Martha’s Vineyard Deserved It

Photo Credit: Ray Ewing/The Vineyard Gazette

By Jordan Rosenberg

The residents of Martha’s Vineyard, the liberal establishment, coastal enclave of Massachusetts, recently woke up to a sweet taste of karma. Under direction from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), dozens of South American migrants were dropped off from jets and buses at one of the wealthiest places in the United States. Surely, the Democrat elitist residents of Martha’s Vineyard, the same people who have so often advocated for open borders and sanctuary cities, would be forgiving to the plight of these “undocumented citizens.” Perhaps they would also have a room or two for them in their million dollar mansions? 

Apparently not. 

As quickly as the illegals arrived, they were sent away. At the behest of the local town administration, Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA), a liberal “Republican,” declared a “State of Emergency” for the Martha’s Vineyard community, all because a total of 50 migrants arrived. 

Now, compare that to statistics from the White House, which shows that in the past year, there were two million arrests along the southern border, the first time in history numbers have spiked this high. In fact, places like Del Rio, Texas, a place with an actual humanitarian emergency, have seen figures reach as high as 15,000 people crossing the border per day. 

These startling statistics are a direct result of President Joe Biden’s loose immigration policies, which are directly encouraging illegals to enter our country. To make matters worse, Mr. Biden halted construction on the border wall upon taking office – giving a clear sign to the cartels and human traffickers that illegals are ready to be shipped to the United States again.

It was about time the east coast elitists, who live in their own privileged bubbles, wake up to the problem of illegal immigration, which has been the root cause of much bigger issues, such as drug overdoses, rape, and murder, in our country. How much longer will we be told to stand by quietly about this humanitarian and national security crisis, while the rich and powerful live peacefully in their gated homes? This is a travesty and a perfect example of what the Democratic Party has allowed to occur in this country, as they themselves won’t feel the effects of their own policies while the rest of Americans will. 

Some may argue that Mr. DeSantis’s move was simply a political publicity stunt, and there is no doubt that it was. After all, he is one of the few governors who is currently enforcing border laws, and he is highly regarded as a potential GOP presidential frontrunner, so he certainly took this opportunity to get his name in the news once more and boost his national profile. 

Regardless of Mr. DeSantis’s true intentions, though, the move served a symbolic purpose of finally having the liberal establishment reap what they have sown for far too long. With political polarization on the rise, and seemingly no topic immune from its grasp, this is well justified, as it shows those who finance and advocate for the Democrat Party that we, the American people (especially those in border states), will not take these antics anymore. We will not wait for elections to come and go while little change is made to stop the invasions of millions on our southern Border. This is a crisis – and it was about time for those of Martha’s Vineyard to see it.

Mr. Rosenberg is a junior at Chapman University. He is majoring in history and minoring in political science.

Biden is to Blame for America’s Decline

Photo Credit: Dominic Lipinski/Time Magazine

By Maggie Stalnecker

As an American, perhaps the most disheartening occurrence at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last week was watching President Joe Biden seated in the 14th row of the Westminster Abbey and his refusal to offer any public condolences to her family ahead of the event. His actions in the past two weeks are a reminder of how far he has caused the United States to decline as a world power since taking office almost two years ago. 

Mr. Biden damaged our reputation internationally after his sloppy withdrawal of our country’s troops from Afghanistan last year. Not to mention, his forced vaccine mandates for federal employees and mask requirements on public transportation as a response to the coronavirus pandemic threatened our freedoms and put some people’s wellbeing at risk. Both instances very publicly represent the poor leadership and decision making skills that our president possesses. We are little more than a joke to the rest of the world. 

Historically, the United States has supported democracy and freedom internationally due to our strong position as a country. We have been a forceful influence abroad and have supported other countries when appropriate. Domestically, we used to put the safety and security of our country first, focusing on our well-being as a nation before anything else. However, Mr. Biden has been doing the opposite. 

Instead of proposing common sense solutions for issues, such as record-high inflation, the border, and the homelessness crisis, Mr. Biden decided that it was appropriate to send billions of dollars overseas, only further involving us in foreign conflicts and affairs. 

In a recent speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Biden addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons. While this address would have been a perfect opportunity to stand up to a bully and positively reposition the United States, Mr. Biden spent a majority of his speech talking about the money the United States is going to send abroad for climate reform.

Mr. Biden’s predecessor, former president Donald Trump, was also a great divider in politics, causing even those within his own political party to fight and disagree. His presidency, along with the polarizing influence of the media, led to rifts within families and ended friendships, but we were able to feel physically safe and secure within our borders with Mr. Trump as our Commander-in-chief. 

We had the ability to voice our opinions, protest, and freely demonstrate our beliefs because we live in a free country and had a leader whose priority was protecting those freedoms. He displayed countless times that he prioritized Americans’ safety and wellbeing, such as when he secured the border and offered major tax cuts to corporations. He demonstrated that he took the interests of our nation seriously. Additionally, his “America First” policies of focusing on our own interests, updating our outdated treaties with other countries, and implementing financial policies to help put us on the path to compete with China showed that he cared about putting the United States first. We took a stronger stance against China and the Communist party, provided support for Taiwan, and continued to push back against the Taliban’s tyrannical rule in areas between Iraq and Syria, maintaining respect and igniting fear in our enemies. These are actions that promote democracy and encourage freedom around the world. But, most of all, Trump reminded us that, despite our faults, we are the greatest country in the world and should believe nothing less.  

