The Republican Party’s newest presidential candidate, former South Carolina Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, introduced herself by showcasing her roots as a child of immigrants.
Haley’s family, originally from India, immigrated to the United States in 1969 and settled in a small, segregated town, Bamberg, South Carolina, where she was born three years later.
One can glean two reasons why Haley is spotlighting her background and presenting her candidacy as a successful minority woman.
First, one doesn’t need to be “woke” to recognize the value of an Asian American woman running for president with an agenda of less government and more freedom.
Second, showcasing her story and success qualifies her to say, as she does in her introduction video, “Take it from me, America is not a racist country.”
The strategy has opened her to attacks and criticism from the right and from the left.
Ann Coulter, who still seethes at Haley for taking down the Confederate flag which flew on South Carolina’s state Capitol grounds in Columbia, called her a “preposterous creature” and suggested she “go back to your own country and reconsider that history.”
But, of course, this is Haley’s “own country.” If it weren’t, she wouldn’t be able to run for president. But Coulter’s business is not facts but provoking an audience that buys her books.
More temperate advice came from The Wall Street Journal, which suggested Haley must do a better job distinguishing herself from other Republicans. No Republican, says the Journal, would disagree that “America is not a racist country.”
This is, of course, true. But I believe Haley is correct that it achieves particular resonance coming from an Indian American woman with a stellar resume of public service and achievement.
The left’s answer to Ann Coulter, Whoopi Goldberg, told her audience, regarding Haley, that “there are things about our country that are not perfect and to pretend that it is and to pretend that nothing happened is ridiculous.”
But, of course, Haley did not say that our country is “perfect” or that “nothing happened.”
Perfection is not what defines our country or any place or anything in this world. What defines and makes our country unique is freedom. This is Haley’s point when she says, “Even on our worst day we are blessed to live in America.”
It is here in our free country that Ann Coulter and Whoopi Goldberg get to speak their minds and not worry that they will disappear in the night, as they might in China or Iran.
More serious criticism comes from the left from Asian American author Wajahat Ali, who accuses Haley of brandishing the “model minority myth,” which he calls a tool of white supremacists. That is, per Ali, they use the success stories “of some Asian Americans” as “a cudgel against Black people” who are “told by GOP politicians to stop blaming racism for their problems.”
Haley has only showcased her own story. But the picture regarding the phenomenal business success stories of American immigrants is not a “cudgel” but powerful testimony to the opportunities for success and achievement in America.
According to a 2022 study by the National Foundation for American Policy, “more than half (319 of 582) of America’s start-up companies valued at $1 billion or more” were founded by immigrants. Nearly “two-thirds of (billion-dollar) companies were founded or co-founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.” And “almost 80%” of billion-dollar companies “have an immigrant founder or an immigrant in a key leadership role.”
These include immigrants from India, Israel, U.K., Canada, China, France, Germany, Russia, Iran, Nigeria and many others.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.”
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Nikki Haley accomplished nothing of value that anyone can point to while serving in any office she’s held. She couldn’t get reelcted in her home state if she tried. Just ask the people of South Carolina.
Frankly, Haley couldn’t now get elected to office in her home state. The people of South Carolina have nothing but disappointment to report for Haley.
She’s a fake, rino! Everyone knows that…
Nikii Haley doesnt understand that no flag and no anthem other than the American Flag and the National Anthem is ours. All others are a segment or groups. It is never proper to disrespect The Anthem or The Flag while kissing another. They are not equal.
Anyone is better than Biden at this point. However, I am skeptical in that she would be another “go along to get along” Republican
She is exactly that Lieutenant Beale. If you look at her whole career in politics, it screams “go along to get along” Republican. The last thing we need going forward in this country is for Republican voters to be so desperate as to settle for this type of Republican.
Nice article. However, what are her accomplishments during her two terms as SC governor? What leadership qualities has she exhibited? Has she ever stood up to the mob like Trump and DeSantis do every day? Other than her niceness, gender, and heritage, how does she distinguish herself from other Republicans?
She did stand up to the ‘Never Forget’ mob by removing the Confederate flag from state Capitol grounds.
Whether that qualifies her to be president remains to be seen but she would beat Biden in 2024.
In my opinion she hasn’t proven anything. She backs away from things before they are finished and she wants to run on being a “minority”. It’s time we dropped all labels and ran on qualifications instead of whether she is Asian or Indian or what color she is. We need to stop talking about what quota anyone will meet and choose a candidate based of whether they can do the job the best of the candidates.
Agree in theory but in practice we’ve always gravitated towards middle-aged white men at the top of the presidential ticket.
It started with removing Confederate flags/monuments but it’s not stopping there. Now, the Left wants Revolutionary War monuments gone too. Marxists want to erase our history so they can build their “socialist utopia” from the ground up.
Sure, we have some very dark periods in our nation’s history but we need to keep it and learn from it, not “re-write” it. True history should be kept and taught, warts and all.
I agree that we need to remember all of our history good and bad alike but that doesn’t mean that we need to memorialize the Confederacy on the public square. Those remembrances belong in history books and museums.
So you prefer the confederate flag to the American flag. That’s really dumb.
Very good article. Nikki Haley could well be the republican candidate for such a time as this. She is intelligent and articulate and comes across as genuine and well mannered. It’s still early but I think she needs to be among the Republican contendors, and if not President, then surely Vice President.