Larry Elder – Orange County Register

California Governor Gavin Newsom hailed President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, a withdrawal that has left US citizens stranded and our Afghan allies betrayed and left for dead. Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust us. That Newsom praised this deadly mishap speaks volumes about the governor’s poor judgment and utter lack of common sense.

Newsom, who used the coronavirus to abuse his authority, overstepped his role as governor, locking down virtually the entire state and shutting down businesses, while he enjoyed himself – without a mask and indoors – with friends and supporters at a world-famous chic restaurant.

We saw the same with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her hair salon in San Francisco.

However, such hypocrisy only adds insult to injury.

Almost a third of California restaurants have closed permanently due to COVID.

The state’s unemployment rate is 7.6%, the second highest in the country. Nearly 69,000 Californians filed new jobless claims for the week ending August 14, the highest total in three months for the state. Women are a group disproportionately affected by the type of repressive policies linked to COVID, as they are often over-represented in sectors most affected by closures, such as tourism, cleaning and domestic services, and entertainment. Ironically, Newsom fervently claims he cares about women.

On the other hand, I think that individuals don’t need the government to tell them how to think and what to do. The notion of individual freedom and personal responsibility is the complete opposite of great government. The freedom to choose whether to get the vaccine, or how much to pay someone who agrees to work for me – and the responsibility for any negative outcomes – is what makes a society healthy and strong.

To me, individual freedom means government has to come out of our personal lives. It must also leave foreign countries where it no longer operates.

This does not mean opposing all governments. It is clear that government has its place, albeit limited. It exists to protect the public.

The federal government exists to protect its citizens from outside enemies, such as during war. That is why citizens pay taxes for a serviceman. State and local governments exist to protect law-abiding citizens from criminals. This is why citizens pay taxes for a police force. From this perspective, inane calls for police funding are neither humane nor fair.

Recently, members of my campaign staff were attacked when I visited a homeless camp in Venice Beach. Such violence and lawlessness is precisely what the government should protect its citizens from. Yet crime and homelessness in California has skyrocketed under Gavin Newsom.

If I were elected Governor of California, I intend to reverse our state’s disastrous decline and focus on addressing its issues such as the historic rise in crime, homelessness, the cost of life, gradual blackouts, raging forest fires and water shortages.

This is how I intend to govern California.

Larry Elder is running for governor of California in the recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom on September 14.