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THE RILEY GAINES
THE A M A C ’ S 2 0 2 3
THE WOMAN of the YEAR
China and Biden’s Wars . . . Page 34 Border Security is National Security — Interview with Tom Homan . . . Page 30 Plus, a special feature from Guest Columnist Victor Davis Hanson! . . . Page 8
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Dear AMAC Member, As we begin the new year, I can’t help but reflect on the hope that 2024 offers for your future and for the future of America as a whole. It’s always been in my nature to focus on the positive opportunities before us a char- acteristic exemplified by my parents and grandparents, as I can recall my grandmother reciting Philippians 4:8, which says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.” 2024 brings good reason to think on these things and to honor the heroes of our past and those among us who embody these values, including former University of Kentucky All American Swimmer and women’s rights activist Riley Gaines. Gaines, who is coura- geously standing up against transgender men competing in women’s sports, was voted AMAC’s Woman of the Year by our members in our annual Person of the Year poll. I couldn’t be more proud that our members chose such a remarkable young woman. She is boldly taking on the powerful forces on the extreme left, recently writing on X, “Remember, I didn’t ask to be in this position, I saw a problem and no one else doing anything about it. So, I decided I would.” Ms. Gaines pulled ahead of Tucker Carlson, who took second place for taking on the media establishment and fearlessly speaking the truth, and US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who came in third place for his lifetime of defending the Constitution. Another hero in our midst is Tom Homan, former acting director of ICE, the US Immi- gration and Customs Enforcement agency under President Trump, and a stalwart of deterring illegal entry into the country, helping achieve the most secure southern border in US history (see page 30). Tom Homan is the creator of Border911.com , a website that is focused on border security matters. When I asked him what motivates him, he responded, “President Trump’s going to be my next president. And we’ll secure the border. We’ll lock it down in 90 days. No doubt in my mind. Ronald Reagan said it best. A nation without borders isn’t a nation. Every country has a right to secure their border.” (Visit amac.us to watch the full interview.) And then there are the hundreds of thousands of AMAC members, all heroes, whose enthusiasm and engagement have resulted in nearly 750,000 responses to AMAC Action’s “calls to action” campaigns this year alone (see page 42). Multiple state leaders have publicly stated that AMAC Action made the difference in passing critical legislation in their state particularly election integrity laws. Let us keep our minds focused on achieving what often feels like the impossible. Thank you for your devotion to AMAC; we are so excited to see what we can achieve together in the year ahead. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR A Time f Hope
Chief Executive Officer, Association of Mature American Citizens
Publisher AMAC, Inc.
Managing Editor Pamela Smith Creative Director Emily Z.
Editor in Chief Rebecca Weber Associate Editor Alexa Astuto
Cover Artist Paul Partlow
Senior Contributing Writers
Alex Ayers Bob Carlstrom Robert B. Charles Stephen Fauer, CFA
Gerry Hafer Andrew Mangione Palmer Schoening D.J. Wilson
Advertising Representative Gia Ricottone firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact AMAC 888-262-2006 | email@example.com
PLEASE NOTE: This issue of the AMAC Magazine went to print on January 9, 2024.
VOLUME 17 ISSUE 6 CORRIGENDUM Please note our added corrections in Volume 17 Issue 6. Page 11 - “rang” should be, “ring.” Page 20 - “Idenity” should be spelled, “Identity.” Page 22 - “or” should be, “of” (Chancellor of the Exchequer). Page 23 - “unphased” should be spelled, “unfazed.”