If the United States is to regain respect and its place as a leader and influencer in the world, we need a leader who protects our interests, keeps our borders secure, and promotes the well being of the American economy. We need a leader that makes moves and implements policies that support democracy and freedom. We need a president who can speak coherently and present ideas clearly, rather than the absent-minded, embarrassing president we have now.

Ms. Stalnecker is a senior at Chapman University. She is majoring in accounting.

An Objective View of the Mar-a-Lago Raid

Photo Credit: Department of Justice/CNBC

By Ethan Oppenheim

Both sides of the political aisle are exploding over the ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump’s possession of confidential documents that the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence last month. Democrats and those on the left claim that Mr. Trump’s actions are a violation of several laws, including the Espionage Act, and that they obstructed justice and put national security at risk. On the other hand, some Republicans and allies of the former president claim that President Joe Biden’s administration, particularly Attorney General Merrick Garland, is weaponizing the Department of Justice in an effort to dig up dirt on a political opponent. But what both sides fail to see is that the two may not necessarily be mutually exclusive. In fact, both sides may have legitimate claims.

On Aug. 8, the FBI executed a search warrant at Mr. Trump’s Florida residence, citing Sections 2071, 1519, and 793 of Title 18, which relate to the mismanagement of government documents or obstruction of justice, as grounds for it. Of the 13 boxes of evidence the FBI seized that day, over 100 of the documents had classified markings, some of which were even labeled “top secret.” Clearly, the FBI has valid reasons to question Mr. Trump. 

Mr. Trump, however, claims that the president reserves the power of declassification and that he used it to declassify the documents in his possession. However, as legal experts have pointed out, there needs to be “traces of such a decision,” and all federal agencies should be aware if documents are declassified. Regardless, this poses the question of whether declassifying documents justifies Mr. Trump having stored sensitive national defense information at his residence at all.

But even if this claim holds and one were to take the position that his actions do not directly violate any laws on the books, the fact that they have the potential to put national security at risk is enough reason to be concerned over his actions. Further, Mr. Trump taking hundreds of highly confidential documents to his residence without notice and refusing to comply with investigators for months is undoubtedly problematic as well.

However, the former president isn’t the only one Americans deserve answers from. Those who are questioning the fairness of this investigation have legitimate reasons to do so. For one, a majority of the Justice Department’s heavily-redacted affidavit regarding the FBI’s approved search warrant was left blacked out, leaving many outstanding questions unanswered. Further, the FBI previously spent nearly three years investigating Mr. Trump’s collusion with Russia and their interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Mueller Probe concluded that there was no evidence of collusion with the Russian government, suggesting that the FBI’s actions in targeting Mr. Trump may have been politically motivated to begin with (something the Durham probe is currently looking into). Given these troubling facts, it is fair for Americans to demand transparency from the federal government.

Some who defend the investigation have argued that full transparency would only further put national security at risk and that there are certain things that should be kept confidential, not just to preserve the integrity of the investigation and to prevent it from being compromised, but also to keep those involved in the investigation safe. While this claim is legitimate, the unprecedented circumstances surrounding this case, specifically the fact that a Democrat administration is conducting an investigation into the most powerful figure and likely 2024 nominee of the Republican Party, certainly warrants transparency. In addition, the current lack of transparency only lends further credence to the claims posed by Mr. Trump and his loyal allies that the investigation is nothing more than a partisan hack designed to discredit him and the Republican Party.

If Mr. Trump committed a crime, obstructed justice, or put national security at risk – and it appears that he very well might have – then he should be held accountable. However, given the FBI’s troubling history of corruption and politicization, as well as the fact that Mr. Biden’s administration is targeting its primary political opponent ahead of the 2024 elections, it is imperative that the investigation is as transparent as possible. Otherwise, this troubling affair will only result in a further exacerbation of both political polarization and distrust in not just the United States government, but its entire justice system.

Mr. Oppenheim is a junior at Chapman University. He is majoring in political science and philosophy and minoring in film music and history.

Women’s Sports In Deep Water After NCAA Transgender Ruling

Photo Credit: Brett Davis

By Kate Robinson

I will never forget the feeling of joy that my 16-year-old self felt as I stepped on to the podium with my 200-yard medley relay team after finishing third at one of the biggest high school swim invitationals of the season.

I will also never forget the excitement that coursed through my veins one year later as I sprinted across the pool deck into my teammate’s arms upon hearing that we had just made the cut to swim in the finals at the state championship meet.

But as I watched Lia Thomas, the biological male-turned-female swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania place first in the women’s 500-yard freestyle at the national championships last week, I only felt disgusted.

Disgusted at the NCAA for its lax regulations, which are the reason Thomas is competing against women to begin with. Disgusted at USA Swimming for knowingly allowing this to happen, and disgusted that society has come to a point in which we are debating the merits of whether males should be competing against females.

It shouldn’t even be a question. Thomas is a biological male who went from being a decent, mid-500s ranked swimmer across all divisions in the men’s category to transitioning to a female and becoming a national champion.

