No Lessons, Just Excuses, in Frisco Recall

Three members of the San Francisco school board were recalled. So what?

By large margins, San Francisco voters on Tuesday recalled three members of the city’s school board, including board president Gabriela López (with about 74 percent supporting recall), Alison Collins (78 percent), and Faauuga Moliga (71 percent).

The margins were stunning, as was the politics of the losers.

San Francisco’s recall campaign drew national attention because it was seen as a trial of racialized left-wing politics. What does it mean that voters in one of the most liberal cities in the country decisively repudiated a board that last academic year marched proudly under the banner of racial equity and social justice, while making no effort to open its schools?

The obvious lesson to be learned is that the left has gone over the edge. Far over. Too far over, even in a city that couldn’t be more blue, more progressive, more Democratic, than Frisco.* It might have been a fairer battleground had the school board concerned itself with educating students as well as renaming schools to rid the city of the trauma of names like [trigger warning] George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps then, it would have had the support of the community, or at least not such enmity.

The truth lies somewhere in between, but closer to the conservative view. At a minimum, the recall demonstrates that “woke” racial politics have their limits, even in one of the wokest cities in the country.

Does it? Is that “the” truth? Does such a thing exist as an accepted reality anymore, that such a thing as a shared truth can exist? While pockets of insane Trump veneration exist in the delusions of the right, so too do pockets of woke veneration exist on the left. And the ability to muster excuses, nonsensical or otherwise, is all that’s needed to hold tight to a belief no matter how absurd or idiotic.

So this wasn’t an overwhelming victory, a message from Democratic voters in a Democratic city that the woke have gone too far, but a tiny group of people who were manipulated by right-wing money to vote against these paragons of truth and justice.

Or is this just a try at manipulating the obvious, that the left got crushed?

Notably, more people voted in the recall election than voted to elect these school board members in the first place. Does that signify that voter interest in getting rid of them was greater than in electing them?

Tenacity can be a wonderful thing, pushing people to work through hardship to achieve a goal. And when it comes to the new religion of politics, its acolytes are tenacious, grasping at any argument, any “fact” real or imagined, any twist or spin that might conceivably serve to exploit a crack in reality to deny its existence. After all, when you start from a foundation that you serve the good and fight the evil, can you do any less than use any tool, any weapon, to prevail?

This wasn’t the first, or only, election that should have sent a message to the radical progressive wing of the Democrats. There was the Virginia gubernatorial race. There was the New York City mayoral race. Both had the potential to enlighten the woke that their extreme views did not reflect the majority of their own party, no less the public at large. But then, the same could be true of the election of Joe Biden, the most moderate nominee for the Democrats, to run against Darth Cheeto, who was individually so repugnant that even in the face of left wing extremism, he had to lose.

Yet, Frisco presents a very different scenario than any of the others. It’s so overwhelmingly blue that the notion that some right wing cabal could manipulate the voters was ludicrous. And yet, the school board members were ousted by crushing margins and it didn’t make a dent in the psyche of the woke.

So we have 2 false facts being told-that majority of voters supported the recall & recall was mainly about concerned parents fighting for children. San Francisco was a test case for the power of $ & whiteness to drive school board elections even in “progressive” cities

I wish more people had asked supporters why they backed a recall that was funded by mostly white, right leaning venture capitalists, many who have announced their support for school privatization.

The argument is absurd, but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore, just like the arguments that Trump won and the election was rigged and stolen. Both tribes are so deeply embedded in their lies that any excuse, no matter how baseless, simplistic or childish, will serve to give them something to argue so they can persist in their belief that they are right, they are good, they are “truth.”

The recall should nudge the city’s leaders to question the depth of liberals’ commitment to the post–George Floyd ethos, especially when more is at stake than symbolic gestures of rectitude, and to recalibrate. Instead, they are minimizing the significance of the election result, or accusing recall supporters of being right-wing bigots.

It’s not just that the warring tribes speak different languages, hold to vastly different gods and are incapable of having a “discussion” as their hatred of the opposition is so absolute as to be capable to even consider that this isn’t the end of times.

If the city’s progressives continue to make such facile accusations of racism while ignoring the actual issues that matter to the city’s voters, they may face the same fate as Collins and her colleagues.

The alternative to progressives isn’t necessarily Trump or the right-wing idiocracy. There remains a significant cadre of reasonable people on the left and right who reject the demagoguery of the fringes, and they vote as reflected in the Frisco recall election. The problem is that they have no one to vote for, and so they’re relegated to voting against, this time the three school board members.

This is likely to be what comes of the midterms, and perhaps the next presidential election, not because they support the alternative to the progressive candidates, but because they’re left to choose the lesser of two evils. The harder the woke push their religion, the more likely it becomes that they will suffer the fate of these three school board members. This could all be avoided, of course, if only they learned a lesson that the majority, even on the left, rejects their woke god. But they won’t.

*People in San Francisco hate it when their city is called “Frisco.”

12 thoughts on “No Lessons, Just Excuses, in Frisco Recall

  1. PML

    The real question will be, will it make a difference since it is the Mayor’s choice as to who is appointed to fill these positions. Will she just appoint 3 more woke liberals?

    1. j a higginbotham

      I mean, it’s possible. She is a politician and has endorsed mask-wearing for others but doesn’t always comply herself. Still one should consider that she was a prominent endorser of the recall and rebuked the district over the renaming (Dianne Feinstein also on the list) instead of focusing on school reopening..

  2. Elpey P.

    “San Francisco was a test case for the power of $ & whiteness to drive school board elections”

    This is an ironic attack considering the ousted school board members and their politics were fueled by the power of $ and whiteness, and this was a repudiation of it. We need to stop taking these people at face value, as if their claims of being “anti-racist” mean anything more than a peace symbol on a cruise missile. Outcomes over intentions applies to them too, even if they’re too narcissistic to comprehend it.

    1. SHG Post author

      When you see the world through a critical lens, the only serious question is whether money and privilege are used for good or evil, and that is determined by the god to which you pray.

  3. Rxc

    But there do not seem to be any people from that middle group who are willing to stick their necks out and try to run for office on any sort if “miderate” platform. They don’t have the fire in their bellies to fight for some sort of perceived injustice, and are not willing to sacrifice the remainder of their lives(spouses, careers, children) to “the cause”. No one in the middle is willing to stick their necks out, just to have their heads chopped off by the extremists and the crazy media, not to mention the new mobs of social justice vigilantes.

    I don’t have any suggestions. It is bad, and is bound to get worse.

    1. SHG Post author

      I had hoped that Biden might try to be the champion of liberal ideals and moderation. I have been disappointed. Like you, I don’t see any serious champion of the moderation stepping up to the plate, leaving us with no option other than who we least want in control.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    My understanding is that ire of the voters was over the board’s failure to do the primary job of a school board, delivering quality education. Anger at power tripping over school reopening, obsessing over race instead of math and spending more time and money on renaming schools than running them is beyond the ken of the Twittering elites.

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