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Democracy Dies in Darkness

Note: This article does not represent the views or beliefs of Forest Hills Public Schools. This is an opinion piece by the author.

Recently there has been a recall election in California for Governor Gavin Newsom. With the plethora of misinformation and dangerously dividing rhetoric in our government, some people felt the need to remove the Governor. The law in California makes it significantly easier for its officials to be recalled compared to most states. This is how organizers were able to get enough signatures. According to ballotpedia, the law states that in order to begin the petition process, the signatures of 65 registered California voters must be gathered. After the petition receives enough votes, the people in charge of it can begin the process for Newsom’s removal. 

His recall election, it is said, happened because anti-mask and anti-vax extremists felt like Newsom mishandled the pandemic in California. However, the petition for his removal started in February of 2020, which was before covid hit California. The writing in the petition does not mention the pandemic. 

The petition for Newsom’s recall began with accusations that he broke the law by giving foreign nationals special treatment. Specifically, the petition states that “laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens.” So, as seen in the petition, the Coronavirus was not the reason for Newsom’s recall.

Numerous GOP leaders thought the recall election might be their chance to make a big change in California. There has not been a Republican elected statewide in California since 2006 when Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor. The state has also not supported a Republican presidential candidate since 1988- when George H.W. Bush was elected. GOP leaders thought that if they could secure California for their party now, then the 2022 midterm elections would favor Republican candidates. This was a parallel fear of some top democrats after Biden’s approval rating went down due to the Afghanistan withdrawal. Republicans anticipated a shift in both houses of California’s congress if Newsome was recalled. However, it was rather a disappointing turnout for the GOP. Newsom was, according to the New York Times, the clear winner with more than 63% of the vote, which turned out to be about 6 out of 9 million voters. So, what the radical GOP conspiracy theorists thought might be a successful campaign to remove a sound politician, was nothing of the sort. However, even with this decisive victory, the Democrats still have to prepare for a drastic shift in congress. With the midterms coming up, Biden may not have a majority in the House or the Senate.

Newsom’s recall impacted not only the people of California, but the nation as a whole. It proved what voice is the strongest in America- even if it’s not the loudest. If Gavin Newsom had lost, it would have shown a shift towards false rhetoric, broken politicians, and a new, fictitious regime in our government.  However, the failed recall election in California has shown hope that democracy is not completely dead. Rather, it survived thanks to the good people of our nation, and it declares to the rest of the world that American democracy lives on in the light of truth.


Work Cited (APA 7 style)

Laws governing recall in California. (n.d.). Ballotpedia.

Kreutz, L., & Martichoux, A. (2021, April 29). California recall election: Everything you need to know about the race against Gov. Gavin Newsom. ABC7 Los Angeles.

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