Even though Thomas followed the NCAA’s shameful rules, which only require one year of testosterone suppressant to be eligible to compete, she still has the anatomic capabilities of a male that will never go away, like a larger heart for oxygen efficiency and bigger hands and feet to pull through the water more quickly – luxuries that cisgendered women are not afforded.

Thomas has advantages over the competition, and the proof lies in her swimming times. According to John Lohn, the editor-in-chief of Swimming World Magazine, there’s nearly an 11% difference between men’s and women’s record times. Since starting her transition and completing testosterone treatment, Thomas’s times have only slowed about three to six percent, nowhere close to the 11% average. It is evident that 12 months of treatment – or even the two and a half years that Thomas completed to even out hormonal levels that her body had spent over 20 years producing – will do next to nothing to put her in a place where she can fairly compete in the women’s division.

The science is undeniable, and recognizing it doesn’t make a person “transphobic,” as one British Parliament member recently claimed. Instead, it simply makes us team players who want an equal playing field for all.

Swimmers work too hard for too long. We train hours on end for years to hopefully cut just half a second off our best times. So, I now wonder: where are the self-proclaimed feminists? Are they not alarmed that women’s sports are currently being hijacked by biological men?

Of course, I support Thomas’s right to self-identify as whatever gender she chooses and for her to live her life freely. We all should. But we also can’t ignore the women who are negatively impacted by this.

I feel for Emma Weyant, the female who took second behind Thomas in the 500 freestyle last week. She’s the true definition of a national champion in my mind and the minds of many.

I feel for Reka Gyorgy, the fifth-year senior competing in the last race of her career, who finished seventeenth in the event that Thomas placed first in. Gyorgy missed her chance to swim in the finals by one spot. This is a pain that perhaps only swimmers will understand.

But, most of all, I feel for the young girls watching the meet at home, who dream of one day becoming collegiate swimmers, too. It saddens me to think what witnessing a man beating women is teaching our next generation of swimmers about integrity, sportsmanship, confidence, and self-worth. What does this mean for the future of our sport?

I only hope that swimmers and all athletes across the country rally to take a stand against the discriminatory policies that are destroying women athletes. If we continue to allow Thomas to set a precedent for males to compete against females in the name of “equality,” then there could very soon come a day in which a biological woman never feels the joy of stepping on to the podium or the excitement of qualifying for a championship final ever again.

Ms. Robinson is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication. She is also a member of the Chapman women’s swim team.

Joe Biden won Virginia by over 10 percentage points in 2020. So how did Republican Glenn Youngkin win the governorship one year later?

By Ethan Oppenheim

Many Americans were surprised when Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin beat former Democratic governor incumbent Terry McAuliffe in the state’s gubernatorial election on November 2nd. Former President Barack Obama won the state by over six points in 2008 and around four points in 2012, Hillary Clinton won the state by five points in 2016, and President Joe Biden won it by over 10 points just one year ago. While Virginia has never been overwhelmingly progressive, Mr. Youngkin is the first Republican to be elected to the governor’s seat since 2009. Despite this rare victory for the GOP, Americans should not be shocked.

It is safe to assert that President Joe Biden’s role as the face of the Democratic Party played a major role in the recent Republican victory. The first major indication of the sinking national environment for Democrats is Mr. Biden’s low approval rating. According to a poll conducted by USA Today and Suffolk University, it currently sits at a meager 38%, a near 20% drop since he took office less than a year ago. The continuous drop in approval signals a change in perspective among primarily independents and moderate voters within both parties. In order to understand why this trend is taking place, it is important to look at the primary issues driving this negative trend.

According to the labor department, prices have risen significantly over the past year in many key categories, including rent (2.9%), electricity (5.2%), restaurants (4.7%), hotels (18%), meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (10.5%), furniture (11.2%), TVs (11.2%), and most notably, gas (42.1%). Overall, the average retail gas price in the United States has risen from about $2.33 per gallon at the beginning of the year to now almost $3.5. This is over a dollar increase, and Americans are well aware of this significant change. 

Moreover, American citizens, especially the lower and middle class, are bearing the brunt of these rising prices due to the supply chain crisis and an unprecedented number of unfilled job openings, which currently stands at 10.1 million, greater than the number of unemployed Americans looking for work (8.4 million). According to a Quinnipiac University Poll conducted in early October, Biden’s approval on the economy sits at 39% compared to a 55% disapproval.

But perhaps worse than the economy is Mr. Biden’s greatest failure thus far – 

the botched withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in August. After the administration coordinated pulling troops out of the country, the radical Islamic military and political group known as the Taliban quickly took power, leading to severe instability in the region. The group rolled back years of reforms related to democracy, women’s rights, and equality, prompting backlash against the Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal. Thousands of Americans were also left behind in Afghanistan, leading to a rescue effort in which 13 US service members were killed. The Quinnipiac poll has Biden’s foreign policy approval at an abysmal 34% compared to a 58% disapproval.

Moreover, Biden’s recent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has also drawn criticism. When he was running for president last year, Mr. Biden promised to “shut down the virus,” which is a rather incoherent and implausible promise to make. However, after a rather optimistic vaccine rollout in the spring which led to a decline in coronavirus cases and deaths across the nation, a surge in cases over the summer as a result of the Delta variant brought this optimism to a halt. Despite attempts to curb the coronavirus surge with a series of unconstitutional vaccine mandates and other extremely regulatory protocols, Biden’s efforts proved ineffective in the end, leading Americans to question whether the president actually had a grasp over the pandemic or whether it was just another promise unkept.

