The revelation that California Governor Gavin Newsom attended a crowded dinner party at an expensive restaurant in his state as his coronavirus cases began to rise and he began to lock down his economy more aggressively is the one of the most glaring examples of the end of the genre. cynical behavior that undermines confidence in our leaders and institutions.
It’s also a perfect example of how Newsom personifies a sort of aristocratic liberalism that sets itself apart from other varieties by appearing to cater to the tastes, preferences, and interests of the new upper class. National review contributor Joel Kotkin explains why in City newspaper:
Preservatives likes to give the label “left” to politicians like Newsom. In reality, the governor of California is not a mark of the late Marxist but rather a privileged candidate of what the Los Angeles Times described as “a coterie of the wealthiest families in San Francisco,” including the Fishers (who founded the Gap clothing chain), the Pritzkers (whose family includes the current Governor of Illinois), and in particular the Getty family, who essentially adopted Newsom, financed his businesses, and reportedly paid for her lavish first marriage while helping to launch her political career. Overall, these families prospered in California’s heavily branched economy, among the least egalitarian in the nation. Its main beneficiaries are grouped together along the post-industrial, temperate zones.
Newsom Rose, as former assembly speaker and mayor of San Francisco Willie brown suggests, as the privileged spokesperson for the local affluent San Francisco. “He was from their world, and that’s why they kissed him without hesitation and above everyone else,” Brown told the Los Angeles Times. “They didn’t need to interview him. They knew what he represented.
Newsom is positioning himself as an advocate for social justice and a supporter of stark green virtues, but the corporate aristocracy has helped him live in luxury, first in his native Marin, and now in Sacramento. Newsom’s passion for the good life caused him some embarrassment recently when he was caught violate own pandemic orders at the ultra-expensive and ultra-chic French laundry in Napa. This episode illustrates the American elite nomenclature– demanding sacrifices of the masses, whether in the form of locking or housing, but less often of themselves.
It’s all worth reading. Kotkin suggests Newsom’s track record is starting to catch up with him, as his inability to work for something of the common good that benefits all Californians becomes increasingly evident. Let’s hope so. Otherwise, a man Kotkin identifies as resembling a president outside of the central cast could try to impose his unique mark of aristocratic liberalism on America as a whole.