What is Mr. Gavin Newsom waiting for? Is the leadership in our state waiting for a vaccine for COVID-19 before we are "taken off our leash?" Why am I supposed to believe anything that any supposed leader, right or left, says, without asking for valid answers?

I was thinking about these questions on this Memorial Day, and I was remembering the last time I ever foolishly believed anything that I was told by an elected official. That was 50 years ago, while being sprayed with, or having to drink water contaminated by Agent Orange in a little place called Phan Thiet, Vietnam.

After having to have three-fourths of my colon removed at the age of 28 because of colon cancer, I realized there is a great deal of difference between a politician and a patriot. The terms are not synonymous. A politician schemes for his or her own survival. A patriot lays down their life for our survival.

Since having to deal with the issues of only having a third of my colon remaining, and being denied any VA assistance when I needed it, I have come to realize that it is best to ask, when any politician says he knows what's best for us, would you lay down your life for me? That, I believe, is the litmus test of a true leader, and I am sorry, but Mr. Newsom does not pass this test. He would not surrender his life for American citizens. Others, yes; Americans, no! Sad.

Larry Trapp, Tehachapi

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