Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
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Tackling the California governor’s ‘diversion politics’

John Loftus writes at National Review Online about problems linked to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approach to his job.

“After watching last night’s debate,” said California governor Gavin Newsom, “this signing can’t come too soon.” Newsom is referring to Assembly Bill 3121, which he signed into law last Wednesday. He was, apparently, deeply repelled by Trump’s “refusal” to denounce white-supremacist groups, even though the president has done just that on multiple occasions. Thus Newsom felt compelled to counter Trump’s rhetoric with a divisive, controversial, and unpopular proposal: reparations. As we’ll see, this is not the first time Newsom has used flashy progressivism to attract attention to himself — or away from his failures. …

… What is pitiful about this task force — and Newsom’s leadership on the issue of reparations — is that it seeks to investigate and amend the state’s institutions, which are drenched in progressivism and whose policies have in fact hurt minorities, not helped them. But rather than govern well and correct past mistakes, Newsom and Co. focus their energies on virtue signaling. They thus distance themselves from responsibility for their failures, shift blame to abstractions such as “systemic racism,” and still cynically appeal to minorities. It is a tragedy outlined in Joel Kotkin’s recent National Review magazine cover story, “Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow.”

“Progressives,” Kotkin writes, “have demonstrated monumental incompetence in addressing everything from social equity to education, culture, and energy policy.” …

… Which areas of the country are worst for African Americans? “At the bottom,” Kotkin argues, “are mostly deep-blue metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Chicago, and San Diego.” It just so happens that four of these worst cities, the least amenable to African-American economic growth, household ownership, and upward mobility, are located in the most progressive state in the union: California.

California’s “draconian anti-climate-change regime,” as Kotkin describes it, has negatively impacted working-class minorities.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...