The high number of freshmen Republican members of Congress coming into the job with personal or family experiences of socialism will use that background to protect the “unlimited potential and opportunity” that America offers, Congresswoman-elect Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) told Breitbart News in a recent interview.
Malliotakis soundly defeated incumbent Max Rose (D-NY) in a year in which far-left American politicians, many also from New York, have attempted to shift the political conversation towards openly socialist policies.
The debate over defunding police departments was a central focus of Malliotakis’s campaign, as Rose participated this summer in a Black Lives Matter protest alongside activists who supported limiting funding for police. Malliotakis’s focus on supporting police officers in their work and condemning the far-left “defund the police” movement won her support from NYPD groups while Rose spent money on ads calling defunding the police “100 percent wrong.” In the working-class, conservative 11th District of New York, representing Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, these denials were not enough. Rose’s affiliation with ideas championed by colleagues in more left-wing districts, prominently Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), proved fatal to his campaign.
His campaign met a bizarre end when, the week before the November elections, a frustrated Rose was filmed shouting expletives at passersby in front of a Staten Island supermarket.
With the fight against Rose behind her, Malliotakis has made clear her intent to join forces with other newly elected Republicans in Congress to prevent a group of radical leftist members known as the “squad,” led by Ocasio-Cortez, from implementing socialist policies such as universal health care, blanket student loan debt forgiveness, implementation of expensive “green” environmental policies, and a reduction in support for police and the military.
Malliotakis expects enthusiasm on this front from her new colleagues in part because of their shared backgrounds. Republicans flipped at least 11 seats in the November election, most won by women and most, like Malliotakis, by people whose families fled communism. While Americans first, many were either raised in socialist societies or by survivors of socialism, searing into their minds the deadly failures that define that ideology. Malliotakis, the daughter of a Greek immigrant and a Cuban refugee, told Breitbart News that she and her peers have “a message that needs to be shared with the American people who think that socialism is a good idea” without having lived it or had exposure to its true consequences.
“Part of my interest in running for Congress was to be a part of the fight against socialism and I’m pleased to meet members within my freshman class who share that concern and that same mission of stopping socialism,” Malliotakis said. “What’s interesting about this class is that we have people who have similar backgrounds, similar stories to mine … there’s a natural alliance that is forming.”
“You have Victoria Spartz [R-IN] who was born in the Ukraine under Soviet Union rule. You have Carlos Gimenez [R-FL] who is also Cuban-born, came to this country as a six-year-old boy. You have Maria Salazar [R-FL] who is also the daughter of Cuban refugees,” Malliotakis listed. “You have two Korean immigrants representing California [Reps.-elect Michelle Steel (R-CA) and Young Kim (R-CA)], whose families left North Korea for South Korea and then immigrated to the United States.”
“You have an amazing group of freshmen members of Congress who have stories to share with Americans, particularly millennials – who [think] that socialism is something grand. It’s not,” Malliotakis asserted. “It leads to poverty, zero opportunity, your freedoms are stripped, your liberties are taken away, and that is not something that we want to see in this country and that’s why we’re here to push back.”
The team Malliotakis seeks to join and help build out of these newly elected members is one of the most diverse freshman Republican classes in history, responsible for the smallest Democrat majority in Congress since World War II, according to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Given the high number of Cuban-Americans entering Congress, Malliotakis’s background through her mother has been at the forefront of much of the coverage of her victory, alongside Gimenez and Salazar. Like the Florida representatives, Malliotakis’s victory also made headlines in Cuban and Cuban-American outlets as a win for the anti-socialist exile community. While her Greek background has not been the subject of as many profiles, Greece has undergone its own struggles thanks to socialism. Athens was governed for two years under the current president of the Socialist International, George Papandreou, as prime minister. After a brief tenure by a centrist government, Greeks brought the Coalition for the Radical Left (Syriza) to power, placing the prime ministership in the hands of Alexis Tsipras. Tsipras, who named one of his children after communist mass murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara, governed under policies that nearly collapsed the Greek economy before elections resulted in the replacement of Syriza with the center-right New Democracy party.
“My father comes from the birthplace of democracy, so when you hear about changing the election laws to tilt the scale towards [Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi [(R-CA)] and her group, when you talk about stacking the Supreme Court, these are things that should be concerning to everyone,” Malliotakis explained.
“Greece just had flirted with socialism as well,” she noted, “it didn’t work out so well! And now you have a center-right party. … They learned that quickly and they reversed course.”
Channeling her heritage into a fight to protect America from forces that have proven destructive everywhere else on earth, she concluded, was core to her American identity.
“I’m trying to preserve America. I want to preserve America as it is, the land of opportunity where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness still applies. That is the whole point,” Malliotakis said. “We shouldn’t be Venezuela; we shouldn’t be Cuba; we shouldn’t be Sweden or Canada. We should be America – an America that has attracted millions of people from around the world because of its uniqueness.”
“Everyone brings their unique experiences and background and history with them when they come to do this job,” she added. “And I think what you have in this new Republican class whose families experienced socialism or communism and they don’t want to see that happen in the United States … we collectively have a story, a message that needs to be shared with the American people who think that socialism is a good idea. Because all it leads to is poverty, misery, lack of goals, dreams, and aspirations – and that is not what any freedom-loving American would want.”