(Episode 1) Political Trends in Asian Communities

Interview Cliff Li, Asian.GOP Executive Director
  • 07/08/2016 00:12
National Committee of Asian American Republicans (Asian.GOP): www.Asian.gop
Interview Contents

Host: Today, it is our pleasure to have Cliff Li, the Executive Director of the National Committee of Asian American Republicans, at our event.

Cliff Li (Li): I am honored to be here to talk about the situation of this election. This is an extremely important election, and also an interesting one, which will leave its mark on the political history of the United States. My organization is Asian.GOP, which stands for the National Committee of Asian American Republicans. This is a new, positive, and energetic organization. I hope we can serve and provide information to Asian Americans in this election. Today, I am here to explain the similarities and differences between the values of Asian Americans and Republicans.

Host: First, could you introduce us to those similarities and differences in detail?

Li: 20 years ago, more Asian Americans voted for Republican George H. W. Bush in the George H. W. Bush vs. Bill Clinton Presidential election. More recently, 73% of Asian Americans voted for the Democratic Party in the last election. 76% of Asian Americans are not born in the United States. They immigrated here. When they first come, they think that their interests can be represented well by the Democratic Party.

In fact, Asian Americans have values that align very well with those of the Republican Party – traditional families, hard work, self-reliance, and the importance of education. Sometimes, we have different values from other minorities. For example, only around 10% of Asian American children are illegitimate, 30% for Whites, 50% for Latinos, and 70% for African Americans. Here, I am not talking about that which minority is better. I am saying that different minorities have different challenges. For us, the challenge is the income glassceiling.

Generally, Asian Americans have a higher income level than other minorities and many Asian Americans are in the middle or upper middle class. Among the top 20%-30% income level, there are many Asian Americans, while in the top 1%, the percentage of Asian Americans is much lower than 6%, which is the Asian American’s percentage of the total population.

This is our challenge and different minorities should help each other. However, one single party cannot represent the interests of all minorities. The objective of Asian.GOP is to engender the ideas of the Republican Party, different from those of the Democratic Party,to represent Asian Americans and lead Asian Americans to serve our country better.

Host: So, you are building the links between the values of the Republican Party and those of Asian Americans. Why are you Republican?

Li: When I first came here, I was “Self Party,” like many other immigrants. At the time, we just wanted to gain a foothold and only worried about our own lives. Through the efforts of the first generation of immigrants, we improved our lives and, gradually, gained civic consciousness. For example, we wanted to know whether the tax paid by us was spent efficiently in a democratic way.

After gaining the awareness of politics, I intended to support the Democratic Party, because they are closer to the people and more diverse. For example, in Bill Clinton’s period, he advocated, “Do not ask, Do not tell,” to be lenient with the homosexuals in the army. In addition, the Democratic Party is more moderate and it aims to improve the general welfare of the people. As time went by and experience accumulated, I began to realize that this issue was not that simple. About 10 years ago, I realized that the value of the Republican Party is more beneficial to the long-term stability and development of our county. Now, I am a firm Republican and I am a Jack Kemp Republican.

Host: Inside the Republican Party, people have different opinions about Trump. What do you think of Trump’s performance so far?

Li: I will talk about it as a Jack Kemp Republican. Jack Kemp Republicans are positive, financially conservative, and also compassionate. Besides the Goldwater campaign, none of the elections are as complex as this time. People have different views of Trump. The first kind of people are called Trumpsters, who worships Trump, including many Republicans and even many non-Republicans. Trump has his own contribution, which is that he attracts many people who used to be uninvolved in politics and who were not partisan to participate in elections. Trump also attracts some traditional Democratic blue-collar voters to swing to the Republican Party.

The other extreme is “Never Trump,” who is really against Trump, even including Bill Kristol and George Will, the previous cornerstones of the Republican Party. The third kind of people is not Never Trump, but they do not like the thoughts of Trump and the way he talks. However, at the same time, they are not for Hillary Clinton, either. We are concerned about those people, because we do not know how many they are. I am the second kind of people, called ABC (Anyone But Clinton). It is because the ideas of Hillary are harmful to our nation. We have to prevent her from getting elected.

Host: So, you do not like Trump, but you have no other choices, right?

