diumenge, 4 de novembre del 2012

Jeremy Jang: “America really doesn’t like losers”

If you want to read the interview with the President of College Democrats at UCI, Jose Quintana, click here.

Jeremy Jang is just 20 years old but he is already very involved in politics. In fact, apart from being a Junior Political Sciences and Criminology Major, he’s the President of the College Republicans at University of California Irvine. Just a few days before the American Presidential Election, Adria’s News interviews him to talk about the main campaign issues, some controversial facts and the expectations of both Republican and Democratic parties finding out that Jeremy Jang supports the Tea Party movement, he really likes Marco Rubio and his favorite President is George Washington. In addition, when he is asked if he can imagine himself ending up in the White House he answers with a clever smile: “It’s possible, but it probably won’t happen”.

What is this Presidential Election mainly about for you?
I feel like the number one main topic is the economy and also the jobs issue. Unemployment has been over 8% for many months, so people don´t have jobs. The rate at which college students are leaving college and not getting jobs is very big.
In fact, never in history has a President has been reelected with an unemployment rate over 7.4%. However, this time polls are very tight. Why do you think a lot of people still support Obama?
I think a lot of people support Obama because they think: “Hey, Obama is fighting for us”, they think that Obama has a chance of turning this economy around; they wanna give Obama another chance by means of this second election and I feel like he appeals to a lot of social issues so a lot of… let’s say, abortion, gay marriage stuff, a lot of people is interested in that and they will vote Obama.
Do you think Mitt Romney will win?
Me personally, if I am just looking at the numbers, just on jobs, unemployment, I feel statistically speaking people think Romney can do a better job for the economy and if I feel the economy is the number one issue, I have to say yes, he’ll win. I think economy is just one issue, but is the main issue right now.
How can Mr. Romney improve his public image? Many people see him as an uncharismatic, strong and distant capitalist company man...
I don’t necessary agree with that. I mean, I can see how some people would view Mitt Romney as being cold-hearted, calculating, just to fix the numbers, but as any good businessman knows, costumer’s satisfaction is important, employee’s satisfaction is important. If you are a manager of a company and your employees don’t like to work there, they don’t want to be there, they are there just for the jobs, and a part of a successful company is based on that. So keeping people happy, I think it is almost a strategic thing. Every good manager needs to look at the success and the happiness of his employees and I don’t think Mitt Romney’s image is a bad thing, which is gonna be used against him.
Mitt Romney is a declared Mormon. Do you think it benefits him?
I don’t think it benefits him but I also don’t’ think it hurts him. In terms of religion I don’t actually think it matters that much. Maybe a hundred years ago religion was very, very important, but I think America is turning more secular now, so in this case, if the President is Mormon doesn’t matter, if the President is Christian, doesn’t matter, if the President is from any other religion, doesn’t matter.

Elections “I feel like the number one main topic is the economy and also the jobs issue”

If he loses, do you think he should try and run again in four years time or would it be a better idea for him to give up and let others politicians try?
Okay, so if we assume that Mitt Romney would lose this election… well, that’s a tough question to answer because if he loses by a lot, then probably he should not. If he loses just by a little bit, again, it’s a tough call. I think the best thing that a candidate can do is look at historical figures and numbers. See what happens to the losers of an election. Do they run again? If you look at the trend it seems that America really doesn’t like losers. So you look at Al Gore, John Kerry, you look at them who were expected to win, but they didn’t actually win… they didn’t run again. I think if you run and you lose, that was your shot. This is just my personal thinking, but this could almost explain why Hillary Clinton hasn’t run again in 2012 against Obama after her defeat in 2008.
Romney already run for the Republican Primaries four years ago, but finally John McCain won. Did you support Romney at that time?
I’m 20 years old right now, four years ago I was 16, I was in high school. In America you cannot vote till you are 18 so I was ineligible at the time. Was I involved to politics by then? Yes, I did some research and I was aware the news, but I actually did not personally support Mitt Romney in 2008.
Why do you think the Republican Party Primaries were so long this time?
I feel there like they were a lot of candidates who were running the primaries. People like Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich… a ton of candidates! They were just being narrowed down one by one. I knew whoever could come out on top would be the candidate against Barack Obama.
Was Mitt Romney your favorite candidate among all the Republican Party members who decided to run for the primaries this time?
In order to vote I found out were I am in the political spectrum, I gathered everything I believe in and then I take all the other candidates and I ranked them closest to me.
Which was the closest to you, then?
I believe the closest to me was somebody like Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorum, maybe even Ron Paul.
In which part of the political spectrum would you put Mitt Romney?
I guess if you took Romney an you put him in a political spectrum he is, I guess, a very moderate Republican, just a little right from the center, and then, strategically, he picked Paul Ryan, who is known for being more conservative. Mitt Romney, then, is grabbing the evangelical and the social-conservative from there; he’s trying to incorporate everybody in the Republican Party. But you need more than this. You need the independents…