Rebecca Weber Chief Executive Officer & Editor in Chief
04 • AMAC Magazine
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the magazine of the association of mature american citizens
VOL. 18 ISS. 1
RILEY GAINES AMAC’S 2023 WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Setting the Record Straight on Conservatives’ Pro-Life “Problem”
Border Security is National Security
China and Biden’s Wars
AMAC in Action
Why Now an Epidemic of Anti- Semitism? . . . 8
Social Security Update
A Return to Yesteryear
The Crackup: High-Profile Liberals Who Have Broken with the Democrat Party . . . 20
AMAC Benefit Highlight
Just for Fun Solutions on page 32
Member Benefits Directory
THE CONTENTS OF AMAC MAGAZINE MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PUBLISHER’S WRITTEN CONSENT. AMAC MAGAZINE PROVIDES INFORMATION OF A GENERAL NATURE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT NEITHER AMAC NOR ITS AFFILIATES ARE ENGAGED IN RENDERING MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE. INFORMATION PROVIDED SHOULD NOT BE CON- SIDERED A SUBSTITUTE FOR A CONSULTATION WITH A LICENSED PHYSICIAN, ATTORNEY, ACCOUNTANT, OR FINANCIAL ADVISOR. AMAC MAGAZINE (USPS 12240) IS PUBLISHED BIMONTHLY FEB, APR, JUN, AUG, OCT, AND DEC, BY THE ASSOCIATION OF MATURE AMERICAN CITIZENS, 5 ORVILLE DRIVE, SUITE 400, BOHEMIA, NY 11716. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT BOHEMIA, NY 11716 AND AT ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. ONE MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES SPOUSE/PARTNER. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES ARE $16, INCLUDING $4.02 FOR AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO AMAC MAGAZINE. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: AMAC ADVANTAGE, 5 ORVILLE DRIVE, SUITE 400, BOHEMIA, NY 11716
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Why Now an Epidemic of Anti-Semitism?
Defense Forces began their military response in Gaza. What followed was a sustained epidemic of anti-Israeli demonstra- tions, sometimes violent, that led to arrests, the obstruction of bridges and highways, and the defacing and destruction of public property. More disturbing was the outbreak of overt and unapologetic anti-Semitism that targeted Jewish synagogues, stores, and especially students. Faculty sometimes berated Jewish students with off-topic, ad hominem harangues. On occasion, Jews were chased into libraries or surrounded and accosted by pro-Hamas protes- tors. Campus mass chanting “From the River to the Sea” made clear that tens of thousands were calling for the abject destruction of Israel and all the Jewish people within it. The depth of the campus hatred of Jews was well illustrated in unex- pected fashion during a December 5 congressional hearing on grow- ing university anti-Semitism. Three
Ivy-League university presidents — Harvard University’s Claudine Gay, the University of Pennsylvania’s Liz Magill, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sally Kornbluth — were repeatedly asked by representatives whether their universities would disci- pline students for their unapologetic anti-Semitic speech, especially their now common calls for the genocide of the Jewish people. All three pled “context” and retreated to the cover of First Amendment “free speech” rights. The result was congressional and national outrage, given these three leaders — and most college presidents — have systemati- cally suspended, punished, expelled, and fired faculty and students for supposed “hate speech” directed against Latinos, blacks, gays, and the transgendered. Substitute “Jew” for any other targeted groups, and the three pres- idents would have — and have in the past — severely disciplined any such offensive speech. The net result of their astounding testimonies was
Victor Davis Hanson
T he October 7 peacetime mass slaughter of over 1,100 Israeli civilians by 3,000 Hamas gunmen in southern Israel shocked the world. Even more macabre was the news of the terrorists’ barbarous murdering, torture, mutilation, decap- itation, and mass rape of the unarmed elderly, women, children, and infants in a time of peace. Just as deplorable was the reac- tion of American youth, and espe- cially students and faculty on elite college campuses. Thousands of them cheered reports of the mass slaughter — even during the nearly three-week hiatus before the Israeli
8 • AMAC Magazine
