Disruption Is Coming to DC
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by Josh Lee
2018 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
Despite this being a time and country where true, false, fact, and opinion are words rendered meaningless, I am going to share a few
personal truths with you. Ron asked me to write this, I typically don’t take my political linens to the public laundromat. I don’t
believe in complete disclosure — here, on social media, or anywhere else. I’m a millennial, I work in tech, and I make six figures
annually. That to some makes me an entitled white-privileged brat. But I’m gay and Asian and an immigrant. In social structure today
that holy trifecta trumps my job and income, making me a triply-oppressed minority wronged again and again by the tides of time. So
that means I should be a liberal. Yet I have some very conservative views. I am a strong believer in regulating legal immigration
and I believe in the right to own guns.
My last truth: I didn’t vote. To some, that strips me of my right to be an American citizen.
And that’s fine, I still hold Japanese citizenship as a fallback. I didn’t vote because as we neared November of 2016, I couldn’t
in good faith cast a vote for the Oompa Loompa or Crooked Hillary.
I tell all of this this so you’ll understand that I really don’t
subscribe to the propaganda coming from either major political party. I’m not down with alleged pillars of society screaming fuck
our president at awards shows or a washed up comedian holding severed heads. But I’m also not down with the tons of fake news coming
out of Washington DC right now.
Here’s the thing – for as bad as this current administration (that’s a stretch, isn’t it?) is and
for all the political homewrecking they’re doing with our allies – four years is a blink of an eye in human existence. Nothing that
Trump has done yet can’t be undone or corrected by the next administration. And as much as I wish he’d take one too many Viagra and
have a coronary, it can’t be denied that without Trump, my generation wouldn’t be nearly as pissed off and on the cusp of being the
next great political power. To ask the age old question – is the end (a bold new generation of politically active and informed youth)
worth the means to get there (Trump)?
We have a President who isn’t ashamed of being a filthy fucking rich asshole and acting every
bit the part. And though I don’t agree with most of his mouth via Twitter and Sarah Sanders’ ass of a face, there is not a single
doubt in my mind that he and his term are currently conceiving (in a urine-soaked Russian hotel bed?) the most politically active
and aware generation this nation has ever seen. A generation that will go on to lead and define the future of United States politics
for the next half century at least. For better or worse, right or wrong, disillusioned or not, the Dotard really is the catalyst that
has finally gotten millennials to look beyond Buzzfeed News (which is really an oxymoron) and Wikipedia to get the facts and inform
themselves of what’s going on in the world cropped out of their idyllic Instagram portraits of life in America.
I’d love nothing more
than for David Hogg to go quietly back to the pig pen, but there’s no denying that he wouldn’t have platform and following so great
if the Angry Creamsicle weren’t president. Do we think so many millions of women (and the male feminists whose legitimacy is still
being debated) in the #MeToo movement would have gained so much traction if we had a president who, rather than having to grab someone
else’s vag, had one herself?
And as annoying as it is that I have to find detours around countless rallies, pride parades, riots,
and whatever next week’s national uprising is, it makes me excited and proud to see so many people my age genuinely enraged, educated,
and energized to make some change actually happen. We’re no longer content
Together with Generation X, we have changed more about
the world more than any generation before us. Disruption is what we do, and Silicon Valley may be home base today, but Washington
DC is on the horizon. Think what you want about millennials, but we are smarter than most give us credit for and for once not afraid
to fuck shit up. Being political and shaking up the powdered wigs and mummified remains is new to us, so we probably sound naive right
now, but trust me, disruption is coming to DC.
Part 2: Five Disruptions I’d Like To See
Miriam Webster defines “disrupt” to mean: to interrupt the normal course or unity of. I’m
so f-ing ready for that, you guys. I’m ready for someone to come in and shake the powder out of the wigs and throw their avocado toast
right in the face of the liberal extremists. In Part 1 of this series, I shared my views on the Trump presidency, sharing my desperate
hope that some young person will do to DC what Jeff Bezos did to retail.
1. THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM HAS GOT TO GO
I cannot stress how
strongly I feel about this. I (and a lot of people my age) see the traditional reigning parties much like the J.C.Penney and Sears
that once anchored either end of every mall in America. You know what I mean. Our parents loved them, we were raised in them, most
families had a favorite and were fiercely loyal to it, even proudly carrying the membership card. But nothing they really sold you
was all that interesting and for the discerning, you had to dig through a lot of crap to find anything decent. Today, you have to
wander around for ages to find anyONE decent too.
Enter disruption and the age of Amazon – infinite choice at “The Everything Store”.
It’s time for politics to adapt a new system. One without walls (party lines) and all the bureaucratic bullshit that comes with identifying
oneself as a “Democrat” or “Republican”. You need look no further than the 2016 election for proof of this. The youth voter base is
growing every year and we’re no longer content with buying into a party just for a candidate. It’s time for politics in this country
to embrace the core fundamentals of democracy.
I’m so tired of the whole “us vs. them” crap. Let’s face it: Hillary could have won
the Presidency. She absolutely could be our president today. But the democrats were so sure of themselves that they failed to reach
out to the people who needed them most – middle America. Like most ignorant liberals, they had no interest in talking to those who
would question them, but perhaps accept their viewpoint. Instead, they focused on the easy states where (for the most part) populations
were already liberal, money flows like water, and most people were already “with her”. But middle America where there is clear and
visible discontent with Obama’s leadership was largely forgotten.
But imagine if there weren’t clear-cut state divides. Imagine if
candidates didn’t belong to a party so the path of who to follow wasn’t so easy and they had to work to reach everyone. Imagine if
“conservatives” and “liberals” weren’t automatically parties. Imagine if people actually had to listen to the candidates, their viewpoints,
and their promises instead of blindly following the masses because Candidate A is a democrat so obviously that’s who I should vote
I typically approach the campaigns like this: I’ll intently follow all the candidates at the very beginning and choose a few
to follow through the race. They could be on either side of the table. As the campaign season wears on, I’ll follow less closely but
maintain a clear line of sight on my top two or three. In 2016, however, all that changed. We had Bernie Sanders who ran as a Democrat
but appealed to millennials because he followed a much less traditional socialist agenda. I hoped that he would break way from the
Democrats because he had no hope of winning over Hillary. He probably had no real hope of winning the Presidency but he would have
made one heck of a case study on the millennial voter had he run independently. Then there was Trump who similarly followed an untraditional
path through the Republican race against heavyweights like Cruz and Romney (not to mention severely overweights like Christie). He
vocally threatened to run as an Independent if he couldn’t secure the Republican nomination. I kind of wish he had.
So imagine if
there were no party nominations and Clinton, Sanders, Trump, and Cruz all got to be on the ballot. Would millennial liberals have
gone with Sanders and not Clinton? By November most of them had forgotten all the hateful things they said about her a year earlier.
Insert eyeroll here. And would Middle America have gone with Trump over a Republican?
In the same way that we’re no longer forced
to only buy what we can drive to at the mall because of Amazon and e-commerce, it’s time for us to stand up for our right to qualified
candidates and complete freedom of choice.
2. IT’S TIME TO PAY ATTENTION TO MIDDLE AMERICA
A side effect of the outdated two party
system is that typically Middle America is forgotten. And Middle America is growing at a rapid pace. And I don’t mean just geographically-central
America where people sway conservative and everyone is a redneck, lives in a double wide, and feels as though Obama’s terms only made
I mean middle as in middle class. Mind you, the liberal strongholds are growing ever wealthier. Take California, Washington,
Colorado, and Illinois for example. The industries that are booming there – tech, entertainment, media – are really pushing the liberal
base into the upper class. And that’s happening across the board. As a result, those who are actual middle-class are struggling to
pay for health insurance, disillusioned by the Affordable Care Act. Most of my actual middle-class friends voted for Trump because
of the promises he made about healthcare reform. And isn’t that what they’re supposed to do? Vote for the candidate who promises to
change what they want changed?
