By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views
Unfortunately for Kamala Harris, the title to the Beach Boys classic song “I wish they all could be California Girls’” no longer applies to her faltering presidential campaign. As the Democratic nomination process unfolds, the Junior Senator from California has found her support hovering at around 5% in the latest national polls.
After viewing Harris’s nasty-condescending humorless attitude in the first three debates, most people just don’t like her very much. This includes Harris’s colleague Diane Feinstein who has already endorsed Joe Biden.
Even with her diminishing numbers, the influence of so called California values exemplified Governor Newsom and the progressive legislature are very much on display along the Democratic campaign trail. These include support for:
- The Green New Deal which eliminates coal and fracking as a source of energy, bans off shore drilling, encourages solar power, opposes all nuclear energy, and places heavy taxes on petroleum while adapting a version of California’s cap and trade policies in the name of fighting climate change.
- Eliminate I.C.E. as we know it and have open borders from the South. Provide government assistance including free health care and education as California does for undocumented families under the umbrella of Sanctuary Cities policies.
- Provide single payer healthcare as supported by Governor Newsom and the State Legislature. This is part of the Socialist vision he has to transform California into a socialist society where business, medical, housing, and other aspects of life are controlled by government intravention.
- With the passage of AS-5, this legislation is aimed to destroy Uber, Lyft, and other gig economy companies by turning their drivers from independent contractors to hourly workers. The larger question is whether California’s government is protecting workers or their union buddies who desire to represent drivers with the ride share companies.
All of the above issues have been dealt with in the Golden State during the past several years. Even though Kamala will not be carrying the bacon for her friends in Sacramento, whoever is the Democratic Standard bearer will undoubtedly win or lose campaigning on California values to the rest of the country.
It appears liberal Democratic media outlets such CNN, MSNBC, and The Washington Post will have to offer voters more than just anti-Trump rhetoric. There will be a time when the donkey’s must answer the “Where’s the Beef?” questions as to why their candidate should occupy the White House in 2021.
During the campaign the proposed Green New Deal partially represented by “California’s controversial cap and trade” program will be put under the microscope. Business’s hate buying energy credits because of using fossil fuels to operate their manufacturing facilities.
It can be asked if such a system works, especially considering the high gas costs in California. Also noteworthy is concern that these environmental policies have forced manufacturing businesses to flee the state.
Going further important decline to state voters in swing states will undoubtedly determine if preventing global warming and concerns with climate change are more important to them than having a high paying non government jobs. Will phasing out fossil fuels lead to these individuals residing in the Pent House or Out House depending on who captures the Presidency?
These same people may ponder what their world will look like when there is an oil shortage should pro energy Donald Trump be in charge versus a no more coal, nuclear energy, shale, or new oil leases Chief Executive when negotiating with Putin or Iran.
Another important issue is immigration. Are those individuals (mostly conservatives) who want to control our borders such a bunch of insensitive racists? Is it wrong for them to reject these refugees, especially the ones who have had previous run ins with law enforcement?
Again, California moves to the forefront of this controversy with their Sanctuary City laws which has given public benefits to those who have evaded capture or court ignored dates after crossing the Mexican border.
Ultimately, it will be up to Congress to make the final decision of what to do with immigrants entering the United States along with how the border traffic is to be regulated. Does the United States want to use the California Welcome Wagon approach or the restrictive Donald Trump model? If a Democrat captures the White House are these illegal aliens going to pay their own way or be given a blank check as with what has transpired in California?
Almost all the Democratic presidential candidates support the California Way which takes government funds away from other low income citizens to support new comers lacking in many cases education, vocational training, and economic resources to take care of their families.
Health care is another slippery slope that Democrats like to talk about without getting really serious of how the trillions of dollars needed to fund this system might come from. Led by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and of course Kamala Harris, a tax on the supper rich is assumed to provide medical coverage for all. The big debate among the front runners is if private insurance companies will be involved with this process.
There is no doubt Gavin Newsom and his leftist associates in Sacramento are in favor of having single payer insurance coverage for their citizens with or without the co-operation of the Federal Government. The only thing stopping them now is being able to print their own currency.
The last major issues this side of abortion, Me Too, LBGTQ laws, and a myriad of other social issues is what actions should be taken by the government on employment created by the high tech gig economy. In California this means AB-5 just passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Newsom. This law is intended to impose government control of independent contractors currently working for ride share companies such as Uber and Lyft.
By the State changing these drivers to hourly workers with family leave, sick pay, vacations and other benefits, this class of independent contractors is having their relationship to their employer parallel normal employment. The problem is that most of these people do not want this reclassification. In addition, AB-5 will also increase the costs for providing transportation services to ride share clients.
There is legitimate concern the bill Governor Newsom signed threatens to kill the golden goose. Is this legislation what people actually want? Do they desire to have “Big Brother” in Sacramento being their liaison to ride sharing companies? At the same time it can be legitimately asked if these mini-entrepreneurs are actually having their interests served or are the beneficiaries of AB-5 labor unions who desire to represent these workers?
In the upcoming election in 2020 the principles of AB-5 may well be the most important issue of the campaign. It offers a contrasting view of Republican Pro Capitalist policies versus Democratic flirtation with trying to create a socialistic society dominated by government intervention.
Will this contest end up being a referendum on the California Way?
Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.