September 14, 2021
All Eyes on Cali

All Eyes on Cali

Today Californians will decide whether Gavin Newsom will finish out his term, and (if the recall succeeds) who will replace him as governor. Polling has consistently shown Californians generally oppose removing Gavin Newsom, with a noteworthy outlier from Survey USA showing 51 percent of Californians support recalling Newsom. In the event Californians vote to recall Newsom, conservative radio host Larry Elder is the frontrunner to finish the remainder of Newsom's term. California is a distinctly liberal state, which typically delivers wide margins for liberal candidates at the statewide level in general elections. This election is different, however. It's a referendum on the direction of our nation's most populous state. If it were an independent nation, California would command the world's 5th largest economy. The state is home to the largest tech companies in the world, Hollywood, and is the nation's leading producer of agricultural products. California has a lot going for it. So why did 2 million Californians sign on to a petition to recall Governor Newsom?

Ask your average Californian off the street why they would want to kick Newsom out of office and you might hear answers ranging from rolling blackouts, to wildfires from mismanaging state forests, to pervasive homelessness, the declining business climate, the crippling water shortages, the breathtaking amount of fraud in the state's unemployment system, to ballooning state and local debt of $1.5 trillion, to woke-LGBT-indoctrination of California public schools, to overly burdensome restrictions on churches as part of the state's COVID-19 response, and the pro-abortion extremism of the state legislature. One thing you are guaranteed to hear from this group of disaffected Californians is that it's time for Governor Newsom to go because of his hypocrisy in dealing with COVID.

After issuing strict COVID guidelines ahead of Thanksgiving last year Governor Newsom was photographed hanging out unmasked, not-socially distant, with lobbyists at the French Laundry--a $400 a head, three-star Michelin restaurant in Napa Valley. As California parents voiced their frustration with city councils and school boards implementing mask mandates for children attending public schools, Governor Newsom's oldest son was photographed participating in an indoor basketball camp, maskless. For concerned California parents and children who suffered through some of the worst COVID-lockdown policies in the nation, seeing their governor so brazenly violate his own dictates, and knowing that even as they return to some type of normalcy their children have to remain masked, while Newsom's child doesn't, is too much hypocrisy to bear. It's not too much to ask that our elected officials (and even science personified, King Two Masks, himself) adhere to their own policies (looking at you Madam Speaker, Governor Whitmer, Mayor Bowser, Rep. Jerry Nadler, in-flight Texas Democrats, and Joe Biden ). Voters are rightfully upset. It's no wonder Governor Newsom has been burning up the White House phones trying to get "the Big Guy" out to California to campaign against the recall effort.

Yesterday, Biden hit the campaign trail and tried to raise the stakes for supporters of the embattled governor saying: "the eyes of the nation are on California because the decision you're going to make isn't just going to have a huge impact on California, it's going to reverberate around the nation, and quite frankly, not a joke, around the world." Nationalizing the election in the final days is one way to wake up a Democrat base that is softening and less engaged ahead of the recall election, and little more than a year out from the midterms. The reality is, even the fact that the recall petition succeeded itself is a shot across the bow for liberal politicians in deep blue states like California. You cannot do a miserable job running your state, violate your own rules that destroy businesses and hurt the development of children in your state, and expect voters to line up and support you. Take for example, Hispanic voters, a crucial voting bloc in California and increasingly across the nation, are not just unengaged in supporting Newsom, they're angry with him.

Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Pastor Jack Hibbs was on Washington Watch with FRC President Tony Perkins yesterday and said "the Republican turnout that we're hearing about preliminarily is massive and the Democrat turnout is extremely low right now. Very low motivation for the Democrats to get out and vote. So, we are very optimistic." He continued, "Whatever happens in California does not stay here... let's pray that [today] is the beginning of a turn where California makes a comeback... I know that sounds crazy, but we've been plowing this field for almost 30 years, and we believe the Lord is going to honor this effort."

While Pastor Hibbs sounded a positive note for those Californians weary of the hypocrisy and unbiblical policies coming out of Sacramento, he was honest about the specter of election fraud saying "...people are showing up to vote in person and they're being told that they have already voted... people are being told that they've already cast their ballots when they're holding their ballot in their hand, which means the fraud is well underway." Local news is reporting this story, and concerns have been percolating for some time about the design of the mail-in ballots themselves which appear to show how someone voted through the envelope are making headlines--increasing the temptation for those handling mail to discard ballots that support the recall effort. A troubling sign many of the election integrity issues that plagued our 2020 election might be playing out in the recall election in California.

After all of the issues that plagued the 2020 election, forty one percent of voters do not believe Joe Biden won the 2020 election fairly, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll. As a result of this, and his overall handling of Afghanistan, the economy, stagflation, vaccine mandates, and more, Biden's approval ratings have slumped to a dismal 39 percent. If today's recall election generates similar concerns and Californians cannot trust that their elections are fair our nation will find itself in a deepening crisis. Americans are already losing confidence in most of our nation's major institutions, if Americans can't trust that those in power are rightfully in power we will have permanent and insurmountable divisions across our country. California is a deep blue state, Californians shouldn't have to beat a margin of potential fraud to defeat an unpopular governor who by all measures is failing his people.

Biden is right, the world is watching. They are watching the world's oldest constitutional republic struggle mightily to hold together the confidence of voters in our system of government, from Arizona to California, Nevada to Virginia, Georgia to Wisconsin, and everywhere in between. It's a sad reality we find ourselves in. However, we can't forget the bigger picture.

In Psalm 2, the psalmist writes:

"Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
'Let us burst their bonds apart and cast their cords from us.'
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
'As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.'"

Yes, it does matter who sits in power in Washington, in Sacramento, in Richmond. We need to remember the only kingdom that truly matters has a King who is not up for reelection, who will not be recalled. He reigns for eternity. Please join me in praying alongside our friends in California, Pastor Hibbs and his church, that the Lord would finish His good work there, that we would see a free and fair election today.