This weekend the Tea Party California Caucus held it’s popular dinner event at the semi-annual California Republican Party Convention drawing activists from around the state to Anaheim to share ideas and listen to radio host Larry Elder, Assembly Member Melissa Melendez, and a variety of other Tea Party leaders.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Larry Elder gave the Tea Party crowd a glimpse into his background and how the talk radio averse found himself with his own program.
Elder told the audience that he gained recognition for stating that racism was no longer an issue in America. In the fallout of his assertion, Elder was called an Uncle Tom, boot licking Uncle Tom, foot shuffling uncle Tom, coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside), oreo, antichrist and — meant to be most searing and awful of all, he joked — Republican.
Speaking of former President Ronald Reagan, Elder remarked on the recent CNN/Salem Communication debate, at which one moderator stated that the popular and renowned Chief Executive brought people together. Elder then quickly refuted that assertion, “He had convictions and he was articulate and he was optimistic and he articulated his points of view and he won people over.” Elder continued:
He was a man of conviction. He was a man who believed things. He thought taxes were too large. He thought the government was too intrusive, regulations were too big, the Soviet Union had to be stood down and he kept saying it over and over again and he convinced people: A, that he was serious; and B, that maybe, just maybe he was right. But he did not bring people together. People didn’t hold hands and sing kumbayah. That’s not gonna happen, we’re Americans.
Elder touched on out-of-step, inside the beltway Washington politics that ignore the crushing effects of high taxes and over-regulation on everyday Americans. Referencing former Senator George McGovern, Elder told the story of the once elected official who later refurbished and opened a bed and breakfast. After being forced out of business due to the same kind of mandates he passed through the legislature, McGovern commented on wishing he had experienced the private sector before participating in passing burdensome legislation, Elder recalled.
“The labor force participation rate, the percentage of Americans who are working or looking for work, hasn’t been this low in 35 years,” Elder went on to say, after deriding use of the unemployment rate as an indicator of economic health.
Elder discussed Pew Research statistics on why people voted for Obama in 2008. He said in that report, 65% of black voters chose Obama on the issue of the economy. The Iraq war was the number two reason blacks voted for Obama. Believing a black person could be president was way down the line, he said. He further cited that the number one reason non-black voters voted for Obama was the economy, 63%.
“Look at the black economy. Net worth is down about 20%. The so-called wealth gap between blacks and whites has not been this wide in 25 years. The labor force participation rate for blacks hasn’t been this low since 1977. And for black men, they’ve never seen it this low since they’ve been keeping track of the number.”
“If we can’t win this year, we can’t win at all.”
Elder discussed his surprise over Donald Trump’s Presidential run and the positive effect of issues like illegal immigration that Trump has brought to the forefront of the national discussion. However, Elder also noted Trump’s controversial comments on the issue of single payer healthcare.
The Tea Party California Caucus put on the dinner that has drawn increasing numbers of participants during the semi-annual California Republican Party Convention.
The evening opened with Assembly Member Melissa Melendez (R-Murrieta) encouraging the energetic Tea Party contingent to continue writing their legislators and the governor with their positions on legislation and issues. She emphasized that victories are encouraging, but voters need to remain vigilant, as the same issues often come around again. And finally Melendez pushed for the everyday Americans to be present at city council meetings, school board meetings, and other local governmental sessions because, she stated, “that’s the farm team for the legislature.”
Approximately 135 people attended the evening’s event.
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