Democratic congressman and progressive hero, Mike Honda is facing his second challenge from Ro Khanna, a supposed Democrat who just can’t seem to stay away from the right-wing extremists. Whether it is Trump-delegate Peter Thiel, homophobic sexual-harasser Ernie Konnyu, the Tea Party Express, or Stephen Schwarzman, Ro is always “happy” to have their support. And the right-wingers, hedge-fund billionaires and lobbyists reward him by funding his campaign with over half-a-million dollars in the first three quarters alone. No wonder Ro was invited and agreed to speak at a Koch funded conference last year.
And now he’s aligned himself with Ivanka Trump, Bob Huff (R-SD29), Edward Blum (the stockbroker credited with using the John Roberts’ Supreme Court to overturn the Voter Rights Act and Affirmative Action), and the extremist opponents of Rob Bonta’s AHEAD Act (AB 1726).
California Assemblyman Bonta’s AB1726 would help to better understand and serve the health and educational needs of California’s large and diverse Asian-American community by disaggregating data already collected. The bill would require California’s pubic health agencies and university system to further breakdown the data matching the standards used by the Federal Census Bureau.
“I was disappointed today to see Trump-like fear mongering used at a protest against my AHEAD Act. Unfortunately, the protesters were misguided, mistaken, and misinformed. Their issues had nothing to do with my bill. I even spoke with protesters who hadn't read the bill and didn't understand that the Act is all about inclusion.” ~ Assemblyman Rob Bonta
It is shocking to find a self-proclaimed progressive aligning with so many that are diametrically opposed to progressive ideologies. But that is exactly where Ro Khanna put himself when he sided with the extremist opponents of AB1726. Propagandized by Huff and Blum, the protesters fear the disaggregating of data already collected will lead to discrimination, internment or worse. Language and imagery used by AB1726’s opponents often reference the Holocaust such as the graphic depicting “AB1726” in a yellow Star of David, as used by the Nazis to identify Jews during the Holocaust.
At the Republican National Convention that featured uber-libertarian and Khanna funder, Peter Thiel, it was not shocking to hear Ivanka Trump speak glowingly of Meritocracy during her convention speech. Meritocracy speaks to Donald Trump’s white nationalist supporters and nearly Nazi campaign advisor, Joesph Schmitz. Similar to Social Darwinism, an ideology favored by Hitler’s Nazis, Meritocracy is the political philosophy that authority should be based almost entirely on ability. It is also part of the libertarian fantasy that fails to acknowledge the reality that some are born into a disadvantaged world.
During a recent interview Ro Khanna revealed an ideological alliance with his pro-charter school, hedge fund and libertarian funders. Like Ivanka, he praised Meritocracy, and he also pointed to the Olympics as a guide for society. But, the Olympics is a sporting event - entertainment - it’s not something to base social policy on. He can argue equality since all the athletes complete the same task following the same rules, but that is leaving out an important part of the journey to the finish line: everything that happens before the starting gun fires. Maybe not as important in sports as say education or health care, but some participants have a better support structure. They have better training, nutrition, and specialized equipment. Equity addresses these issues to create a more fair and just society by providing the needed resources to those less advantaged so they are on an even playing field with their more privileged counterparts.
Meritocracy may please Ro Khanna’s wealthy funders as they already stand at the finish line with their medals and millions. But it is equity as advocated and led by Khanna’s opponent, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) that is a much better ideal in the real world and it better serves the district’s Asian/Pacific Islander constituents. In fact, California’s 17th Congressional District contains one of the largest Asian population at 49%, second only to Hawaii’s District 1. Bonta’s AB1726 will provide data that will help us better understand the specific needs of this diverse Asian community.
Ro Khanna is very active on Facebook and other social media, always willing to share his position on current affairs. But oddly, sharing his views on AB1726 seems to have been overlooked as was his pro-charter school stance that was only revealed during an interview with the right-wing website, Breitbart News. Even more odd is how his wealthy funders, who happen to share these views, all seem to be in the know. They seem to know a Ro different than the one presented to the voters of district 17.
“When someone shows you who they are believe them” ~ Maya Angelou
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