“Do as I say, not as I do.” So the aphorism goes.

Americans want to see family this holiday season. It’s the reason those who can afford it are braving hours-long COVID-19 testing lines in major cities—to get the green-light for interstate travel so they can hug Mom and Dad for the first time in eight months.

Democratic leaders, however, aren’t playing by their own rules. Instead of following the guidelines they’ve laid out for the masses trying their best to comply with onerous state-by-state regulations, liberal politicians are signaling to the world that they’re above it all. In California, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member and Democrat Sheila Kuehl said leaving restaurants open was “a bit of magical thinking” and voted to close restaurants only to be spotted dining out a few hours later.

Recently, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom ran up a $15,000 bar tap tab at a ritzy Napa Valley restaurant where plates start at $350 a head and few party attendees reportedly wore masks, made an effort to socially distance or move outside to reduce the risk of-19 exposure, according to reporter Adam Housely.

The governor’s behavior reeks of aristocratic arrogance and has eroded any shred of credibility he may have had left, as the career politician in July ordered the closure of all dine-in restaurants, salons, churches and gyms, among other business operations.

He’s also ordered the vast majority of schools throughout the Golden State remain virtual and closed to in-person instruction, despite overwhelming evidence school-age children have a far lower transmission rate than adults, school closure most hurts low-income students and education suffers across the board when in-person instruction is prohibited.

Gov. Newsom is one among many liberal governors and congressional leaders who fail to practice what they preach. His apparent disdain for those disadvantaged and hurt by prolonged lockdowns and family separation is clear.

Californians and Americans in general this holiday season should take their health and safety into their own hands, measuring the risk and reward according to their own personal situation instead of handing that power to inept bureaucrats.

As physician Kevin Pham says, “There are many ways to avoid contagion, such as testing and isolating, having outdoor events where possible, gathering in smaller groups, and connecting virtually to protect elders from exposure, or any number of other creative measures. This should be up to you and your family, not the government.”

Newsom’s hypocritical behavior shows the need for reasonable rules that allow people to live their lives. The more arrogant politicians push ridiculous mandates that they flaunt when convenient, the more Americans will ignore all COVID-19 restrictions.

Bethany Mandel, an editor at Ricochet, sums up how we all feel, “The lockdown absolutists think those of us who aren’t are idiots who ‘don’t believe’ in the virus. I believe in it. I know dozens of people who have had it. I recognize the risk. I will not destroy our society or hide inside for over a year because I’m afraid of it.”

Our focus should be on allowing businesses to operate safely, not canceling people for spending time with their loved ones over the holidays. Americans have no patience for political leaders who want to stop the holidays after celebrating election results in the streets a few weeks ago, like Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Research shows states with more economic freedom before the pandemic lost fewer jobs and are on a quicker path to recovery. Governors should encourage businesses to open instead of imposing more ineffective lockdowns.

Entrepreneurial small business owners are more than capable of taking reasonable precautions fitting their circumstances. Politicians should be working in conjunction with business leaders to foster economic revival, instead of threatening to arrest non-compliant individuals.

Politicians who tell us to hide inside and cancel Christmas should get coal in their stockings. We need leaders who are working hard and fighting for the freedom that built America.

Teri Christoph is co-founder of Smart Girl Politics, host of the Smart Girl Politics podcast and a longtime fundraising consultant. 


By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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