David Marcus: With recall around the corner, energy of quiet town Modesto not directed at politics

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It’s a scene that has repeated itself all across the country, in state after state. In the big cities, Covid-19 restrictions on the denizens are harsh and controversial, while their country cousins in rural areas sloughed off most of the limits a long time ago. Here in Modesto that is the story. But it’s a little more complicated than that.

Chris has lived in Modesto for a few decades. He claims to be 68 years old. If I look like he does at 68 it will be a miracle. He doesn’t like to talk politics but relented under my charm. He dislikes Newsom. Everybody seems to dislike Newsom, but he told me something else. He said, “The anti Trump conservatives hated Trump so much that they wound up with Biden.” It’s quite a thing to say.

In some sense every election is an election of unintended consequences. The Californians I talk to seem very aware of this. One guy I spoke to had lived in Modesto for only a year, having found haven from more urban enclaves. He told me that he was surprised at how easy it was to meet people here. He

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