Californians Fear Larry Elder Could Be The Next Trump If He Takes Governor Recall Election

Photo: Ringo Chiu / Max Elram / Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock
Larry Elder Donald Trump Gavin Newsom

With less than a week to go until California's gubernatorial recall election, Republican candidate Larry Elder stands as Gov. Gavin Newsom's biggest threat. 

Elder, a radio talk show host and author, is making waves with polarizing rhetoric around vaccines, racism and more that many will recognize from a certain former president. 

Democrats — from Senator Bernie Sanders to former President Barack Obama — are all stepping up to urge voters to stop this Republican power-grab.

But in what was once a reliably Blue state, California's interest in Elders is a terrifying reflection of Trump's continued influence. 

Why Larry Elder is a threat to Gavin Newsom in California's governor recall elections.

Currently seated Governor Gavin Newsom holds a majority in the recall election polls — gradually increasing the current 54.7% of people who want to keep him in while 41.7% of people want him removed.

However, Elder has already outraised his competition in campaign funding and solidified his place as the fron-trunner for the Republican party.

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That’s not the only reason Newsom is fearful about “what’s at stake” in the recall. 

At a digital meeting of progressive activists on Monday, the governor said “Some say he’s the most Trump of the candidates. I say he’s even more extreme than Trump.”

This is widely true — even fellow Republicans believe that some of his views are too extreme.

Larry Elder thinks racism and sexism are exaggerated.

He has also made a habit of sharing controversial ideas and saying a lot of misogynistic and racism-denying statements.

“Glass ceiling? Ha! What glass ceiling? Women, women exaggerate the problem of sexism," radio host Larry Elder said in a 1996 ad for his radio show, “Blacks exaggerate the significance of racism."

In the ad, he also criticizes welfare and says that affirmative action is wrong — and although he said all of this 25 years ago, he has maintained his radical ideas.

Recently, Elder was attacked by a woman in a gorilla mask who threw an egg — and narrowly missed Elder — before reportedly hitting his security.

Some have labeled the incident a "hate crime," perhaps Elder should reconsider the severity of racism if he is being targeted by racially motivated attacks. 

Larry Elder rejects vaccine science.

Recently, he rejected the science that young people need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 — despite children's hospitalizations being at an all time high — and is against vaccine and mask mandates.

According to the CDC, more than 49,000 children have been hospitalized with Covid-19, and the numbers for young people being hospitalized are increasing.

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Elder wants to reduce minimum wage.

Elder also believes that “the ideal minimum wage is $0,” adding that “For somebody who’s never run a business to tell business people… ‘I’m going to jack up your price of labor, and you’re going to deal with it,’ to me, it’s offensive.”

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California is the fifth-largest economy in the world — meaning that when placed as a separate entity than the country as a whole, it ranks at number 5, beating the GDP of countries like the UK and India.

This sort of economic growth did not come from a state that has a $0 minimum wage. On the contrary, the minimum wage sits at $14/hour and will be raised to $15 by 2023.

Productivity and GDP continue to rise in the state, despite the pandemic’s threat to job growth. In a state with a skyrocketing cost of living that’s pushed by the overinflated housing market, a $0 minimum wage would likely worsen the homelessness crisis, which is something that Newsom has been called out for.

California's homelessness remains Newsom's biggest failure.

"How about fulfilling the campaign promise you made to people in your city,” Elder said in a press Conference on Tuesday, “to deal with the homeless problem that has only gotten worse and worse and worse.”

A massive thorn in the side of Newsom’s governorship, the homelessness crisis is rooted in much deeper issues than his lack of ability to reduce the threat.

"We don't build housing for people at all income levels, and as a consequence we worsen the homeless crisis," Newsom said in a February 2020 speech.

But the governor has taken large steps to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets, saying on Tuesday that "We're just winding up. I'm really motivated and excited.”

With the recall election coming up on Tuesday, September 14th, Newsom is poised to remain as California governor, but anything could happen as Elder continues to grow in popularity.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, and social justice.