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FLASHBACK: Stacey Abrams Changes Her Mind on Cultural Radicalism and Hops on the Monument Removal Bandwagon

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Former Georgia Democratic State Representative LaDawn Jones has been one of the biggest proponents of removing Confederate monuments in recent years.

Back in 2015, she urged for a boycott of Georgia’s Stone Mountain after a deranged shooter killed nine church attendees in Charleston, South Carolina. She argued that the Confederate memorial carving motivated so-called “far-right” extremism.

Jones was met with strong opposition from GOP state representative Jason C. Spencer, who viewed the monument as a part of Georgia history.

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Throughout her time fighting for Confederate memorial removals, Jones encountered stiff resistance from both parties.

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During the 2015-2016 legislative session, Jones was one of three cosponsors of HB 760 which would have converted Stone Mountain from a Confederate memorial to a Civil War memorial.

In a blog post from 2017, Jone said she had pushed for House Democrats to get behind the idea of removing Confederate artifacts from Stone Mountain after the 2015 Charleston shooting.

However, Jones wrote that then-House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams rejected her proposal for the bill.

“As leader of the caucus, support includes being a sponsor on the bill,” she told The Intercept. “Getting other allies to support it was my first ask.” Abrams “was not interested in that,” Jones stated.

Jones made an attempt to get Abrams and other elected officials to take a caucus-wide stance on the bill. In Jones’ view at the time, many Georgia House members are reluctant to take caucus positions because if “one of your caucus members does not stand in line, it kind of weakens the value of taking a caucus position.” An informal poll was then taken.

Jones said that “Her [Abrams] answer again to that was no.”

Jones proceeded to get Democratic state House officials to take joint stances. ”Even if we don’t do legislation, we can do a press conference, we can do a statement, we can do something as a Democratic caucus,” she remarked. “Her response to that was, ‘No, that sounds like something you should do with the Legislative Black Caucus.’”

After the Charlottesville protests, Abrams finally decided to remove the Stone Mountain carving.

However, Zaid Jilani noted the following about Abram’s changing views on this position:

Abrams’s evolution on the issue fuels the type of criticism that has been leveled at her previously: that while she may be campaigning to the left during a primary contest, her record is far more moderate, notably when she backed GOP cuts to the state scholarship in 2011. (Abrams says that by working with Republicans on the cuts, she staved off what would have been more draconian reductions had she not engaged.)

A member of Abram’s campaign team attempted to respond to Jones’s blog post.“Abrams has led protests against the Confederate flag, and as minority leader, worked with Chairman Emeritus Calvin Smyre to secure the statue of Dr. King on the grounds of the Capitol. As a member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and as minority leader, she deferred to the leadership of the GLBC — who were spearheading the effort — regarding the 2015 debate. Rep. Jones did not submit legislation in 2016 for inclusion in the Georgia House Democratic Caucus agenda.”

Jilani brought this incident back into the spotlight on May 18, 2020.

He tweeted, “An Abrams story few know. After the Dylan Roof shooting, a state rep. asked her to support legislation to convert Stone Mountain (a confederate memorial in Georgia) into a civil war memorial. She refused to support it and refused to poll her caucus on it.”

Abrams is clearly an opportunist but also recognizes where the winds are blowing as far as the radical Left goes.

She will go on to take more radical positions on cultural issues as time goes on.

Immigration

Mara Elvira Salazar is No Friend of America First Nationalism

Republican leaders would be wise to ignore all of her political advice.

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If there’s one Republican leader that young activists should never listen to, it’s Florida Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar. 

Salazar, who is a Cuban American, has been an outspoken advocate of loosening U.S. immigration laws. In fact, she even confronted known immigration hawk and key Trump adviser Stephen Miller at a Republican Study Committee weekly lunch on February 24, 2021. She specifically criticized Trump’s immigration message and demanded that the GOP be more inclusive in its outreach.

“I told him [Miller] that the GOP needs to attract the browns,” stated Salazar. “We, for the last 30 years since Ronald Reagan, have not sent the right message to the browns,” she continued. “Reagan was the last guy who gave a path to citizenship to 3 million people … 35 years ago. It’s time for us to do the same thing that Reagan did.”

Salazar doubled down on her pro-immigration message when she went on Larry Kudlow’s show on March 2 and declared that former President Donald Trump would have done better with Hispanics by advocating for looser immigration. Journalist Ryan Girdusky noted how some of Trump’s advisers were already pushing for amnesty lite policies:

Girdusky added that Salazar was rather unhinged in her criticism of Miller’s vision for the GOP:

Salazar made a lot of noise about the Hispanic vote, despite ignoring how Trump improved his Hispanic numbers between 2016 and his re-election bid in 2020 from 28% to 32%. And he did so without much Hispandering or campaigning on passing amnesty. 

The unsavory fact that the GOP consultant class and the likes of Salazar refuse to acknowledge is that the Black Lives Matter unrest alone likely pushed significant segments of the Hispanic population into the Democrats’ arms. BLM radicalism alienated Americans of all backgrounds., but Hispanics were not having any of this kind of ruckus. Even Hispanic Democrats, of all groups, largely supported strong military action during the riots.

In reality, Hispanic support for Trump is largely based on his bluster and political bluntness, which many minority groups find comfort in. 

However, Republicans like Salazar gets it all wrong by thinking that expanding immigration both legal and illegal is a key to the Republican Party success. The Republican Party will have to concede that they can make gains with Hispanics at the margins but they cannot expect to win the majority of the Hispanic vote due to Hispanics’ propensity to support many causes ranging from gun control to more government involvement in healthcare. Data from the Pew Research Center demonstrates these beliefs among Hispanics. Nevertheless, there are some avenues for outreach with this demographic  but they must be done right. 

The key for Republican success is the white working class voters, which played a crucial role in putting Trump over the top in the Midwest back in 2016. These voters are not the most reliable in terms of turnout, but they comprise a vast segment of the American electorate. Any candidate who can activate them could potentially build a hegemonic electoral coalition for years to come. The goal for a sane Republican campaign is to maximize turnout and support among the WWC. 

Such inroads with WWC voters are more important than meeting a diversity quota the likes of Salazar and naive Republican strategists would like the party to pursue. Any nationalist campaign worth its salt would be promoting the following: Infrastructure projects targeting the Midwest, the restriction of both illegal and legal immigration, and re-shoring programs to bring jobs back. 

On the other hand, following Salazar’s program is the way that the GOP will become irrelevant and alienate many WWC voters who are already on the fence with regards to the Republican Party. These voters are not going to gravitate towards Republicans just because of the “R” next to their name. They still must be catered to and pushing for amnesty is one way to turn working class voters off.

Under Salazar’s watch, the GOP will simply be going back to the politically correct ways of the Bush administration. To tap into the sleeping giants that is the WWC, Republican leaders should ignore everything Salazar has to say and get fully behind nationalist policies such as immigration restriction, infrastructure development, and re-shoring. 

 

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