Eric Christen: The fruits of progressive rule |

Eric Christen: The fruits of progressive rule


California is on the verge of recalling its second Democrat governor in as many decades.

It was the incompetence and aloofness of Gray Davis that led to him being replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003, the same two traits that have brought Gavin Newsom to the same precipice.

Gov. Newsom’s failures in his short tenure are remarkable. While his violations of his own COVID lockdown restrictions may have helped frame him as an out-of-touch hypocrite, it’s how this state has performed so poorly in response to this crisis that has really paved the way for a recall.

From his $1 billion mask debacle with a Chinese manufacturer that had to be canceled to California’s $11.4 billion unemployment benefit fraud paid to prisoners, people in other states and identity thieves that have demonstrated systemic failure. And now we have come to learn that his administration has been hiding data related to COVID-19 because the citizens of the state might be too unrefined to understand it.

Those of us who have been questioning his imposition of ad hoc law, subjectively making up new dictates with little to no apparent basis in data or science, have demanded for months that he make public the data only to have been met with silence. Now we learn he’s been hiding the data intentionally. This act in and of itself demands he be recalled.

California, however, is not in the horrible shape it’s in only because of one man or COVID-19. Newsom is endemic of an ideology that has governed our state for most of the past 20 years and that now has 100% control over the state.

Left-wing Democrats hold every statewide elective office and have super majorities in both state houses. What has this one-party rule managed to achieve for California?

California has the nation’s first-, second-, third-, fifth- and eighth-highest state income tax rates across the income brackets. That takes work. We also have the highest state sales tax and gas tax in the nation. Our corporate income tax is the seventh highest, while the median homeowner’s property tax bill is 54% higher than the average for the other 49 states.

We also have highest “cap and trade” tax in the nation, a tax that disproportionally hurts lower income earners as the tax increases the cost of electricity and gasoline.

Democrats claim all this theft is needed to create a “more equitable society.” But have we?

California’s unemployment rate is the third worst in America, while our real (“supplemental”) poverty rate is easily the worst. California has 12% of the nation’s population, but amazingly has over 43% of the entire country’s welfare recipients.

One of every two homeless people in America lives in California, something obvious to anyone who drives though any part of our state, a state that increasingly resembles a Third World country.

Our roads are ranked second worst in America despite most of California being winter-free. California ranks 50th worst for people’s debt-to-income ratio, and 49th worst for percentage of home ownership, which is not surprising considering our median home cost of $640,000 is two and a half times more than the national median price. Where is the left’s concern for inequality?

We have the second-highest annual cost for owning a car at more than $4,000, while our residential electricity costs an average of 42% more than the national average; that is, when our electricity isn’t being cut off.

CEO Magazine has ranked California “the worst state in which to do business” for the 17th straight year, while we are ranked as the third-worst state to retire in by Kiplinger.

This would help explain our “net domestic migration” (migration between states). From 1992 through 2020, California lost a net 4.9 million people to other states.

The question we as Californians have facing us now is not just whether to rid ourselves of a terrible governor. The question we have is do we keep voting for the same failed “progressive” governance at every level, governance that has wrought such clear and irrefutably terrible results, or do we go in a more hopeful and freedom oriented direction? Answer wisely.

Eric Christen is a Nevada County resident and founder of Protect Nevada County Students (

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