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8 Dec, 2020 16:15

California is the Grinch killing Christmas, small businesses, and maybe even the Democratic Party

California is the Grinch killing Christmas, small businesses, and maybe even the Democratic Party

Governor Gavin Newsom has locked down California as though a tropical storm were about to make landfall. Yet the ‘safety’ measures mostly target the ‘small guy’, and this hypocrisy could be the Democratic Party’s undoing.

Residents of America’s largest state once took pride in the maxim that commanded “as goes California, so goes the country.” Today those words sound more like a curse than the promise it once held. But it didn’t have to be that way.

Gavin Newsom, resembling a Roman consul drunk on power on the edges of empire, has announced stay-at-home measures that may ultimately prove deadlier than the pandemic it was meant to halt. Here are just some of the businesses his regime has ordered shuttered: hair salons and barbershops; personal care services; movie theaters; wineries, bars, breweries and distilleries; family entertainment centers and amusement parks.

Newsom’s rules dictate that retail outlets must operate at no more than 20 percent capacity, while restaurants are only allowed to provide take-out service. Religious services, in a throwback to more pagan times, must be held outdoors, amongst the trees and furry creatures. The governor says the measures were necessary as hospital intensive care unit availability dropped below 15 percent.

Like so many other Democratic leaders who have taken draconian steps to halt the virus, Newsom’s brutal strategy assumes people cannot be trusted to protect themselves; therefore the brilliant idea of wrecking the economy in the name of ‘safety’ is considered the best possible solution. That's a cold slap in the face to his constituents, coming as it does in the middle of the holiday shopping season, which is make or break time for many small businesses.  

Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, described the grim situation in Barstow, a town in San Bernardino County.

“Didn't realize that California had become such a third world country, so 90 percent of the outlet mall is shut down,” wrote McAdams, who was in California attending to urgent family matters. “Kids are riding dirt bikes where once thousands of people crowded in to purchase name-brand clothing at a discount.”

“Went to one of the very few stores still open,” he continued on his Facebook post. “As we approached the door a drill sergeant-looking woman with a shrill and husky voice barked out, ‘Ok guys, I can't let you in right now because we are at capacity in the store.’ We looked in and it looked empty. In fact the whole place was a ghost town. A bad Western film.”

The good thing about Western films, however, is that the tragedies and mishaps are all scripted and acted; the situation on the ground in California is happening in real time against real people.  

If there was a single story that captures the palpable anger and frustration that has gripped citizens in this state of some 39 million souls, it would be hard to top that of Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Los Angeles. In an effort to keep pace with the ever-mutating anti-Covid regulations, Marsden spent over $80,000 to construct an outdoor patio so she could keep serving customers amid the pandemic. With the latest lockdown measures, however, city officials denied her permission to serve clients on location – even in the parking lot. Unfortunately, the story does not end there.

To add insult to injury, the city granted permission for a film company to set up a large outdoor eating pavilion for its employees just yards away from where Marsden had built her outdoor patio.

In a Twitter video that has been watched over nine million times, the restaurant owner makes an impassioned plea for help.

“I’m losing everything,” she exclaimed, choking back the tears. “Everything I own is being taken away from me. They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive; my staff cannot survive…”

The cruel irony of Marsden’s plight, however, seems to have escaped that group of people living in the alternative zip code known as Hollywood, and particularly involved in the art of filmmaking, which Newsom decreed as an “essential activity” and therefore exempt from the crazed crackdown.

In yet another one of those jarring moments of total disconnect, Seth McFarlane, creator of the television series Family Guy, tweeted triumphantly that his latest television project, The Orville, “is back in production.” That must have been such a relief to millions of middle-class Californians, now teetering on the edge of insolvency and poverty, that at least they won’t be deprived of McFarlane’s slapstick comedy to see them through the gloom.

Not to be outdone by McFarlane, Saturday Night Live ‘comedian’ Pete Davidson took aim at lockdown protesters on the other side of the country, in New York City, which has become yet another Democratic-run ghost town. Davidson took issue with Mac's Public House, a restaurant where owners have declared it a Covid-19 restriction ‘autonomous zone’, saying the protesters were “looking like babies” for demanding their pub back. What seems to have been lost on the young and clueless Davidson, however, is that he has a cozy seven-figure Hollywood salary, whereas the bar employees back in New York, who work just as hard for their money, are staring down the barrel of bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, not even the Grinch governor could abide by his own rules. Last month, Newsom and his bejeweled wife were photographed at a lavish birthday party for some lobbyist at the upscale French Laundry restaurant, which included about a dozen people from several households – and not a surgical mask in sight. In other words, exactly the type of gathering – minus the filet mignon and Dom Perignon – Newsom’s administration has cracked down on.

California’s harsh response to the coronavirus, combined with the double standards from elitist Democrats, is already having consequences. First, conservatives are reportedly fleeing the state in droves. Although the reasons given vary – high cost of living, wildfires, and rolling blackouts being among them – the liberal political culture is certainly a contributing factor. That should come as no surprise given that the country is still at odds over the outcome of the most consequential and potentially fraudulent presidential election in many decades.

In any case, many conservatives no longer find the state very accommodating to their political tastes and are hitting the road. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Republicans were nearly three times as likely to have considered moving as their Democratic counterparts – 40 percent compared with 14 percent. For the other conservatives who wish to remain in California those numbers are disturbing as they suggest the state will never experience another ‘red wave’ of pro-Republican voters that Trump garnered in the 2020 election.

While it is doubtful that many California liberals will shed many tears over the departure of their conservative neighbors, Newsom’s lockdown has had another unexpected effect – the police don’t seem very keen to enforce the lockdown regime.

This week, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco and Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes have both said their departments will not enforce Newsom’s lockdown.

In a released statement, Sheriff Barnes said: “To put the onus on law enforcement to enforce these orders against law-abiding citizens who are already struggling through difficult circumstances, while at the same time criticizing law enforcement and taking away tools to do our jobs, is both contradictory and disingenuous.”

“Conversely, policy makers must not penalize residents for earning a livelihood, safeguarding their mental health, or enjoying our most cherished freedoms,” he added.

That’s a pretty amazing statement, and one that really captures the hypocritical nature of Newsom’s demands. On the one hand, he removes the ability for millions of Californians to provide for themselves through a time-honored tradition known as ‘work’, which has never stopped despite many pandemics over the millennia. On the other, Newsom is so detached from reality that he can’t see the problem with himself and his elite friends breaking the rules with impunity (it is doubtful that Newsom would have changed his duplicitous ways had he not been caught).

At the same time, the power drunk governor wants the California police – the very organization that has been on the receiving end of fierce criticism from Democrats ever since the killing of George Floyd – to enforce his draconian decrees. That’s certainly one up on Marie Antoinette’s ‘let them eat cake’ quip. At least, the King Louis XVI’s queen granted her subjects the right to eat. 

Newsom seems hard-pressed to do even that, while expecting his berated and underfunded police to arrest the dissenters. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound like a recipe for long-term peace and tranquility in the ‘Golden State’.

Gavin Newsom is playing with fire, and if he’s not careful he may just destroy California and the Democratic Party with it.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.