Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr

The recall Newsom movement has been a nuisance composed by right-wing Californians even before the pandemic broke out. However, it has only since gained traction as a result of Governor Newsom’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis in California and his attempts at mitigating it. Regardless, Gavin Newsom must stand his ground and do what is best for California when it comes to the pandemic. He will not be able to please everyone, and he should not waste time continuously trying to do so. If the governor focused more on effective COVID-19 regulations and less on public opinion, California would return to normalcy faster, and Newsom could sooner return to passing other progressive legislation. 

The recall Newsom movement should not be as important as it has gotten. After all, the movement only has attention because of far-right coalitions, and because of the virus, it’s being overtaken by mainstream Republicans. However, what people fail to realize is that if he were to get recalled, it will decentralize the state and cause more harm than good. Yes, Gavin Newsom has made mistakes with handling the virus, and people should hold him accountable for that. But he has still taken the virus more seriously than former President Donald Trump and several other Republican leaders in other states. Recalling Governor Newsom outside of the regular election cycle is a waste of time, and it will only make a bigger mess of things. 

There is an obvious and clear divide when it comes to criticizing Newsom 一 one side wants to forgo all safety guidelines and let natural selection do its job, and the other side is actually concerned for the health of others. However, these reasons still do not warrant a total recall. Newsom deserves to stay in office until the next election cycle. It’d be too dangerous for California in the long run if he were to be removed so suddenly. Besides, every state has been hit almost equally as hard, and although California’s death rate is high, we are still doing better than most per capita. 

Republicans are going to try and find a problem with any state leader so long as they are Democratic. If not Newsom, surely they will criticize other progressive governors for years to come. As a result, it would be wrong for the citizens of California to put so much faith into these coalitions. Gavin Newsom’s job performance is not as bad as people say it is, and his errors trying to please everyone is not enough to incriminate or recall him. Indeed, there have been scandals such as the Napa Valley incident, but he has not been doing anything severely bad since. As of lately, he has been trying to do his best to offer as many guidelines as he can without offending the extreme right. There has been a lot of criticism for how he has mismanaged the pandemic. Republicans will antagonize him and claim he is hurting businesses, but people need to realize that the governor is in an impossible situation trying to reach a middle ground in such a divisive political climate. 

In truth, if it wasn’t for the virus, Newsom definitely would have been in a better position than he is currently. His low approval rating has a lot to do with the pandemic, the same situation every other public figure finds themselves in as of late. Additionally, health, safety and science have been so politicized that heavy opposition is inevitable. In reality, if it was not for the pandemic, the recall Newsom movement would be relatively small. The mess that California is in has a lot to do with the pandemic, and citizens are pulling the governor in too many different directions. There is no middle ground where he can play it safe, and the pressure has caused him to poorly manage the virus. Governor Newsom has been trying too hard to please everyone, and in doing so, he has mishandled the pandemic. 

The sooner Gavin Newsom learns to stand his ground and ignore the opposition, the sooner California will be able to get back on its feet. When it comes to policy, it is obvious that Newsom’s heart is in the right place. One of his biggest priorities is the accessibility of education, which includes bigger financial aid segments, pre-K for all and free community college. In fact, these progressive policies will probably have a bigger impact for many years to come in a way that his mishandlings of the virus won’t. 

However, if citizens are ever to enjoy these benefits, virus control must come first. Newsom was right to initially enforce statewide shutdowns, but he needs to do more. In the process of trying to please everyone, the governor floundered. Therefore, instead of attempting to reach across the aisle, Gavin Newsom must push forward and stand firm. He needs to make the right decisions and do what is best for California. Regardless of whether or not these decisions are in line with the delusions that the right has, they will benefit a majority of citizens in the long run.  

California has seen the consequences of both shutting down and reopening the state. However, if citizens want to stop living in limbo and going back and forth between different guidelines, Gov. Newsom must stop trying to appeal to his opposition. In a state of crisis, he must tune out the woes of those who are unable to comprehend this deadly virus and focus more on saving as many lives as he can. The recall movement will be ever-present no matter who is in office, so long as they are Democratic. Therefore, it would be a waste of time to indulge their grievances. Gavin Newsom must persevere in order to return California to its pre-pandemic glory. 


  • The Editorial Board

    The Highlander editorials reflect the majority view of the Highlander Editorial Board. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Associated Students of UCR or the University of California system.