that America’s elite universities were exposed as indifferent to overt hatred of Jews and harassment on their campuses, and clearly applied one set of speech codes to those who libeled Jews and quite another for all other groups. The message of the last three months of anti-Semitic fury is that it has now become so deeply embedded within the American left that it is no longer controversial, if not embraced. But how did this ancient hatred find a rebirth among supposedly progres- sive Americans? The diversity/equity/inclusion (DEI) and woke recalibration of the Demo- cratic Party, particularly as it accel- erated after the death of George Floyd and furor at Donald Trump, increasingly fixated on “white supremacy,” “white rage,” and “white privilege” in unapologetic collective disparagement. Jews were included in this new campus cultural Marxist binaries of oppressed/oppressor and victim- ized/victimizer — especially given the demonization of Israel by its some 500 million Islamic Arab neighbors. One of the tenets of DEI ideology is that those collectively deemed oppressed cannot themselves be racists or prejudiced against other groups. And when they prove to be just that, they claim exemption from accountability as perpetual victims themselves. Thus, Jews in particu- lar became targets of a new round of prejudice, the recipients of an emerging trifecta of hatred: renewed envy and hatred of Jews, the new woke mainstream demonization of
whites, and the increasingly accepted campus orthodoxy of smearing Israel as a white, colonial interloper. New reparatory university admis- sions saw SAT scores dropped, and high-school grade point averages diminished in importance as race
and professors from illiberal Middle East regimes now enjoy visiting billets on American campuses. As a result, the fusion of left-wing DEI ideology with the so-called radi- cal, anti-Israel Palestinian cause became campus orthodoxy. And this
THE MESSAGE OF THE LAST THREE MONTHS OF ANTI-SEMITIC FURY IS THAT IT HAS NOW BECOME SO DEEPLY EMBEDDED WITHIN THE AMERICAN LEFT THAT IT IS NO LONGER CONTROVERSIAL, IF NOT EMBRACED.
and gender identity became para- mount. Consequently, meritocracy disappeared. The result was that so-called “white” populations on campuses have dropped to 20–40 percent of admis- sions, despite constituting 65–70 percent of the American demo- graphic. And the number of Jewish students, who once comprised 20-30 percent of Ivy League enrollments has fallen to 10-15 percent. At the same time, universities recruited hundreds of thousands of students from the Middle East, who enrolled on oil-fed scholarships and paid the full tuition costs of American universities. Moreover, the oil-rich Gulf states during the last quarter-century have lavishly funded Middle East university programs, richly endowing professor- ships in Arabic and Islamic studies. Hundreds of scholars, intellectuals,
marriage was enhanced by a much greater number of foreign students and faculty from the Middle East and an increasingly diminishing number of Jewish students. The result is a campus orthodoxy that mainstreams anti-Israelism, and anti-Semitism — and inculcates millions of American youth in such hatred. And the American left, and increasingly the Democratic Party, echo that venom. Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian, classicist, political commen- tator, and farmer. He is Senior Fellow in Residence at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College. Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, scholarly papers, and newspa- per editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 26 books.
Volume 18 Issue 1 • 9
Dear Rusty, Why are my Social Security benefits being taxed at all? The Social Security FICA payroll taxes taken out of my paycheck while I was working were paid with taxable income. Signed, Disgruntled Taxpayer About Federal Taxation of Social Security Benets
taxable. As mentioned, the income thresholds for taxing Social Security benefits were established in 1983 and 1993, but those thresholds have never been adjusted for inflation. When taxation of Social Security started in 1984, less than 10 percent of benefi- ciaries paid income tax on their bene- fits, whereas today that percentage is over 50 percent and growing. If you wish to add your voice to those who oppose federal taxation of Social Security benefits, you may wish to contact your Congressional represen- tative to do so. And it is worth noting that, to varying degrees, eleven US states also levy income tax on Social Security benefits. Signed, Russell Gloor This article presents the opinions of the AMAC Foundation Staff and is intended for informa- tion purposes only. It does not represent legal or financial guidance.
