The Rushmore Report: California Democratic Platform – Gays, Guns, Grass, and Government

Thanks to Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat last fall, Democrats face a quandary they weren’t expecting until the next decade. What does their party embody in a post-Clinton universe? One place to go seeking answers: California and an open gubernatorial seat in 2018 that’s a window into modern-day progressivism – or, at least the Left Coast version of it. Democrats are embracing four themes: gays, guns, grass, and government.

One recent poll has Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom well ahead of his rivals. What does Newsom owe to his popularity among fellow Democrats? Newsom has embraced the four “G”s. And this says a whole lot about where the Democratic Party now stands on popular issues in the country’s most Democratic state.

1. Gays

Newsom sparked a political and legal firestorm as mayor of San Francisco. In 2004 he issued 4,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This was eight years before his own party embraced gay marriage. The man most likely to be the next governor of California has made same-sex marriage a cornerstone of his political career.

2. Guns

Newsom was a sponsor of Proposition 63 in 2016, which outlawed the possession of high-capacity magazines and requires background checks for buying ammunition. The bill also outlaws magazines with more than ten rounds. Gun control is way down the list of priorities for most Americans – but not Democrats, at least in California.

3. Grass

Newsom has also sponsored legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults age 21 and over. He has hailed the bill as a “game changer.” Clearly, the legalization of pot is another cornerstone of the platform California Democrats are openly embracing.

4. Government

For Newsom and other Democrats, they just can’t get enough of big government. In their world, it is up to government – not capitalism, the church, or the individual – to provide healthcare, as well as just about anything else the citizenry desires.

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Bill Whalen writes for

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