In an inaugural address to mark his second and final term, Newsom called California “freedom’s force multiplier” in a speech that repeatedly touched on the themes of freedom and liberty. He claimed California’s Democrats are protecting their citizens from a “rising tide of oppression” happening in Republican-led states, where Republicans hate free speech and Mickey Mouse, and even kidnap people.
“They make it harder to vote and easier to buy illegal guns,” Newsom said of those red states. “They silence speech, fire teachers, kidnap migrants, subjugate women, attack the Special Olympics, and even demonize Mickey Mouse.”
Much of that comment was directly aimed at Florida's popular governor, Ron DeSantis, who just won re-election to a second term, too. DeSantis is expected to run for the White House in 2024 in a presidential race that will likely include the California governor vying for the Democrat nomination.
Newsom was easily re-elected governor in November after he breezed through a recalled election in 2021.
Meanwhile, many Californians are fleeing their state to start over in those supposedly oppressive states, led by Texas and Florida, which is why The Golden State lost a congressional seat after the 2020 census for the first time in its history.
Citing an annual report from U-Haul, AFN reported just last week that most of the company’s two millions rentals in 2022 went to Texas and to Florida respectively. At the bottom of that list is California, which came in last again despite being the country's most populous state.
Reacting to Newsom’s speech, California Congressman Kevin Kiley joked the description about a “true freedom state” sounded like a parody article from The Babylon Bee.
“But this was the actual theme of his delusional Inaugural Address,” Kiley, a freshman congressman, wrote in a Twitter post.
One lingering issue, and a key one, is over who gets to define “freedom” and what that means. After the Dobbs ruling overturned Roe v Wade last summer, Newsom and other Democrats proudly welcomed women who want to abort their unborn child without strict abortion laws. California lawmakers also passed a law in 2015 that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise state-provided abortion services to women. That law was overturned by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018.
In his inaugural address, Newsom even accused Republicans of “hijacking” the word “freedom.”
Gov. Newsom’s speech about freedom was jarring to hear, says California-based attorney Brad Dacus, especially since Dacus and other attorneys at Pacific Justice Institute are fighting against left-wing activism, and defending individual freedom, in courtrooms across California.
“It really does drive me crazy, as an attorney,” he tells AFN, “to hear terms like ‘freedom’ being redefined by those who are the most oppressive.”
Americans naturally demand freedom, and they know what rights are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, Dacus says, so the best evidence California is failing to defend those rights is the tens of thousands who are leaving their homes behind to seek freedom in another state.
“The truth is California is overwhelmed with oppression,” Dacus tells AFN, “and because of that, parents, families, businesses are leaving the state in droves.”