Show the governor in a bad light — and you will pay.
That’s the message sent Californians’ way after a photo that outed Gov. Gavin Newsom as a face mask-less, non-social distancing partying hypocrite surfaced, and shortly after, he ordered state residents to obey a curfew.
Seriously, there’s a special place in hell for public servants who abuse their powers to subjugate their citizens — their employers, actually.
“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge,” Newsom said in a statement reported by Newsweek. “We are sounding the alarm. It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”
So beginning Saturday, the residents of 41 counties in California will have to be home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
And that’s how it’s gonna be until at least December 21, he decreed.
It’s hard to see how this is scientific. It’s hard to see how this order comes by way of consideration of the real, true, accurate dangers of the coronavirus — and not as a petty toddler tantrum reaction to being shown a hypocrite. That’s right; Newsom is a hypocrite. Just a few days ago, a photo showed he and his wife dined in the cushy French Laundry restaurant with several friends and acquaintances — and lobbyists — in celebration of the 50th birthday on political adviser Jason Kinney. In midst of his scolding California residents to social distance, wear face masks, stay home when possible. In midst of his cancelling of Thanksgiving — or, more to point, his order to residents to stay home for Thanksgiving and give up the normal family gatherings.
Newsom apologized, of course.
“I made a bad mistake,” he said. “Instead of sitting down [at the restaurant], I should have stood up and walked back, got in my car and drove back to my house. Instead, I chose to sit there with my wife and a number of other couples that were outside the household.”
Yes. That’s what hypocrites do — place demands upon others that they themselves refuse to abide.
And now, suddenly, curiously, on the heels of all this bad PR, residents of 41 California counties have to stay home between certain hours. They have to obey a curfew order — as if they were wayward teens and the governor, their dad.
This is not the way of good governance.
This is not the way of good leadership.
In America, the people are the bosses, the governing officials the employees, and the Constitution the rule of law that’s supposed to be equally applied.
The first rule of leadership is to lead by example, not dictate.
Newsom, like too many in today’s coronavirus times, falls far short of that rule. It’s high time for citizens to demand accountability and insist public servants follow the same rules they create for others. Nothing like a good recall effort to reel in the arrogant, yes?
A government of separate and unequally applied standards is not a republic. It’s a dictatorship. And far too many governors are using the coronavirus as cause to dictate.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.