That was how it worked until 1993, when a new and different Congress added another threshold which, if exceeded, resulted in up to 85 percent of Social Security benefits received during the tax year becoming taxable. The logic used for the 1993 law was that beneficiaries, on average, would only personally pay for about 15 percent of the lifetime benefits they would eventually receive, leading that Congress to conclude that if your combined income from all sources exceeded the higher threshold ($34,000 for single filers and $44,000 for those filing married/jointly), up to 85 percent of your benefits should be taxable. Please understand that I’m not defending or endorsing those historical Congressional views; I have simply researched why Social Secu- rity benefits are taxable at all, and the above is what I’ve learned from that research. Indeed, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) has long advocated for eliminating federal taxation of Social Security bene- fits or, at the very least, raising the thresholds at which benefits become
Dear Disgruntled Taxpayer, Many Americans share your belief that federal taxation of Social Secu- rity benefits is unfair because we pay into the program through payroll taxes on our taxable earnings. Unfor- tunately, Congress took a different view in 1983 when taxation of Social Security benefits was first enacted at a time Social Security was having financial issues. Congressional logic back then was that a beneficiary only personally pays 50 percent of the Social Security contributions made, so, since your Social Security entitle- ment was only half paid for by you and the other half by your employer, the portion of your benefit attributable to your employer’s contributions should be taxable. It’s that other half the portion of your benefit which resulted from employer contribution that the 1983 Congress decided should be taxed. So, starting in 1984, if a bene- ficiary’s overall annual income from all sources exceeded $25,000 for a single filer or $32,000 for those filing married/jointly, half of that person’s Social Security benefits became part of their income taxable by the IRS.
The Advice Doesn't End Here! Scan to Meet the Team Or visit us at amac.us/askrusty
Have a Social Security question? Contact us at SSAdvisor@AMACFoundation.org or 888-750-2622
10 • AMAC Magazine
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New Year , Same “ Woke ” Wireless Shenanigans Steer clear. Switch to PureTalk
I t’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean the big 3 wireless carriers have turned a new leaf. Honestly, it would take a lot more than a flip of the calendar to make them embrace the conservative values we hold dear. No, the big 3 may still be supporting left wing policies this year. Your hard-earned money may be funding cringe-worthy causes. The legacy wireless providers would like you to believe that the exorbitant fees they charge are used to support good causes. Truth is, your money likely goes right to the left - to support policies, programs, platforms, and curriculums that would make you cringe. An American company for true patriots. Unlike some of those big legacy carriers, PureTalk has long prioritized America. With a U.S. veteran as its chairman, they emphasize their commitment to supporting troops and offer a PureTalk showcased its commitment
by forgiving $10 million in veteran debt, demonstrating action over mere words. Choosing PureTalk not only saves on wireless bills but also contributes to preserving American jobs. Every dollar spent with PureTalk boosts the domestic economy. With 100% of customer service located in the United States, PureTalk’s growth means more job opportunities for hardworking Americans, securing a brighter future for the nation. How much can I save with PureTalk? The average family of four saves $75 a month for a total of $900 a year by switching to PureTalk. Monthly plans for AMAC members start at just $10/month with talk, text, and blazing fast 5G data. So how does PureTalk charge so much less? For starters, they don’t spend millions supporting shady causes and political candidates. PureTalk also doesn’t operate brick and mortar storefronts, minimizing
high overhead costs. Unlike carriers like T-Mobile, who may bundle services under the guise of being “On Us,” PureTalk believes in transparency, understanding that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, as economist Milton Friedman noted. PureTalk has 5G and covers 99% of Americans. PureTalk operates on the largest, most dependable 5G network in America. With PureTalk, you get the same coverage as one of the big 3 but at half the cost, their coverage map and you’ll see just how extensive their coverage is. 100% U.S. customer service. We’ve all experienced the frustration of calling customer service and struggling to speak with someone halfway across the world. PureTalk customer support is 100% American. PureTalk is committed to keeping its customer support 100% in the USA.
