimism (2021) and The Abundance Choice: Our Fight for More Water in California (2022).

Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

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