 Religion “I think America is turning more secular now”

President Nixon said: “A Republican needs to go o the right to win the primaries and come back to the center to win the presidential election”. In the current campaign, do you think Mitt Romney should go more to the right or to the center?
I understand Richard Nixon’s viewpoint, but I do not completely agree with that. Let’s look at Ronald Reagan. He mobilized not only everybody in the right, because he got conservatives, but he also was able to convince moderate and even convinced Democrats toward Republicans. So I don’t think you have to literally first gather you own party and then move to the center to gather everybody else. I think a presidential candidate has to be consistent with his ideas and values.
Do you think Mitt Romney should stay in the center, then?
I think whatever Romney believes, that’s what he needs to stick to.
Do you think Paul Ryan is the best candidate to become the vice-president of the United States of America? People expected Romney to set Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty or Bobby Jindal as the VP candidate…
I was not surprise Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan; I felt choosing Paul Ryan to be his VP was one of his best decisions, if not the best decision. In terms of strategy, Mitt Romney knew that choosing a social-conservative man, like Paul Ryan, he would gather people more of the right of the party and he would be able to unite the party.
 I imagine he wanted the support of the Tea Party too…
Yes, Paul Ryan is a big supporter of the Tea Party and the whole Tea Party emerged after 2008 and… the Tea Party is a catalyst group that pretty much have joined to the Republican Party to bring it more conservative, so more to the right. That was pretty much what the Tea Party did.
Do you agree with the Tea Party thoughts?
I do.
Why do you think Sarah Palin decided not to get involved in this campaign?
Well, in 2008, when John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his VP, the media, by enlarge, pretty much attacked her on everything.
In fact, there is a TV show about her.
Exactly. So I feel that the reason Sarah Palin is not running now and the reason she left office as governor of Alaska was because she wanted to live her private life.

Paul Ryan “I felt Romney’s best decision was to choose Paul Ryan to be his Vice-president”

Two months ago you had the Republican National Convention. Did you go to Tampa?
I personally didn’t go, but I wanted to.
What did you think about Clint Eastwood’s speech at the Republican Convention?
The chair issue, you mean? I thought it was amusing.
He said: “politicians are our employees”, but I don’t really have that impression, do you?
Well, the American people demand things and it should be the politicians by taking public decisions, the ones who are supposed to bring society’s needs to real life. I thought that the Clint Eastwood incident came across as simple, it’s short, and people got it. I think that was the whole point of the message.
In 2008, 48% of the Republican Party supporters were people over 50 years. Why do you think young people do not connect as well as them to the party ideology?
You know, there is a famous saying that says: “If you’re 25 and you don’t vote Democrat you don’t have a heart; if you are 40 and you don’t vote Republican you don’t have a brain”. I feel that the reason why, generally speaking, young people do not vote Republican, is because it’s a mindset. When you grow older your mind change and you start to mature more. You know? Ten years ago were you thinking about that stuff? No! As you grow older, your mind changes and your point of view changes, and so I think that’s the point.
So Republican needs to engage more young people, right?
Yes, I think that the Republican Party, specially the California Republican Party, should actively search out and find young people and try to convince them.
California is a blue state. Why do you think people here support President Obama?
I feel like the reason why California supports Obama, other than the fact that if you just look at the sheer numbers of registrar voters, only about 33% of California is registered Republican, which means everybody else is registered Democrat. So voting Republican in California, let’s be honest, right now, today, your vote doesn’t matter. California is going to Obama, so why is that? I think there’s been a huge shift since at least the eighties’ social movements, especially with things such as, you know, gay marriage or let’s say the trying to abolish death penalty, etc. I feel a lot of these social issues… you can almost say major cities, such as San Francisco or LA were the pioneers of all of this.
So tradition is one of the points California is blue…
Well, back in 1984 when Ronald Reagan was running for his reelection he won 49 out of 50 states. The only state he lost was Minnesota, the home state of his opponent, Walter Mondale. So, if you look on the map every single state in America was red except one blue state. Everyone but one. So it’s possible for California to turn Republican? Definitely. Will it happen again soon? Probably not.
You have mentioned briefly the gay issue. What do you think about the Don’t ask, don’t tell law?
My personal view about, at least, repealing Don’t ask, don’t tell, was a mistake. I feel the purpose of the military is a professional institution dedicated to keeping America safe. That’s the pretty much main purpose of our military. So, in other words, if you are keeping us safe from external forces, that’s the main thing. So other things such as Don’t ask, don’t tell or allowing women to serve, I think that it is secondary. These things are important, but they’re not the main point.