Visit PureTalk.com/AMAC orcall (855) 343-1974 to learn more
AMAC member quote and my wife’s smartphone is only $15. We are in a rural area and have a cordless home phone we link to our cells. We put our cell phones in the house where we get the best reception and answer calls on our home phone line. No problems and the service is great! Thank you, AMAC.” — Bill Owens, AMAC member
Can I keep my number, and can I use my current phone? phone number. Most phones will work well on the PureTalk network, but they can’t be tied to an existing carrier contract or payment plan. If your phone is tied to a before you can bring it to PureTalk. You may also need to call and ask your current carrier to unlock the phone. If you aren’t sure if your current phone will work, we suggest you give PureTalk a call. PureTalk also offers the newest unlocked iPhones and Android phones for purchase on their website. You can choose to pay for it in full or to make monthly payments at 0% interest. Our conclusions:
Here’s a recap:
• The average family of four saves $900 by switching to PureTalk • PureTalk has the same 5G network at half the cost • No contract... customers can move on for any reason at any time • You can bring your phone and keep your phone number • PureTalk pays your 3-YEAR AMAC membership
• AMAC members get an EXCLUSIVE BONUS and have a $10 plan that no one else gets • Save more off your monthly bill when you have 2 lines, 3 lines, or 4+ lines • GET A $20 CREDITfor each friend you refer (and $20 for your friend too) • You’re supporting a veteran-
From what we’ve learned about PureTalk, Their service is equal to that of their largest competitors, but you pay a lot less. They have a 30-day money back guarantee, so customers have much to gain and nothing to lose. ‘We enthusiastically endorse PureTalk.’
owned company with US-customer service
——— PURETALK JUST FORGAVE $ 10 MILLION IN VETERAN DEBT ———
KURT MEYER - Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Membership Services, AMAC
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Setting the Record Straight on Conservatives’ Pro-Life “Problem”
A fter a string of disappointing election results for the GOP following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022, it has become conven- tional wisdom among Democrats, the liberal media, and even many in the Republican consultant class that the pro-life issue is killing Republican candidates at the polls. But a better interpretation of the facts is that while there are some indica-
tions that the abortion debate is cost- ing the GOP, there is perhaps more compelling evidence that the pro-life cause has never been more important for Republicans and is even a proven political winner when messaged and framed properly. Moreover, conser- vative voters and elected officials alike have a sacred moral duty to defend life and to be agents of posi- tive change in society, rather than reactively retreating before the left’s cultural onslaught.
A Manufactured Narrative The fact that Democrats and the media are relentlessly pushing the narrative that the pro-life issue is costing Republicans big at the ballot box should be the first clue for conservatives that it’s untrue. Digging a little deeper into recent election results, it quickly becomes clear that advancing pro-life policies
continued on page 16
14 • AMAC Magazine
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wasn’t always the political albatross we’ve all been told it is. In 2022, Georgia’s pro-life Governor Brian Kemp won re-election by eight points in a state where Democrats won the last two Senate contests. Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio, meanwhile, won re-election by 25 points just months after a law he signed restricting abortion to the first six weeks of pregnancy went into effect. Pro-life politicians also won in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and elsewhere. Polling shows that two-thirds of Americans think abortion should be limited to the first trimester in most cases — meaning the public is closer to the average conservative position than the liberal view that elective abortions should be legal at any stage of pregnancy, even until the moment of birth. The Republican consultants blaming pro-lifers for their losses have also failed to account for how myriad other factors, including candidate quality and bad campaign strategy, have influenced the outcome of many races. A Political Necessity Rather than distancing them- selves from the “life issue,” Repub- licans would do well to embrace it even more. Polling consistently shows that around 75 percent of Republicans and just under half of Independents consider themselves to be pro-life — a cohort that Republicans absolutely need to win any election.
Furthermore, while liberals will point to the legions of pro-abortion protestors marching in the streets as evidence of how much the issue motivates people to vote Demo- crat, defending life is perhaps the one issue on which conservatives can match the left’s activist enthu- siasm. (Is there any other conserva- tive cause for which up to 800,000 people gather to push for legislative change, as is the case with the annual March for Life?) The real political danger for Repub- licans is if pro-life voters become discouraged or indifferent because the GOP abandons them. A Messaging Failure and Fundraising Shortfall It is undoubtedly true that the pro-life movement has suffered a series of electoral setbacks over the past 18 months. But a more accurate interpretation of these results, particularly when it comes to abortion ballot initiatives, centers on the messaging failure on the part of Republicans, not an inherent weakness in the pro-life issue itself. The fact that the left has successfully framed the debate as one of “pro-choice” vs. “anti-abortion” rather than the reality of “pro-life” vs. “pro-abortion” is evidence enough of this. Rather than avoiding the pro-life issue, Republican operatives and politicians should ask themselves if they’re doing enough to ensure voters understand Democrats’ radi- calism on the issue.