As if it could not get much worse for the Biden Administration, there are, of course, Mr. Biden’s rather disappointing approval ratings regarding immigration (35% according to AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research), crime (38% according to ABC News/Washington Post), and climate change (42% according to Quinnipiac). 

These, along with Mr. Biden’s unwillingness to answer questions during press briefings, the countless instances of him losing track of thoughts or sounding completely incoherent, and his inability to successfully unify his party in congress all contributed to the increase in negative sentiments toward the president and the Democratic Party. And these sentiments are why Mr. Youngkin won in Virginia.

Governor-elect Youngkin campaigned on lowering taxes, especially the grocery and gas taxes, to counter rising prices as a result of inflation. He pledged to lower crime rates and defend law enforcement to make Virginia a safer place to live. He promised to “restore…high standards for schools and…students,” “invest in…teachers and schools,” and give parents a say in what is taught in Virginia public schools. His message was clear: “Better-paying jobs, the best schools, the safest communities, and a government that works for you.”

On the other hand, Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia from 2013-2017, seemed unable to campaign on anything other than his opposition to former President Trump and the related set of ideologies known as “Trumpism,” which he consistently accused his opponent of espousing. Had Democrats given McAuliffe actual policy positions and legislative achievements to sell to voters, it would have undoubtedly benefited his campaign by motivating greater turnout among Democrats, as well as allowing independents to sympathize more with the struggling Democratic Party. However, disagreements surrounding Mr. Biden’s Build Back Better proposal and infrastructure plan, key agenda items of his, have caused internal party divisions which plagued Congressional Democrats’ ability to deliver any major legislation before November 2nd. To voters, the ineptitude of the Democratic party made Biden and the Democrats appear incompetent and inefficient. Despite the eventual passing of a bipartisan infrastructure deal of approximately $1 trillion, it came about a week too late for Mr. McAuliffe.

Like some political commentators have consistently suggested, the election between Virginia’s two gubernatorial candidates was really a national election – a reflection of the choice between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump – both of whom are seen as the current leaders of their respective parties.

Therefore, Mr. Youngkin’s victory should come as no surprise. Rather, it is a direct reflection of Mr. Biden’s drop in support, and the strong Republican turnout was merely a rejection of his job as president. Before Mr. Biden’s spiraling decline in support started taking effect, Mr. McAuliffe maintained a near 8-point lead over his Republican opponent. If not for Mr. Biden’s lackluster handling of many key issues, it is more than likely that Mr. McAuliffe would have won a second term.

Mr. Biden’s disappointing presidency, congressional Democrats’ inefficiency, and Mr. McAuliffe’s awful appearance and campaign strategies all contributed to the results of the 2021 Virginia Gubernatorial Election. And to give credit where it is due, Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia GOP played their cards right and took advantage of each of the major flaws in the Democratic Party. If Democrats want to avoid another night like November 2, 2021, they have a lot of work to do before the 2022 midterms.

China Guilty Of More Than Just Lab Leak

By Kate Robinson

A Wall Street Journal investigation recently revealed that three Wuhan, China lab workers participating in the gain of function research were hospitalized in November 2019 with COVID-19 symptoms. This occurred about a month before the “first case” – supposedly contracted from a bat at a Wuhan wet market and independent from the lab – was made public.  

The Journal’s discovery is now enough to prompt politicians and other health officials to investigate the possibility that the virus leaked from a lab. However, had one mentioned this theory a year and a half ago – as did then-President Donald Trump – he or she was probably deplatformed, ridiculed, or deemed an alt-right conspiracy theorist. 

So, instead, we opted to nod our head in agreement with the world’s elites for the last 18 months as they spun a story full of sick bats and infected wet markets, only for the lab leak hypothesis to never sufficiently be proven wrong. Buying into the twisted narrative of an accidental pandemic gone wrong is perhaps a mistake far more lethal than the destruction caused by the virus itself.  

If COVID-19 really did escape from the Wuhan lab, then it so clearly illustrates China’s attempt to intentionally wage war against the United States. To not recognize it means that China is already winning. Unless we fight back, our unwillingness to counter an authoritarian, evil regime is only the beginning of what will eventually lead to China’s world domination. 

China’s plans have been a long time coming. In 1963, China released a list of “45 Communist Goals” which were read into the United States Congressional Record by Florida Democrat Rep. A.S. Herlong, Jr. All 45 objectives are centered around China gaining ultimate power over the rest of the world and its biggest competitor, the United States. The most alarming, and familiar to us now, include “(capturing) one or both of the political parties in the United States; (getting) control of the schools; (gaining) control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures; and (discrediting) the American Founding Fathers.” For the past 58 years, the communist regime has chipped away at its plan, subtly converting and targeting compromised US politicians, celebrities, and other top officials to its side.  

So why, then, would we be so naive to assume that The Communist Party of China did not purposely create and leak a virus to the rest of the world that would undoubtedly allow itself to move even closer to achieving its ultimate goal of destroying the backbone of our country from within?