And then there are people like me, who are squarely in the middle between the left and the right. I
aligned with certain issues in both candidates but I couldn’t in good faith accept all the baggage that each brought with them. Normally
the good outweighs the bad more strongly on one side and I’m able to make a sound decision one way or another. But in 2016 and even
moreso since, I can’t get onboard with either side.
More importantly, with the left making so much noise, I’m genuinely afraid that
they’re deafening themselves to people like me. We can’t post on Facebook or share online how we actually feel – that Clinton is a
fraud AND Trump is a menace. The liberal extremists will go all Maxine Walters on us. So we don’t say anything and, along with the
rest of Middle America, will only be heard and felt when the 2020 election results are tallied. And if the Democrats lose out again
because they failed to address EVERONE in the middle, well, so be it.
3. IMMIGRATION NEEDS REFORM
Let me preface this by saying that
I loved Cynthia Nixon in Sex and the City. I identified with Miranda maybe more than any of the other girls on the show. But the minute
she called Immigrations and Customs Enforcement a “terrorist organization” that needs to be “abolished”, I lost all respect for her.
Yes, we need immigration reform because the current system doesn’t work. But to call them a terrorist organization is beyond ignorant
and unacceptable for someone running for governor of the state of New York.
But let’s back up and look at why the current system is
broken. USA Today published figures a few weeks ago from the ICE Yearbook on the number of people arriving at US borders seeking asylum
(both economic and political). More than 250,000 individuals arrived at or borders in 2017, and that number has only trended upward
since 2008 when a paltry 7,500 people arrived at our borders.
Now just picture the impact that has on a country year after year. If
we opened our borders the way a hooker opens her legs, we’d have the population of the state of Hawaii in five years or less. Where
are they going to go? And what impact will that have on the economies of where they settle? And the population densities? And they
can’t go just anywhere – Roseanne and the hicks of (places like) Lanford are proof that racism and xenophobia is still alive and well
in the sticks.
We solved the economic and population impact with the process of obtaining an H1B visa many years ago. The process
of obtaining the skilled labor visa is unbeknownst to most outside of HR offices, so I’ll give you the quick run through. The H1B
visa is given to foreigners possessing an education and professional skills in their trade. So all the foreigners working in tech
likely came over on an H1B visa. An employee must be sponsored by a firm to enter an application for an H1B visa. But before they
pack their bags and hop aboard the tuk tuk to the airport, their approval is left to the fate of a lottery. This ensures that the
number of foreign nationals coming to take American jobs is regulated.
We must do something similar to regulate the economic refugees.
I disagree with Trump that we should turn people around without fair trial. I understand that many are coming from homelands where
drug cartels, gang violence, unstable government, and war threaten their wellbeing. But I also think that opening our borders to anyone
and everyone without due process would be akin to dumping all of our trash into the ocean without thinking twice about how that changes
the balance of a delicate ecosystem.
And — on that note, can we just acknowledge that...
4. DETAINING MIGRANTS IS NOT THE SAME AS
GASSING THE JEWS AND HERDING UP THE JAPS
I am so sick and tired of hearing the liberal extremists compare Trump to Hitler and migrant
detention centers to Auschwitz and Manzanar.
Moreover, that suggestion is offensive to everyone you’re referencing. As a Japanese
American, I am offended that people are so lightly taken what happened to my ancestors in some sad attempt to dramatize a point. On
the other hand, as an American living in 2018, I’m offended that some people feel that Americans are as immoral and cavalier as the
Nazis. Mind you, it was under Roosevelt’s (a Democrat) leadership that the Japanese were detained and an atomic bomb was dropped killing
millions of innocents in Japan. Sure, the end justified the means, but figuring out how to maintain a stable economyand defining a
solid immigration process in order to handle an influx of population worth detaining migrants now?
