This article written by Steven Greenhut is published by The Orange County Register:
As opponents of Gov. Gavin Newsom come closer to placing a recall on the ballot, some pundits have argued that voters should only boot a sitting politician for grievous misbehavior such as crimes and malfeasance. “Recalls should be reserved for elected officials who are corrupt or extremely incompetent,” as the San Diego Union-Tribune recently opined.
That view is wildly at odds with how Gov. Hiram Johnson – the progressive governor who ushered in our state’s initiative, referendum and recall process – conceived it. “Suffice it to say, so far as the recall is concerned, did the solution of the matter rest with me, I would apply it to every official,” Johnson said in his first inaugural address in 1911. Yes, he would have applied it to every office holder.
Sure, our nation’s founders were skeptical of direct democracy given their fear of mob rule. In “Federalist No. 10,” James Madison worried that unchecked democratic passions would “wrest the scepter from reason.” He had a point, but I’ve warmed to California’s system for practical reasons and have edged much closer to Johnson’s position.
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