In the past year and a half, the Democratic party has become more left than ever, dictating when we leave our house, what we wear on our face, and how much we purchase from the grocery store. The party has been captured.  

Millions of students have been forced out of school because of a virus that has been proven not to lead to substantial community infection (should instruction remain in-person). The nonsensical school shutdowns have been a concerted effort to make the next generation more reliant on online learning programs that discredit our country’s history and propagate the communist agenda. The education system is under attack.

News coverage of the pandemic, BLM riots, and American politics has been manipulated to portray the classic left-leaning bias that turns citizens of the U.S. against one another. China leverages news outlets such as NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC, to name just a few, and controls at least 8,000 American major motion pictures.

The endless lockdowns made for a strange 2020 election cycle, causing our citizens to question the seemingly limitless power of government that the Founding Fathers tried so hard to curtail 234 years ago. It has never failed us before, so why would it now? 

The answer is clear. The release of a global pandemic and the subsequent coverup and likely lies about its origin are just what China needed to crash the U.S. economy. China, now more than ever, has the United States in its grasp. It is up to us, as Americans, not to let Her crumble.

We must fight against government mandates that control our daily lives. We must protest to return to in-person school. We must consume news from sources that China does not have a hand in. We must remember that democracy will always prevail.

I finish with a prophetic warning from my great-great grandfather, a United States immigrant who fled then-communist Yugoslavia nearly 100 years ago. “America will one day be destroyed, not from a bomb or a bullet, but from within.”

I hope we prove him wrong.

Ms. Robinson is a freshman at Chapman University majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and a columnist for The Hesperian.

A Republican Roadmap to Taking Back California

Gavin Newsom recall strategy brands opposition as Republican | The  Sacramento Bee
Photo Credit: The Sacramento Bee/John Walker

By Ethan Nikfar 

Earlier in April, California’s secretary of state announced that recall petitioners gathered and submitted over 1,626,000 valid signatures to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, surpassing the required amount by over 100,000 signatures. Newsom, who just a few years ago was being touted as a future presidential nominee, has faced mounting criticism due to his inconsistent COVID-19 response. Liberals have espoused anger at him reopening the state too fast, while conservatives have expressed their displeasure with the state’s business-crushing Draconian lockdowns. 

In the recall election, voters will first be asked whether or not they wish to remove the governor. If a majority support the removal, then they get to vote on a replacement. Recent polls (for what they’re worth) have Newsom comfortable and treading above water. A KABC/SurveyUSA poll from early May has only 36 percent of voters backing his removal, while 47 percent wish him to stay. 

Many voters point to California’s 2003 recall of then-Governor Grey Davis as a glimmer of hope for this year’s election. But unfortunately, political dynamics were glaringly different nearly two decades ago. In 2004, George W. Bush lost the Golden State by only 9.95 points. In 2020, Donald Trump lost the state by almost 30 points. The state has turned much bluer since the last recall election.

So, is there anything Republicans can do to halt the one-party control? 

Chances are slim, but California Republicans would be wise actually to interest themselves with the deep-blue state’s politics. In 2020, GOP candidates got destroyed across the state, but conservative ballot initiatives fared well. 

For example, Uber, Lyft, and other gig-economy firms went to task and drafted a proposition to prevent the classification of independent contractors as full-time employees. This prevents hammering in independent contractors and freelance writers who wish to work on their own time. If the proposition did not pass and the California courts’ idiotic rulings became law, it would have probably resulted in Uber and Lyft ceasing operations in the state. Labor unions and progressive activists fought hard against the proposition, but 58 percent of voters voted in favor of it.

When Californians attempted to disavow their state’s constitution and enshrine racial and sexual preferences in college admissions and government employment, voters also struck that down

How about prohibiting cash bail? California voters said: No, thanks

What happened when the state tried to allow 17-year-old primary voters the ability to vote if they turned 18 before the general election? Californians rightfully rejected it. 

Democrats also wanted to expand the ability of the state to enact rent control, one of the most failed policies of the last century. Voters were also not down with that idea. 

So, what does this suggest? California voters are attitudinally liberal and may hate GOP candidates, but they are not necessarily opposed to conservative ideas. Running on the correct issues and presenting the correct image to voters is key to being competitive. 

In the past, GOP politicians have attempted to run on issues such as education, where they express support for school choice and school vouchers. That may work in a state like Florida, where there is evidence that strong support for school choice helped propel now Gov. Ron DeSantis to victory over Andrew Gillum. But, Ron DeSantis is a once-in-a-generation kind of political talent and Florida is an evenly divided state; California is not. It is impossible to run on an issue in California where the solution from Democrats is to throw more money at the system. Republicans have to run on issues that all Californians are fed up with. 

What are those issues? There are two main problems California Republicans need to be pressing forward: crime and quality of life. 

The state’s major cities saw a significant uptick in homicides and car thefts last year. It is no coincidence that it corresponds with the anti-police rhetoric and subsequent “defund the police” sloganeering by prominent Democrats. 

All Americans, including Democrats, are interested in keeping their communities and families safe. Even minorities, which progressives are supposedly fighting for, are not invested in the “defund the police” idea. 81 percent of black people want just as much, if not more, policing in their neighborhoods. The demonization of police gravely cost Democrats in down-ballot races; Republicans would be foolish not to utilize it in this year’s recall election.