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Rather than avoiding the pro-life issue, Republican operatives and politicians should ask themselves if they’re doing enough to ensure voters understand Democrats’ radicalism on the issue.
A Moral Duty Perhaps most importantly for those Republicans advocating for a retreat on the pro-life issue, it is worth asking what good the conservative move- ment would be if it wouldn’t fight to conserve innocent human life. If the Republican Party were truly will- ing to give up the pro-life fight for any reason, political or otherwise, then Democrats and the left have already won. As the pro-life, pro-family party, Republicans must also ensure that mothers have the support, medical care, and financial resources they need to support themselves and care for their child. This includes policies to provide for maternity care, paid family leave, job training resources, and child support from fathers, as well as steps to create an ecosystem of churches, pregnancy resource centers, and other services to help every mother know she is not alone. For too long, women have been sold a false choice: that they have to choose between their own well-being
Specifically, do voters know that virtually every Democrat in Congress has voted for extreme late-term abor- tion-on-demand, in some cases even explicitly greenlighting the murder of a baby that is born alive as a result of a botched abortion? Are voters aware of the horrors that take place inside abortion clinics and of the severe health risks for mothers associated with late-term abortions? Additionally, Republicans should ask if they can be doing more to counter the leftist narrative that conserva- tives don’t care about mothers and children and that GOP policies would make it illegal to obtain medical care for miscarriages. At least part of the reason for inef- fective messaging is that, in addi- tion to endless propaganda from a sympathetic media establishment, the pro-abortion movement also has a far more effective left-wing money machine. In the recent Ohio ballot initiative, for instance, pro-abortion groups outspent pro-life groups by a factor of nine to one. Closing this funding gap is critical.
and the life of their child. No mother should be faced with such a heart- wrenching decision. The fall of Roe was not the end of the fight for the pro-life movement, but the beginning of a new phase of the battle. The much greater challenge we face is not legislative; it’s restoring a culture of life and undoing 50 years of lies that have convinced millions of Americans that abortion is the only option for unplanned pregnancies and that unborn babies don’t have inherent value. But if there is one thing the pro-life movement has proven, it is that pro-lifers are not afraid of any chal- lenge, and the moral clarity of their cause will ultimately see them through to victory. Every life is worth saving, and conservatives will not give up this fight until the United States recognizes, protects, and cherishes the right to life. Shane Harris Shane Harris is a writer and political consul- tant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaneHarris513.
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T he extreme leftward lurch of the Democratic Party has created millions of disaffected liberals who feel alienated and abandoned by this new radical direction. Here are just a few noteworthy figures who have publicly broken with mainstream Democrat politics in recent years, signaling a potential brewing catastro- phe for the Democrat coalition as progressives and old liberals tear them- selves apart.
Democratic National Committee. She delivered a major speech at the 2012 DNC convention and was introduced by none other than Nancy Pelosi as “a rising star” within the party. Gabbard seemed to be everything that the modern left adores. She was a woman, the first Hindu elected to Congress, and the first Samoan-Amer- ican elected to Congress. Yet Gabbard maintained a streak of independent opinions that often conflicted with those held by main- stream Democrats. In 2016, she resigned from the DNC to endorse Bernie Sanders for president. In 2020, she ran against Joe Biden, Eliz- abeth Warren, and Kamala Harris for the Democratic presidential nomina- tion on a relatively moderate platform, including calling for stronger border security. Though these positions are well within the mainstream of Ameri- can voters, in the radicalized Democrat Party, she was treated as an apostate. Gabbard also became an outspoken opponent of the left’s efforts to censor
free speech, making her an opponent of cancel culture and the increasingly mili- taristic streak in the Democratic Party. During and after her presidential race, she became a frequent guest on Tucker Carlson’s show. The final straw came when Gabbard opposed President Biden’s handling of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In October 2022, she officially left the Democratic Party. After her departure, the Democrats who hadn’t already turned on her instantly did, with many media outlets even labeling her a “Russian propagandist.”
