The Recall: Legal and Logical Are Not The Same

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Recall Election pamphlet (Tim Forkes)

There is a recall election coming up and it is entirely possible Californians will decide to change who their governor is despite him winning by a more than comfortable margin in 2018. You see, recall elections are legal despite there being no logic to them. In fact, the only thing legal and logical have in common are both words begin and end with the same letter.

There is no logical explanation for this recall election. All any proponent of it can say is it is legal to hold so they are just doing what is their legal right. The thing is, they have no argument beyond this to lay claim to that makes recalling Governor Gavin Newsom worthwhile. They just don’t like the fact he is a Democrat — which is why this recall is the brainchild of Republicans. It seems the party that claims to be all about fiscal accountability does not mind spending taxpayers’ money if it can put someone more to their liking in power, even if it is just for a year.

This is all a ploy for a party that is outnumbered two to one in the state to undo everything they do not agree with that comes from Gavin Newsom, which is pretty much everything he does. Worse, the leading candidate to replace Newsom is a disaster. In a state that gets slammed by fires, earthquakes, and mudslides, the last thing we need is a governor who is nothing more than a self-promoting radio host with no experience in governing and zero hope of establishing any connection with the Democrats who control Sacramento. There are no deals he can strike that will make them happy without him alienating the conservative base behind this recall effort. If he sticks to placating the tiny conservative coalition that might land him in office, he has no chance of winning a general election next year.

Ask yourself, where is the logic of replacing a current governor who has not broken any laws, is not under investigation for any wrong doings, and has governed only within the rule of what he is allowed to? Where is the logic in replacing such a person with a temp who has no qualifications for the job he seeks and has no shot at being elected in a general election? Legal? Yes. Logical? No way.

Now let’s look at the recall voting. The turnout is liable to be small since there are no other measures on the ballot. It’s simple, you either vote yes or no if you want to recall Newsom. Then you select one from a list of over 40 candidates who you would want if Newsom got recalled.

Let’s just say for argument’s sake, fifty percent of all eligible voters cast their ballot in the recall (that is a much higher amount than predicted). Now, imagine 52 percent of the voters choose to recall Newsom. This means we then turn to the list of 40 plus candidates to elect a temporary governor of the most populous state in the nation with the world’s fifth greatest economy. The candidate from that list who garners the most votes will become the next governor. He or she doesn’t even need a majority.

Now imagine all of those who vote for keeping Newsom do as he suggests and refuse to vote for an alternative, none of which are from his political party, you know, the one that has twice as many voters and the one behind the recall. This leaves us with the 52% who voted to recall, but that number actually represents only 26% of all eligible voters in the state under my scenario.

Of that 26%, let’s just say Larry Elder, the self-promoting radio talk show host, garners half of those votes. It will result in a governor whose vote total represents 24% of all eligible voters in the state loses his job to a guy who received no more than 13% of the eligible vote. Legal? Yes? Logical?  Oh, hell no.

In this scenario, legal has far more in common with ludicrous than logical. The thing is the people behind all of this are counting on voter apathy. They rely on voters being another L word, lazy. They lull us into believing this is how democracy works when in reality, this is how it fails. It fails us because we throw up our arms and just do not care then we end up bitching about why we are in such a golden state of mess.

All of this is part of a national effort by the GOP to go to any length to oversee our political system even though they consistently represent a minority of the population. If they cannot win legitimately, they set about undoing laws that make voting easier for all citizens because they have long figured out, the more people who get to express their wishes, the less likely the GOP remains relevant. They can’t find a message that resonates with the common everyday person so they home in on a dying breed: angry, hate-filled, white men and women who think the path forward is by moving backward in time.

These are desperate folks who will go to any length to cling to what they believe is rightfully theirs. The only thing they have a right to is the same right to vote that all citizens have. If the majority of eligible voters sit out this recall election, mark my word, you will see a large GOP voter turnout that will usher in a totally unqualified and unfit person to lead this state for the next year. We can’t afford to take a year off and let this happen so please, get out and vote. Fill out your ballot and drop it off in the mail. It won’t take you more than a minute to do but will save us a year of trouble.