Republicans also need to highlight the decreasing quality of life within the state. Schools in California have been closed for over a year at the behest of selfish teachers’ unions, even though the evidence points to schools being safe to reopen. And, as it turns out, parents are frequently unable to go to work because small children cannot be home alone on Zoom. Newsom’s allegiance to teachers’ unions has not only displayed scientific ineptitude, but he has also alienated a key voting bloc. 

Moreover, at least 161,000 homeless people currently reside in the state. The homeless drop syringes (and defecation) on streets around young children, spread disease, and decrease access to public spaces. Most parents do not like to have their children playing in and around public parks dominated by such distasteful conditions. 

But, most importantly, GOP candidates have to address California’s housing crisis. Housing prices are so high that if you factor in their costs, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Policies such as zoning laws and rent control that limit the supply of housing have drastically increased prices. The GOP would be wise to present an alternative by deregulating the sector and allowing for the construction of more houses.

None of this will guarantee a GOP victory later this year. Even if they take up the measures most appealing to voters and back a candidate with the combination of moderate appeal and name recognition, they will likely still lose. But this recall will be the best chance the GOP has anytime soon of freeing Californians from their authoritarian governor.

Mr. Nikfar is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and a columnist for The Hesperian.

President Biden and the Nefarious ‘Newer’ Deal

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

By Kate Robinson 

As if forgiving student loan debt was not generous enough, President Joe Biden is paying Americans’ bills yet again. This time, it is through his recently enacted $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes such a significant level of handouts of federal unemployment benefits that businesses across the United States are struggling to find people to hire. 

Forget any so-called “rescue.” This progressive piece of legislation is shaping up to be nothing more than another FDR-style New Deal package. It sounds good, but it is really just one of the Democratic Party’s classic, power-hungry handouts in disguise. 

FDR’s New Deal reshaped the political left, leading future Democrats like Biden to believe that a high level of government oversight is reasonable and even accepted in the United States. The New Deal opened the door for potential long-term damage to the fundamental strength of our economy and society. Now, Biden’s American Rescue Plan will finish the job, so long as he continues down the same path as his predecessor. 

During FDR’s term in the midst of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate peaked at 25.6 percent. But, instead of telling Americans to stay home, FDR encouraged them to find jobs. In fact, he even went so far as to create jobs for people. Sure, it is easy to believe that FDR’s vast implementation of government programs was beneficial to the economy, but really, it is the same as Biden’s approach – just more subtle and positioned differently. Incentivizing Americans to stay home is even more destructive than FDR’s temporary and artificial job policies from 100 years ago. 

The unemployment payments today are so high that they are equivalent to someone making $15.95 an hour during a 40-hour work week. It looks like Biden has finally figured out a way to raise the minimum wage after all. 

According to The New York Post, unemployed people are currently receiving $300 per week from the federal government, plus approximately $320 more in state benefits. This averages to about $638 per week, which means that someone can make $30,624 per year by just sitting at home. Biden is paying people to stay on their couch, leaving governors to fight against his backward policy with their own incentives to get people back to work. 

Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, for instance, announced last week that he plans to pay people $2,000 to return to work and that he is no longer accepting federal money starting July 10. Montana’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte, recently announced a similar plan. Any unemployed individual who accepts a job and maintains it for at least a month will earn a bonus from the federal unemployment grants. While both of these are still not ideal approaches, they are better than knowingly running the economy into the ground, which Biden is doing very well. The Labor Department reported last month that employers added 266,000 new jobs to the market (a significant and disappointing decline), leaving approximately 7.4 million positions open. Both numbers are obvious signs that the economy is ready and has room to grow, and probably would be growing at a very quick pace, if it were not for Biden incentivizing Americans to stay home. 

If he were around today, FDR would surely agree with Biden’s attempts to keep the economy in the government’s grasp. In fact, it was FDR himself who masterminded the idea of big government. And now, Biden is taking it to the extreme. 

FDR favored unions, Biden has passed legislation to increase their power; FDR implemented the federal minimum wage, Biden has just figured out a way to effectively raise it; FDR wanted government control, Biden has cleverly concocted a way to kill small businesses, forcing a majority of Americans to rely on government support from cradle to grave. 

While some may find the American Rescue Plan to be a suitable piece of legislation to help ease the country out of the artificial depression caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns, others know that – like FDR – President Biden does not really care about our families, jobs, homes, education, nor livelihood, as he so claims. Instead, he simply wants us to rely on the government (and, more specifically, Democrat politicians), and the surest way to do that is to keep Americans dependent and docile. 

A Newer Deal, indeed.

Ms. Robinson is a freshman at Chapman University majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and a columnist for The Hesperian.

The Left’s Outrageous Attacks on Tim Scott Should Be a Wake-up Call

Picture from Senate Television video via AP

By Ethan Nikfar 

Every year, the president of the United States stands before Congress in monarchical fashion to address what the king-like figure is doing to help solve our problems. Along with it, the opposition party has a designated person with the worst job in Congress: giving a response to that speech. The out-of-power party’s rebuttal to the president is invariably seen as meager and useless in comparison to the main address. 

