Ronald Reagan once said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language were as follows: "I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help." These words were true when uttered in 1986, and 34 years later, they still hold true today.

In the last 8 months, Governor Newsom has issued orders shutting down large parts of our economy to stem COVID-19, much to our detriment. Our illustrious Governor has told us we cannot mourn the passing of loved ones by attending their funerals. He has told us we cannot celebrate the graduation from high school or college of our children and grandchildren. He has told us we cannot attend the wedding ceremony or birthday party of a family member or friend. He has told us we cannot relax and unwind and forget our troubles for a few hours by breaking bread with family and/or friends at our favorite local restaurant.

Those rules don't seem to apply to our Governor as he deems it perfectly acceptable to attend a dinner with his wife at a Michelin-rated restaurant in Napa, The French Laundry, to celebrate the birthday of a friend, in violation of his own rules. Through this bone-headed action, the Governor just reinforced the belief that most of us hold, including yours truly, that our government leaders at all levels are by-and-large hypocrites who believe they do not need to follow the rules they expect the rest of us to follow.

The next time Governor Newsom tells us what we can or cannot do in order to combat COVID-19, we may want to remember Ronald Reagan's words and wonder whether the Governor is really trying to help the people of California or is just playing us for suckers while enjoying a fancy meal at a fancy restaurant.

Steve Nicolaou, Tracy

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