Li: Strictly, it is not that I do not like Trump. I just think he is not the best choice among all Republican candidates. I disagree with certain of his ideas and the way he talks.

Host: You mentioned that it definitely couldn’t be Clinton, why?

Li: Here we have to compare the ideas of Trump and Clinton relatively. Clinton is definitely a good lawyer and she is smart. However, her ideas do not fit for our current society. For example, in terms of Muslims, we do not slander them and think they are all bad guys. There are 1.5 billion Muslims, who constitute 22% of the population of the world.

However, we do not agree with the Democratic Party’s pursuit of Political Correctness, thinking that all the religions are the same. The Muslim faith needs to be reformed and many creeds of the Muslim religion are still stagnant like they are in the Middle Ages. For example, in many Muslim countries, women with extramarital affairs can be punished by stoning. Even in some moderate Muslim countries, a virgin check is necessary for women to work as a government official. Their thoughts about humanity and the state of the world are far behind Christianity, which has been updating for many years.

We cannot ignore those differences. We have to change those; otherwise the Muslim religion will become a hotbed for terrorism. If 1% of Muslims were radical, then there would be 15 million radical Muslims in the world. The scary thing is that they are eager to sacrifice themselves to achieve their goals. The Democratic Party does not realize this danger; Trump does, but in a not appropriate way. He is still the guy who can prevent radical things from happening.

Now, Pakistan has nuclear weapons. It will be a disaster if radicals get them and ignitesuch weapons in our homeland. The leader of our country should be able to tackle such things, rather than ignoring the possibility just because they are a minority. Clinton and the Democratic Party continue to ignore the existing danger. Even though Trump talks in an aggressive way, he has been aware of the danger. He is probably the best choice to deal with this ultimate challenge.

Comments (5)

“人们在Trump这个问题上有四个派别,第一种派别叫Trumpster,他们很崇拜Trump, 其中包括很多共和党老党员和非共和党党员。 Trump有很大的一个贡献,他促使了很多对政治没有兴趣的人、政党倾向不明显的人参加到政治活动中, Trump还吸引了很多传统民主党的蓝领阶层。 第四种叫“Never Trump”,非常反对Trump,其中有Bill Crystal和George Will,他们以前是共和党的基石,现在甚至去支持Hillary Clinton。 第三类人不是Never Trump,但也不喜欢Trump的一些理念和说话方式,同时他们也不会去支持Hillary Clinton。这些人让我们在大选中比较担心,因为并不知道有多少人。我是第二种人,叫做ABC(Anyone But Clinton),因为Clinton的理念和方向对国家很有害,我们要阻止她当选。”——这样说来我是第三类。




“人们在Trump这个问题上有四个派别,第一种派别叫Trumpster,他们很崇拜Trump, 其中包括很多共和党老党员和非共和党党员。 Trump有很大的一个贡献,他促使了很多对政治没有兴趣的人、政党倾向不明显的人参加到政治活动中, Trump还吸引了很多传统民主党的蓝领阶层。 第四种叫“Never Trump”,非常反对Trump,其中有Bill Crystal和George Will,他们以前是共和党的基石,现在甚至去支持Hillary Clinton。 第三类人不是Never Trump,但也不喜欢Trump的一些理念和说话方式,同时他们也不会去支持Hillary Clinton。这些人让我们在大选中比较担心,因为并不知道有多少人。我是第二种人,叫做ABC(Anyone But Clinton),因为Clinton的理念和方向对国家很有害,我们要阻止她当选。”——这样说来我是第三类。

记得李先生喊了个ABC的拉票口号:Anybody But Clinton!哈哈,强烈支持!




這個訪談的主客雙方 溫和典雅,款款而談,有理有據,把這二十多年美國華人由依賴外界到自力更生,進而要做國家和自己未來的主人的心路歷程說得明瞭簡單。一個有生氣的群體應該是逐漸成熟的,由民主黨的支持群體轉向共和黨的擁躉正說明華人群體的日漸成熟。遠離,拋棄那些 信口開河,以國家和他人利益作為自己購買選票的本錢的民主黨政客,從根本的價值觀的認同上去尋找同盟,正是我們大家都應該去思考,去行動的。這位客人是我見過的華人政治人物中的佼佼者,鼓勵!