Alexander Duncan | California’s Lost Promise

Reflecting on Gavin Newsom’s four-year term as Governor of California, it is clear that his leadership has deviated significantly from the Golden State’s historic commitment to progress and prosperity. Despite his charismatic personality and lofty promises, the state has witnessed a worrying downturn in key areas under his leadership.

The most glaring problem is the worsening homelessness crisis. California’s homeless population has grown exponentially under Newsom’s watch. Despite allocating billions of taxpayer dollars to ameliorate the crisis, the number of people living on the streets in major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco has not decreased. Instead, we have seen a disappointing increase. These are not just statistics; they are people, Californians, who are suffering due to a lack of strategic planning and execution.

Businesses, the backbone of the Californian economy, have fared no better. The Golden State, once a beacon for entrepreneurs and start-ups, has grown increasingly hostile to business. High taxes, strict regulations, and a lack of effective government have caused an exodus of businesses to states like Texas and Florida. The result is a loss of jobs, a decline in economic activity, and a tarnished reputation as a business-friendly state.

Furthermore, the issue of public safety has been alarmingly neglected. California has seen an increase in crime rates during the Newsom administration. The soft approach to crime, coupled with poorly implemented criminal justice reforms, has created an environment in which the rule of law is undermined and the safety of citizens is jeopardized.

Perhaps the most daunting aspect of Newsom’s tenure is the state’s approach to education. Despite California’s wealth, our public schools languish near the bottom of the national rankings. Despite increased funding, educational outcomes have remained stagnant. Instead of focusing on improving the curriculum and the quality of teachers, the emphasis has been placed on political ideologies and unproven educational theories. This is not the recipe for success that California students deserve.

You can’t discuss Newsom’s tenure without mentioning the disastrous rolling blackouts during the 2020 and 2021 heat waves. The state’s overreliance on renewable energy sources without a well-thought-out contingency plan highlighted the administration’s lack of foresight. and left millions of Californians in the dark.

The most distressing aspect of the Newsom administration has been the mismanagement of California’s budget. When he took office, the state ran a significant budget surplus, a testament to years of disciplined fiscal policy. However, under Newsom’s leadership, this surplus quickly turned into billions of dollars in debt.

This financial decline can be attributed to excessive spending on poorly conceived and implemented programs, combined with a lack of adequate preparation for economic downturns. The governor’s pursuit of idealistic but financially reckless policies has left Californians saddled with a mountain of debt that future generations will be forced to pay. This short-term vision and fiscal irresponsibility underscore a fundamental misunderstanding of the principles of good governance and good economic management. California, the fifth largest economy in the world, deserves better.

Newsom’s tenure is a warning to future leaders. His charismatic oratory and big promises couldn’t hide the serious problems facing California. From a growing homelessness crisis to a deteriorating business environment, rising crime, dilapidated public schools and mismanagement of finances, his leadership has left the Golden State in a tarnish.

As we look to the future, California needs a leader who can restore its promise: a leader who understands the importance of a strong economy, the value of public safety, and the crucial role of quality education. Only then can California regain its shine and reclaim its rightful place as a bastion of opportunity and prosperity.

Alexander Duncan