Further, these two black eyes in
our history aren’t the same either. Hitler’s extermination of the Jews was an ethnic cleansing. Cleansing as in killing of those who
aren’t like us. The United States’ detention of the Japanese was an ignorant reaction of fear. Fear of those who aren’t like us. Yes,
many who were detained in the internment camps were likely undocumented, but legal status didn’t matter when the Japanese were rounded
up. We are not detaining or killing migrants because we fear them. We are detaining them because there is a process to determine their
eligibility to enter the country and begin the process of deportation or integration.
Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous
rumors that Trump is selling the separated kids into the sex trade. Fake news, much?
5. NEWS MEDIA NEEDS TO DEFINE AN OBJECTIVE
leave you with my assessment on the people who actually have the power to make some change happen in America – the news media.
always been a news junkie. I once dreamed about following in the shoes of Anderson Cooper and Ashleigh Banfield. I dreamed of being
Ashleigh Banfield. She was perhaps the single biggest voice that I followed through the 2016 campaign season
So yes, I love the news
and I love how easy my iPhone has made it to consume it. Articles, podcasts, online video, I can lose hours in it. But more and more
I find myself not losing a morning to CNN. I find myself getting disgusted and turning it off and feeling good about doing so.
me, the single most important objective of any and all news media (be it CNN or FOX) is to report the facts, dissect it, and provide
insight and analysis so that the average Josh in America can understand it and make a judgement call on it. And yes, news has always
been biased. CNN has always leaned left and Fox has always leaned right. But I used to be able to see past that – I could watch either
and understand the whole picture and make a judgement call on it. But over the past few years, it’s become overwhelmingly one-sided
to where I really need to understand an issue, then turn to CNN and Fox to hear both sides.
My once beloved CNN is slipping in my
eyes to the level of Mashable, Buzzfeed, and the other crap-news sites on the internet, and it’s really disheartening. I still read
the articles about where to travel this summer and I follow their North Korea coverage closely. But I find it hard to read and accept
a political article on CNN without fact checking it and getting the complete picture from a less-biased source first. I find it hard
to watch AC360 without getting upset at how one-sided it is.
And lately it’s been the same with the New York Times, MSNBC, Politico,
and all the others I once trusted implicitly.
Yes, the right likes to make up alternative facts and spin fake news. But the left is
just as bad only sharing facts that are complimentary to it and or omitting those that aren’t. A couple of weeks ago I was reading
a liberally-written story about Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco, the DACA “dreamer” deported to Mexico and later killed. Tragic. I felt
sorry for him – until I got to the very bottom of the article where it simply said he was convicted of multiple misdemeanors which
terminated his legal status. I then googled him and a less-biased outlet revealed that he’d been convicted of driving under the influence.
And what about the double standard of political correctness that comes along with any discussion of minority. There can be “BLACK
LIVES MATTER!!!!!!” can be freely shouted from the news desk at CNN, but no one ever acknowledges that white lives matter too, and
someone will always shoot down “all lives matter,” even though it’s the most true and politically correct statement.
industry is struggling to define what it is. I get that. But I need them to make a decision about what their goal is. Is it to report
the facts to the American people or publish semi-factual articles that get the most likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter? I’m
not sure anymore. Do me a favor and the next time you’re reading through any news source, read the headlines. “Teenager from Iowa
killed after ICE returns him to Mexico” is factual, but caters more to “a Miranda” trying to prove that ICE is a terrorist organization
than someone looking for a real story about someone whose DACA status was revoked.
And imagine how many more likes and shares that
headline would get than “Teenager Deported, Killed After DACA Status Terminated For DUI”. But that’s another story, called “Part 3:
On Facebook: Censorship or Stewardship?”