“Newsom and his cronies deserve torches and pitchforks. But what we can do instead is simply refuse their orders.
That’s the only revolution we need.”
Minutes before I began writing this column on Thursday, California governor Gavin Newsom announced that while he has “sympathy” for small business owners he is nonetheless issuing a new round of comprehensive “stay at home” orders that will likely kill many of the remaining small businesses that have managed to survive nine months of the country’s strictest lockdowns.
I am a small business owner in California, and I wondered why the governor would feel sympathy for me. He and I certainly have a few things in common, which might be the source of his concern. Newsom and I were both born in the mid-1960s in the San Francisco Bay Area and have both started businesses. When we were teenagers we both loved baseball—he as a collegiate player and I as a mere but passionate fan. Those invested in identity politics would also note that Newsom and I are both white, cisgender heterosexual men.
Given these biographical similarities, one might assume that his “sympathy” for me is natural, authentic, and perhaps even inevitable. But what I don’t share with Gavin Newsom is the most important characteristic of all—his position in the economic and political ruling class of California.
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