Abortion “Just because something bad happened to you do not give you the privilege to murder a baby”

What do you think about Obama’s management of the EU crisis?
I think he has not done enough in terms of the EU. However I also think, one, American knowledge of the EU is not that much; two, I feel like America in general doesn’t really care about the EU because you guys are in the other side of the ocean, you guys are a different continent, you guys are civilized and you can deal with your own stuff. So Obama hasn’t have to do that much with the EU, although I do feel that Obama should be more involved, I feel that’s the whole purpose of Secretary of State, build relations. “You’re having problems, how can we help?”
Did you like Hillary Clinton’s job as Secretary of State?
After the whole Bengasi incident I don’t think she did a good job. I feel it was her responsibility at least to make sure our American citizens overseas are safe.
Let’s talk them about foreign policies, then. Romney told NBC News he saw “a few things that were disconcerting” about London’s preparations. He said: “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging”. He also made a controversial comment in Jerusalem. These are two of the reasons Democrats criticize him. They question whether or not he has the ability to deal with foreign countries policies.
I have to say Mitt Romney has not foreign policies experience because he was Governor of Massachusetts, and there are no foreign policies there, he was a businessman, and there are no foreign policies there... All presidents have their own cabinets and advisors. Let’s look at our current president‘s foreign policies issues and how he deals with them and see if that is what we want for the next term. And if we don’t, let’s move on of the candidate, in this time, Mitt Romney. Then, how Obama was dealing with the whole Bengasi thing? With an ambassador who died as well as some American people. We haven’t seen an American ambassador dying overseas since the 70s: Jimmy Carter. And what is Obama doing about it? And there are a lot, and a lot of allegations that he knew about it, that the people over there, in Bengasi, asked for more security and military support… Maybe this is the reason why the attack happened in September 11th 2012, the 11th anniversary of the 9/11.
How do you see Obama’s attitude towards the attack?
He apologized to other nations: “Oh, I am sorry!” but see, this is the whole purpose of freedom of speech; this is what separates America of every other country in the world, the fact that freedom of speech is a God-given right. You can say whatever you want pretty much, and that’s your opinion. You can say the sky is red and even though I will personally disagree with you, the fact that I can still respect you because you have your opinions, that’s one of the points that makes America great, and apologizing for something that an American citizen’s viewpoint has, I don’t think it’s helping the image of America. We can look at other foreign policy’s issues such as what’s going on with Iran and nuclear weapons? Is it actually working? Are we gonna do anything? It’s all that tactical maneuvers that I don’t think Obama is not only qualified for but I don’t think he’s done a good job at.
Romney also has talked about China. He said this: “I will label China as it is, a currency manipulator. And I will go after them for stealing our intellectual property. And they will recognize that if they cheat, there is a price to pay”. Do you agree with him?
I do agree with it. How is Obama actually going to go after China for stealing our intellectual property? China geographically is bigger than America. In terms of population, China has a ton of people; we only have 300 million. There’s actually nothing we can really do, but I don’t think Obama is prepared to actually go after China. So what is China going to do? What is Obama going to do about it? How can you be against justice? The problem is that I don’t think Obama can uplift and support that justice.

China “I don’t think Obama is prepared to actually go after China”

Still in the foreign issues, Romney said, regarding to Russia: “Russia is, without question, the USA number one geopolitical foe.” The Democrats have criticized him, saying that his mind is still in the Cold War.
Russia is a tricky issue. Me personally I don’t consider them an ally nor do I consider them an enemy. If you look at the political structure of Russia today you have people like Putin. In the Russian Constitution you can be a leader there and take several years of and then come back, so you are skipping all other terms, which is, from an American’s perspective, different. I feel like for Russia is very easy to fall under a very, I don’t want to say tyrannical, but a very top down form of government in the sense that Government controls a lot more than we’d like to see. So you know? In Russia, government takes control over telecommunications, resources and all of these major public works. In America we prefer to have more personal freedom.
Which do you think is the number one enemy of the United States now?
I think our number one enemy is Iran; it’s our biggest threat. The fact that they are getting very close to developing nuclear weapons, the fact that for the past three and a half or so years, Obama have said: “Oh, we’re gonna negotiate with them”. Negotiations failed; “Oh, we’re gonna sanction them”. Sanctions failed. He’s done everything short of literally attacking them, which I’m not saying I necessarily agree with, but I feel there are other measures of convincing them to stop.
What kind of measures?
I feel like, let’s say, if Iran is a threat to the States, and that threat is completely real, and the government decide to attack them, I’d support them.
The member of the Republican Party Todd Akin, said that “If there is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”. Do you agree?
No. So Todd Akin… I don’t know what’s up with him, I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but I personally feel like: “Oh, A baby cannot be conceived during a legitimate rape!” That’s ridiculous! I mean, science says, if a woman gets raped, she can get pregnant. That’s just pure science. I don’t know what this guy was talking about.
What is your position towards abortion?
In terms of abortion…. The whole issue of abortion in America, a lot of it is based in privacy issues and also in women’s rights issues. The problem is that for me there’s a third factor: the baby’s rights. What about his rights? In America we have the motto: life, liberty and pursue of happiness. Life, right? So, you are right, the woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her own body as long as it does not take away the rights of somebody else. So, if a woman wants to, let’s say, drink alcohol, if she’s over 21, of course, she’s able to do so, the same if she wants to smoke a cigarette, if she’s over 18.
So even in rape do you think abortion is a bad thing?
Here’s the thing with the rape and incest. A lot of people make the argument that rape and incest should be a: “Oh, you’re raped!” This forces a legitimate force to cause to have an abortion. However, I do acknowledge, and there’s a sad thing, dramatic for a women to be raped. I get that. However, just because something bad happened to you do not give you the privilege to murder a baby.