But last week, Tim Scott, the Republican Senator from South Carolina, became the sole exception to that rule.

Scott gave a terrific response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech – a speech that highlighted the president’s goal of fundamentally realigning the relationship between the government and the people. Biden made constitutionally illiterate claims such as, “It’s time we remembered that we the people are the government,” whereas Scott acknowledged limits on the government’s power and expressed optimism for the country’s future that stemmed from outside Washington’s schemes.        

But after the address was over, Scott became subject to the extreme vitriol of the left. Why? Because in his speech, Scott, a black man, had the temerity to say, “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”

With that, the left exploded with outrage. The senator was endlessly attacked and had racial slurs hurled his way. “Uncle Tim” began trending on Twitter and remained on the platform for the entire day. Leftists immediately demanded that Scott accept his lesser, victimhood status and bow down to his mobbish saviors. 

The left’s disgraceful reaction was particularly bizarre considering that Vice President Kamala Harris agreed with Scott’s statement about race in America, yet she received little to no blowback for her observation. 

Throughout the next few days, Democrats across the country attempted to portray their disgust that Scott, a black man, was chosen to lead the response. For example, The View’s co-host, Sunny Hostin, claimed, “He was chosen because he is the only black Republican Senator. He is that person.” 

In reality, Scott was not chosen by Republicans solely based on the color of his skin. Instead, he actually has political views and life experiences that make him uniquely qualified to give that specific speech, and to best address the disingenuous claims Biden was making about race in America.

Scott has faced racism in his everyday life – lending him credibility to speak on the matter of race in America. He also co-wrote the police reform bill last summer that Democrats filibustered before even allowing it to be debated on the floor. In a bit of an unsurprising twist, Democrats used the same filibuster they now decry as a “Jim Crow relic” to stymie a black Senator’s proposal. 

Regardless, it is significantly less divisive and wrong for Tim Scott to be chosen to lead the State of the Union response than it is to select a Vice President purely based on her gender and skin color. If you are wondering who may have done such a thing, look no further than our current president, who openly admitted to vetting vice presidential candidates based on their gender and skin color. But when Joe Biden did precisely that, we heard only praise from the left. 

That really suggests one thing – parrot the woke left’s viewpoints, and you can say what you want about race and emphasize its importance (or lack thereof) without pushback. Suggest, however, that the left may be wrong, and you suddenly turn into an evil ignoramus who is withdrawn from the reality of race in this country. Such is the pamphlet to our current political discourse. 

This insane treatment has not been limited to just Tim Scott. Nikki Haley, the former UN Ambassador and Governor of South Carolina, has had similar slurs directed her way due to her Punjabi heritage. 

To the Democratic Party, there is only one way of life for anyone non-white: to be Democrats. Anyone accused of breaking that orthodoxy is subjected to cruel, vile harassment. 

The irony is that even though Democrats howled to the moon that the Trump-led GOP was the party of white nationalism, the GOP made significant inroads with minority voters in 2020.

Aside from that, Senator Scott deserves better; he is a decent man in indecent times. But to Democrats, his character and the merit of his ideas are of zero importance. The only things that matter are the words “black” and “Republican.” 

Progressives who think they get to decide who qualifies as black have not only cost us an honest conversation about race, but they have also revealed themselves to be a party of race-obsessed partisans unwilling to tolerate opposing ideas. 

Mr. Nikfar is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and a columnist for The Hesperian.

The Scientific Establishment Has Lost Our Trust

By Ethan Nikfar

Over a year ago, a deadly new virus struck the world, forcing us to entirely adapt and revamp our lifestyles to prevent its spread. In response, we embraced public health officials, particularly in the federal government, to make sense of it. But today, those same public health officials have become increasingly unreasonable, withdrawn from reality, and unwilling to accept new evidence that challenges their outdated stances. 

Public health officials have done a ton of admirable work through the duration of the pandemic. But as the figures Americans are looking up to for guidance in uncharted waters, they have an obligation to define and explain risks associated with the pandemic accurately. 

Their job is not to coax us into behaving a certain way or lie to us about the data. Unfortunately, over the last several months, such distasteful behavior has become all too common for members of the scientific establishment. 

Among the culprits are Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert (also the highest-paid official in the federal government), the CDC, and FDA. 

Let us start with Dr. Fauci. At the beginning of the pandemic, Fauci was a welcome sight for most Americans; he was the voice of reason we listened to in order to keep up with the latest news and updates on the virus. For the first few months of the pandemic, he did this relatively solidly. But since, he has become intentionally misleading, power-hungry, and relishing in his newfound celebrity status. 

Fauci began the pandemic in early March by discouraging mask usage. In an interview on 60 Minutes on March 8, 2020, Fauci stated, “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” This was in an attempt to influence Americans to not wear masks so that healthcare workers would not face a shortage. But Fauci is a public health official. His job is to convey accurate public health information to the public – not to try and influence our behavior by tricking us into acting a certain way. Sadly, the deception was not limited to mask usage. 

Fauci also deliberately shifted the goalposts when discussing the percentage of Americans who would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. Initially stating that only 60 to 70 percent would need to be vaccinated, Fauci nudged the number up to 80 to 90 percent of the population. In an interview with the New York Times‘ Donald McNeil Jr., Fauci admitted to moving the goalposts “partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.” 

