As California Goes, So Goes the Country: Why Michael Shellenberger Needs to Win in November
It is often said, “As California goes, so goes the country.” In fact, right before Inauguration Day, the Los Angeles Times bragged that the Biden administration was looking at California for model policies on issues such as climate change and social justice:
California is emerging as the de facto policy think tank of the Biden-Harris administration and of a Congress soon to be under Democratic control. That’s rekindling past cliches about the state — incubator of innovation, premier laboratory of democracy, land of big ideas — even as it struggles with surging COVID-19 infections, a safety net frayed by the pandemic’s toll, crushing housing costs and wildfires, all fueling an exodus of residents.
There is no place the incoming administration is leaning on more heavily for inspiration in setting a progressive policy agenda.
So, it should come as no surprise that the price of gas is breaking records, crime is spiking, and Joe Biden wants to make poor kids go hungry if your state doesn’t mandate that boys get to use the girls’ bathroom.
One man is trying to change the direction of California, and possibly the nation, by challenging Governor Gavin Newsom in the primary and hopefully in the general election. Michael Shellenberger was a progressive who was named a Hero of the Environment by Time magazine in 2008. He talks about going to Nicaragua to help the Sandinistas in his youth. However, now in his 50s, it seems the Left has left him. In November, Shellenberger is running as an independent, and he endorsed former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, during the Gavin Newsom recall election. And if I were a California resident, I would vote for Shellenberger in November.
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California’s “not in my backyard” energy policy led to an unreliable grid because the state refused to produce enough fossil fuel energy. Instead, the state buys from neighboring states to claim some sort of moral high ground about defeating the sun monster. However, if it is hot in Arizona and Nevada, California goes dark. To save guppies, the state starves agricultural production in the Central Valley of water, reducing food production. The elite class also convinced itself that homelessness was an expression of freedom or a choice and that stealing is out of need if the total is less than $950. Now California has open-air drug use and homeless camps throughout its largest cities, and many neighborhoods can’t keep a chain pharmacy open.
Newsom has been involved in creating and pushing these disastrous policies since he was elected mayor of San Francisco in 2004. In an interview with Glenn Beck this morning, Shellenberger spelled out the fundamental difference between his approach and the ideological approach taken by Newsom. “There’s two kinds of environmentalists. There’s pro-human environmentalists that are pro-growth, pro-abundant energy. And then there is anti-human, anti-growth, pro-scarcity environmentalists.” Shellenberger’s policies center around abundance and human flourishing, while Newsom and the Biden administration pursue scarcity.
Shellenberger asserts that California needs more oil and more natural gas production and to keep its nuclear facilities safe and operational. In California, the governor has extraordinary powers, especially in an emergency. According to Shellenberger, four years of rolling blackouts, water shortages, and uncontrolled forest fires qualify as one. He will use emergency powers to expand energy production and begin desalination to provide adequate water for agriculture and residents.
On law and order, Shellenberger realizes minority Democrats want more police. Based on a false premise, wealthier white liberals drive the anti-police sentiment. “The people who must live with high crime, who live in the flats, what to see law and order. They don’t want to see the open-air drug markets. They are the ones that suffer the most,” he said. Shellenberger noted that he is pulling support from these areas and independent voters and Republicans. According to him, the split in California is socioeconomic more than ideological.
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The machine behind Newsom is spending time promoting Shellenberger’s opponents because they see him as a threat. Shellenberger can speak eloquently on energy policies, homelessness, and crime. As the author of San Fransicko, he has done deep research on dealing effectively with the drug addiction and mental health issues that underlie many of the other social problems in California. Shellenberger believes he is promoting common-sense solutions based on reality for most Californians. He emphasized:
“Whether or not you have an open-air drug market should not be a Right-Left issue. Whether or not you should raise standards rather than get rid of Alegbra, which is what the governor’s people want to do, should not be a Right-Left issue. Whether or not you have enough electricity, enough fresh water. These are basic functions of a civilization. That’s what’s at stake. I am running on a pro-civilization platform.”
Shellenberger may also be the only thing standing between Gavin Newsom and an inevitable presidential run, saving us all from his soul-crushing left-wing ideology. Taking California down a more sustainable path is just as important, especially if the state continues to set the direction for the entire nation. Shellenberger has the knowledge and immediate solutions to make that path a reality. Then the state can get back to policies that are Left-Right issues.
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