By Michael Finnegan
Los Angeles Times
Speakers at the Republican National Convention turned California into a dystopian punchline on Monday, portraying America’s most populous state as a dangerous wasteland ruled by liberal politicians who are oblivious to public safety.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, a leading Trump campaign fundraiser and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a lifelong moderate, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, would pursue the same kind of socialist policies that she said had destroyed Cuba and Venezuela.
“If you want to see the socialist Biden-Harris future for our country, just take a look at California,” said Guilfoyle, whose former husband is California Gov. Gavin Newsom. “It is a place of immense wealth, immeasurable innovation, an immaculate environment, and the Democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets and blackouts in homes.”
“In President Trump’s America, we light things up,” she shouted. “We don’t dim them down.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida used similar imagery to describe California, a state that Trump lost by 4.3 million votes in 2016. Gaetz suggested socialists in places such as Hollywood were manipulating Biden to enact their radical agenda.
“The woke-topians will settle for Biden because they will make him an extra in a movie written, produced and directed by others,” he said. “It’s a horror film, really. They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home and invite MS-13 to live next door. And the police aren’t coming when you call. In Democrat-run cities, they’re already being defunded, disbanded.”
Gaetz also criticized Harris, a California senator, citing the recent blackouts the state has suffered amid a protracted heat wave and scores of wildfires.
“Blaming our best and allowing society’s worst: That’s the story they write in Hollywood,” Gaetz said. “That’s if the lights even stay on in California anymore. A state that can’t keep power running for its own people should not send its junior president to be vice president.”
Republican activist Charlie Kirk took aim at California’s tech industry.
“In this country, it means you can speak your mind without retribution _ without being kicked off of social media by a self-righteous censor in Silicon Valley.”
Joining in the attacks on Harris was Orange County, California, schoolteacher Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff in a legal fight to block public-employee unions from requiring members to pay a fee for collective bargaining. She and her allies lost the case in 2016 when the Supreme Court deadlocked.
Unions undermine education, morality, and law and order, Friedrichs claimed, adding that unions oppose charter schools and trap impoverished children in dangerous, corrupt and low-performing schools.
“Do you know who intervened against us? The Obama-Biden administration and California Attorney General Kamala (Ka-MA-la) Harris,” she said, mispronouncing Harris’ first name.