Hillary Clinton “We haven’t seen an American ambassador dying overseas since the 70s!”

Paul Ryan said “Obama created a bipartisan debt commission”. Then, the commission members came back with an urgent report but he thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did nothing. However, Paul Ryan was in that commission too and he voted it down and successfully convinced the other Republicans on the commission to vote it down. Isn’t it a hypocrite argument to criticize Obama’s management?
I think commissions are to… you know, we have an issue, let’s create a commission, let’s try to solve it, no problems with that. However, if you look at Obama’s spending... He’s spent over 5 trillion dollars just within three and a half year. We have his stimulus package, Obamacare, etc. It’s over 5 trillion dollars added to the debt. The debt here has so many zeros. I have to count the commas! In terms of having a commission to do this, even if Obama actually did accept this commission, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to go along with it. Has ever Obama balanced a budget? Has he ever balanced a budget in his last presidency?
The Republicans aired an ad in which President Obama apparently said: “If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.” But they put it out of context.  Do you think airing that commercial was wrong?
I am not aware of this commercial. Unfortunately, we do live in California where I said if you look at the sheer numbers of register voters… I mean, Republicans aren’t spending any money in California because they know they’re gonna lose it which means Democrats don’t need to spend money here because they know they’re gonna win it, so it’s a mixed thing. We don’t get these political commercials here. Thus, I cannot make an informed decision about it.
Two weeks ago Bill Clinton came to UCI. Did you attend the meeting?
I could not because I had class, but I actually wanted too. It looked very interesting.
Who is your favorite politician of the Republican Party at the moment?
Hum… It’s a tough one. There’s a lot. I’m gonna say somebody like Marco Rubio… Yes, I think Marco Rubio is up there and I like him a lot.
Do you think he has chances to become the President of the United States someday?
I feel it’d depend on who the incumbent president would be, what would America feeling towards the time... He’s Latino but it’s about time a Latino become the President! I like him a lot because his political policies are closely lined to mine. So if you put me in a political spectrum, Marco Rubio is the most close to my ideals.

Marco Rubio “It’s about time a Latino become the President!”

Tell me something Obama has done well.
One thing he’s done well is killing Osama bin Laden because this global men hunt, this chase that has been going on for over a decade… it’s been crazy… Bin Laden, you know, he was the head of Al- Qaida. When we killed him, which symbolized almost cutting the head of the snake. It means the whole organization got disrupted, at the minimum; at the maximum, the whole organization died, which is not true, because there are still some people running around... But I applaud Obama for that.
Tell me something Romney has done badly.
Romney is known for flip-flopping. I mean, he takes a side of an issue and then he switches sides. Something he’s flip-flopped on is gay marriage. He’s flip-flopped on issues of abortion, and to me those are two huge issues.
Name a United States President.
So my number one President is George Washington and the reason is because he was able to overcome so much with so little and another thing is… I really respect George Washington’s morals. After he served his two terms in office, he said: “Hey guys I’m going to step down”, even though a lot of people thought George Washington could have been King of America, George Washington realized: “Hey, we didn’t fight an American Revolution for this, we haven’t got away from a king to go back to a king”. What’s the difference between one king 3.000 thousand miles away and 3.000 thousand kings one mile away. What’s the difference? There is not! He said: “We must establish a sort of balance”. This is why you look at dictators and… they are there for life. If you look Washington you see he stepped down. That is something I really respect.
Can you imagine yourself running for the White House?
I cannot actually; I am personally in politics but my goal, right now, is to go to constitutional law because I feel that has the most impact on America, restoring people constitutional rights… However, I am not limited to that. I feel if I’m called to go to the politics, then I will, otherwise I won’t. Is it possible for me to end up in the White House? It’s possible. But it probably won’t.

Freedom “In America freedom of speech is a God-given right”

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