Fauci also praised Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic. Fauci, of course, will not mention the fact that New York has the second-highest COVID-19 death rate per million in America. Nor will he tell you that Cuomo signed an executive order to force COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes, killing nearly 13,000 elderly residents. Additionally, the governor’s aides tried to cover up and undercount the number of nursing home deaths for months to avoid federal investigation. For Fauci, New York was worthy of praise. The state’s citizens probably think differently.

When Fauci was questioned about the risk of COVID-19 spread in migrant detention facilities that force migrants into extremely close quarters, he stated, “I have nothing to do with the border . . . Having me down at the border, that’s really not what I do.” Really? Fauci has been more than happy to insert himself into other discussions, such as the travel ban, in the past year. He just does not want to criticize the Biden Administration.

Fauci criticized Texas for lifting its mask mandate. Yet, more than a month and a half after Governor Greg Abbott rescinded the mandate, the seven-day average of daily deaths in Texas is at its lowest point since early July of 2020. Daily cases have declined at a similar rate. When asked about this, Fauci stated, “You know, there are a lot of things that go into that. I mean, when you say that they’ve had a lot of the activity on the outside like ball games, I’m not really quite sure. It could be they’re doing things outdoors.” Fauci lacks the prerequisite understanding that behavioral patterns do not shift when the government announces a law that is impossible to enforce. Many on the political left (seemingly including Fauci) also seem not to fathom that people can wear masks without a mandate. Perhaps that can be attributed to their worldview that individuals cannot make rational decisions without the force of government compelling them to do so.

In late February, Fauci maintained that vaccinated individuals should not go to indoor restaurants or crowded movie theaters. Curious, given that data from Israel found that vaccinated individuals are at very low risk of transmitting the virus to others. If being vaccinated does not allow you to resume engaging in everyday activities, then what will? 

Fauci’s recommendations for vaccinated individuals are not only ridiculous, but they actively discourage people from getting vaccinated. If being vaccinated does not change what you are allowed to do, then why would a healthy 25-year-old whose parents and grandparents have been vaccinated now choose to go through the hassle of getting vaccinated himself? 

Fauci should instead be promoting the message that the faster we get vaccinated, the sooner we can return to everyday life. But he will simply not let that happen. 

It took Fauci until late April to announce that vaccinated people can start to unmask outdoors. He stated, “It’s pretty common sense now that the outdoor risk is really quite low.” If so, what took him so long? 

But even now, his stamp of approval is limited to certain outdoor activities. 

Not only has Fauci deliberately downplayed the efficacy of vaccines by recommending that vaccinated individuals cannot go and enjoy their lives, but he has also mirrored Democrats’ misguided arguments about perpetually delaying school reopenings.

Questionable behavior was unfortunately not limited to just Fauci. The CDC has done its part too. 

The CDC has continued to maintain its recommendation that 90 percent of schools remain partially closed. This is even as studies have shown that children are not at risk of receiving nor transmitting the virus, and teachers are at no more at risk than the general public. Schools have been safe to reopen the entire time – especially now that so many school staff have been vaccinated. 

Moreover, the CDC’s summer camp guidance insists that kids over the age of two and all adults (regardless of whether they have been vaccinated) need to wear masks at all times. This makes zero sense. As studies have documented, not only are the vaccines tremendously effective at preventing spread, but young children have never been a key vector of transmission. Combine that with the humidity of the summer, and the CDC is actively recommending the needless suffering of kids. 

Not only is the CDC’s guidance scientifically illiterate, but when any organization makes recommendations that are lacking in reason and logic, people stop listening to them. 

On April 27, in another instance where public health officials discouraged people from getting vaccinated, the CDC updated a chart on the activities that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can safely do. According to them, when indoors, vaccinated people still need to wear masks at all times. There is no evidence to suggest that vaccinated people are vectors of transmission. The vaccines are a scientific miracle; we should treat them as such. 

The FDA is certainly not devoid of criticism either. Earlier this month, it recommended pausings Johnson & Johnson vaccines across the country. Why? You may ask. There were six blood clots found in vaccinated patients out of 6.8 million people. The FDA wanted to pause the J&J vaccine because one in a million people who received the vaccine developed a blood clot. Let us put that into perspective – in the U.S., the odds of being struck by lightning in any given year is 1 in 500,000 – a better chance than developing a blood clot due to the vaccine. Not only is the FDA’s decision nonsensical, but now it likely makes people increasingly skeptical of receiving the vaccine because they are even more worried about side effects that are extremely rare. 

What do we get from the FDA in return? Likely only a warning put on the side of a label that no one outside of a vaccine administrator will ever read. How many more lives would have been saved due to the vaccine if not for the FDA’s questionable cost-benefit analysis?

If it were up to the public health officials in the federal government, kids all across the country would not be able to go to school, and we would still be largely forced to the confines of our own homes. 

Our scientific establishment has maintained that to avoid risk, Americans should give up all that made life great without considering tradeoffs and reality. “Avoiding risk” has now actively become risk-taking. In actuality, most Americans have been participating in the majority of their normal life for months. By denying that reality, public health officials will continue to be ignored. But in the end, they may deserve that. 

Mr. Nikfar is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and a columnist for The Hesperian.