by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) should be pitied, not criticized, for his new marketing campaign.
The man loves his state, and that’s a good thing. And in a new ad released in time for Independence Day, Newsom attempted to sell potential new residents of California as a place where freedom reigns — in opposition to the supposedly backward and despotic state of Florida.
Admittedly, there is a sense of the word “freedom” for which the substance of Newsom’s claims is true. For example, if your goal is to have a doctor help put you out of your misery, then yes, California is the state with the freedom you’re looking for.
If you are a public school teacher who wants the freedom to confuse 5-year-olds by reading them Gender Queer and telling the boys that they might be girls, then California is the better choice for you. After all — freedom!
Most importantly, if you’re a hypocritical governor who loves to turn the screws on everybody else with COVID-19 restrictions that you don’t intend to obey yourself, then, by all means, “Go West, young man!”
But then, not all freedoms are created equal. There are some that, at best, might make your state an interesting place to visit for a day. There are others that attract full-time residents and businesses and create long-term economic opportunities for people who aren’t even abortionists.
For example, the ability to work and operate one’s business during the pandemic was a huge draw for Florida. Its lack of a state income tax and its reasonable cost of living have long made it attractive to families with children and retirees alike. If you own a gun, Florida won’t persecute you for it or make you a scapegoat for urban crime. Also, freedom aside, parents tend to get upset when people confuse their children or raise grossly age-inappropriate subjects in front of them.