Tulsi Gabbard Until 2020, Tulsi Gabbard had a promis- ing career as an up-and-coming Demo- cratic leader. After winning election to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 2002, she went on to win five terms in the US House. During her first term in Congress, Gabbard served as the Vice Chair of the
Bari Weiss Journalist and writer Bari Weiss was once considered a rising star in the media world — and a standard- issue liberal. continued on page 22
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While Weiss is still one of the best jour- nalists in the country, her very public departure from The New York Times in 2020 revealed that no one but the most strident leftists are now welcome in America’s legacy newsrooms. After serving as the op-ed and book review editor at The Wall Street Jour- nal from 2013–2017, Weiss was brought on board at the Times to be an op-ed editor and staff writer on culture and politics. But it quickly became clear that Weiss’s genuine journalistic curiosity and intel- lectual integrity were not welcome at the Gray Lady. She drew backlash at the paper almost immediately for criticizing the 2017 Women’s March protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump, citing their “chilling ideas and associations.” Weiss also ruffled liberal feathers a year later when she defended actor Aziz Ansari from allegations of sexual assault, arguing that the #MeToo movement had gone too far. Her March 2018 opinion piece entitled “We are All Fascists Now” criticizing the left’s grow- ing intolerance of dissenting views was similarly lambasted. In 2019, Weiss released How to Fight Antisemitism , in which she warned about a rising culture of antisemitism on university campuses — another trans- gression against left-wing orthodoxy. By 2020, things had reached a break- ing point, and Weiss resigned from the Times . In her public resignation letter, she cited instances of bullying and discrimination for daring to challenge left-wing orthodoxy, further accusing
they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold.” Sure enough, that’s exactly what has happened, as Democrats in unison turned on Musk and the Biden admin- istration began targeting his companies through harassment and intimidation campaigns. Musk is now one of the most promi- nent critics of leftist narratives, from so-called “diversity, equity, and inclu- sion” schemes to Critical Race Theory in education and COVID-19 mandates. Musk’s purchase of Twitter has been one of the greatest victories for free speech in decades and a serious blow to the left’s censorship of conservatives on social media. He routinely re-shares posts from conservative accounts to his 166 million followers, including coverage of the border crisis, Biden’s corruption, and other narratives that the mainstream media won’t touch.
the paper of catering to “the whims of Twitter critics.” Following her departure, Weiss started a Substack newsletter where she crit- icizes the woke excesses of modern liberalism and gives a platform to voices the left has tried to censor and cancel. She also started a new media company called The Free Press that is, according to its website, “built on the ideals that once were the bedrock of great journalism: honesty, doggedness, and fierce independence.” Additionally, Weiss has been involved in the launching of Austin University, a new four-year institution that bills itself as the opposite of woke universities. Weiss has, on the whole, become one of the woke left’s staunchest critics and one of the best journalistic defenders of free speech. She was notably involved with the public release of the “Twit- ter Files,” which exposed collusion between government bureaucrats and Big Tech companies regarding censor- ship operations.
Elon Musk Elon Musk was once a darling of the liberal establishment for his cham- pioning of electric vehicles. While not outwardly political, Musk largely supported Democrats. But on May 18, 2022, Musk tweeted, “In the past I voted Democrat, because
Michael Schellenberger In 1996, Michael Shellenberger was fresh out of a master’s program in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and looking to make his mark as a left-wing activist. He became heavily involved in the environmental movement in San Fran- continued on page 24
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