The Rise of Local Politics
States and governors are important again.
By Phillip | 4/9/20
We’ll be starting a new section on Motus News called local politics which will focus on state and local politics (California and the Bay Area). Over the past months, we have seen a revival of the governor in the age of Coronavirus, as states have increasingly had to turn internally because of lack of support from the federal government. Although politics has nationalized through polarization (increased sorting of each parties’ identity), local politics is where citizens like you and me have the most influence.
Governors have faced mixed reviews on their response: Jay Inslee (D), Mike DeWine (R), and our very own Gavin Newsom (D) have excelled in a quick and prescient manner, others such as Ron DeSantis (R) have tripped and fallen with lacking stay-at-home orders. Gretchen Whitmer, a potential Democratic vice president pick, has clashed with Trump over the lacking government response. Andrew Cuomo has become a superstar with his daily briefings and is now a 5% favorite to be the Democratic nominee. Governors are receiving more attention and responsibility.
America’s flexible system with both states and a federal government is beneficial in some cases, because states are dealing with Coronavirus at different times. However, in this national (and global) disaster, the federal government should step up and manage the crisis from a position of being able to see the whole situation. Because Trump misled the public, gave more resources to red states than blue ones, and did not give clear guidelines about stay-at-home orders, governors and states have had to manage this situation alone.
State and local politics have much more consequence to our lives than national politics. However, we focus much more on national politics because of the nationalization of news media. I am a frequent reader of Jacobin, Politico, Vox, FiveThirtyEight, and the New York Times. I don’t even know what my local or state newspaper is.
Motus News will be starting the local news section focusing on the Bay Area and California in an attempt to encourage people living near us to take a step back from national politics. Me and Luca live in a liberal stronghold within a liberal stronghold. These are wealthy areas that wield huge influence culturally and economically (California would be the 5th biggest nation by GDP). Change that is made “only” on a local or state level will still affect the lives of millions of Americans.