Disgraceful Duncan Hunter, amoral disloyalty that transcends Democrat or Republican.

I reserve a singular, unwavering loathing of indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), above and beyond opposition on mere policy grounds. The putrid stench of this grifting, racist, silver-spoon dynasty child must be purged from Congress and sent to court for swift justice. I have donated from my personal funds to the underdog campaign of Ammar Campa-Najjar, and urge you to do the same as your final contribution of the cycle, as not just a partisan gain for Democrats like me, but a strike against amoral sociopaths in both parties.

There are three political failings that I despise in politicians of any party. He has betrayed his family and loyal supporters below him, nakedly lined his pockets with the proceeds of power in pursuit of vapid luxury, and refuses to recognize US-born children of immigrants like me as true full-blooded Americans. Mind you, these three failings aren’t partisan, plenty of honorable Republicans do no such thing, and both Joe Donnelly (D) and David Duke (R) doubt birthright citizenship, for which I hold them in eternal contempt. Rather, these failings indicate a lack of righteousness, humility, and compassion towards their own supporters and the citizens they intend on governing, regardless of political philosophy.

Many politicians snag one or two of these sins. Hunter managed to hit an unholy trinity, compressed into a single man.

Disgraceful Duncan Hunter is under indictment for stealing over a quarter million dollars of campaign money — sure, money from distinctively un-cuddly special interests, but also hard-earned money supporters gave him, friends and family, seniors on fixed income — and wasting it on luxuries to give off the appearance of wealth. Like former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, he was unable to resist the gaudy trappings of a richer life with someone else’s money. His indictment reveals thousands spent on private school tuition, his home garage door, golf, airfare for his pet rabbit, tequila shots, video games, golf, lavish vacations, fancy hotels, and golf. I’m not saying you have to live monk-like on a political salary, forever crashing on cat-piss couches instead of spending $60 on a Motel 6. There is a clear distinction between getting a bit of sightseeing and friend-visiting in on a work trip or a little alcoholic morale boosting for your office, things a normal human being would do, from the vast and flagrant grifting at scale the Hunters did. Not even in service of a shady business conspiracy, this money was spent on nonsense thinly concealed as charity contributions and “golf balls for wounded warriors”. Then, he had the gall to blame his wife and son for stealing money from his loyal supporters.

I maintain lifetime distaste of politicians who have family-destroying affairs with wives of their loyal subordinates (looking at you, Gavin Newsom), undermine and sabotage downticket campaigns, and refuse to pay money owed to vendors. These are the insider petty complaints of a lifelong Democratic operative, for sure, but I have seen all of these firsthand from members of both parties and believe it’s a window into a politician’s soul. Like Hunter’s financial crimes and family betrayal, these failings are the poisoned fruit of the same tree, rooted in an amoral lack of benevolence and goodwill to your supporters and allies. Multimillionaire Carly Fiorina took years to pay her staff from her presidential campaign. How can anyone that treats their own people like this be entrusted with the governance of millions?

Then there is Hunter’s unwavering belief in a white America, a symptom of a toxic force within the Republican Party that continues to drive minority voters to the Democrats. I am less afraid of tiki-torch wielding manbabies cosplaying as Nazis than I am of actual political actors like Duncan Hunter and Stephen Miller, who understand how to achieve their visions of a white America through the political system, laundering their racist filth through electoral campaigns, instead of buying out Home Depot. Hunter has run one of the most vile Islamophobic campaigns against Campa-Najjar in American history, regardless of the fact that Campa-Najjar is an American-born Christian. It shouldn’t even matter that he is a Christian, Islamopobic campaigns are detestable on their own merits, but it is even more infuriating that it isn’t even true.

Year after year, Hunter sponsors a bill to repeal birthright citizenship, an absolutely fundamental cornerstone of American superiority granted in the 19th century after US. v. Wong Kim Ark, an issue that I consider to be an inviolable litmus test for a politician’s sense of duty to their citizens. When former Virginia Senator George Allen torpedoed his political career by calling an Indian-American tracker for Jim Webb’s campaign “macaca”, it unraveled a long history of Allen’s confederate cosplay and naked racism, the kind that is easy and simple to grasp. But the most wounding and lesser-known part of Allen’s remarks came right after — when he pointed to the American-born S.R. Sidarth in the room and said, “Welcome to America, and the real world of Virginia.”

No matter what happens, people like S.R. Sidarth, Ammar Campa-Najjar, and I, born in America, never knowing the land of our ancestors, will always face this question from certain quarters of American politics. We have strange foreign-sounding names, dark hair, and novel skin tone. They don’t think we count despite our birth on American soil.

Hunter asked of immigrants, “Why do you think you deserve to come here? The answer is you don’t. Sorry that you were born in Africa or somewhere bad.”

The Duncan Hunters and Stephen Millers of the world can wrest my United States birth certificate out of my cold, dead hands. I am the son of two immigrants who earned their citizenship and American citizenship is my birthright, full stop, granted to me by the United States Constitution. I am equally as American as any other citizen. They begin by coming after children of the undocumented, but their true objective is to reverse the diversification of America. Their dream is to reverse the effects of the Hart-Celler Act, which lifted per-country immigration quotas and led to millions of Latino and Asian immigrants and their US-born children. We cannot yield a single inch on this issue, not one iota of compromise. Shrinking the scope of citizenship begins a dangerous process.

My American dream is their nightmare. I am the Chinese-American anchor baby they despise, a demographic pollution. I am the descendant of family-reunification visas that some quarters of the Republican Party want to annihilate. They want the world’s best and brightest to come here with no way of bringing their children, parents, brothers, and sisters over. Those with a heart know that the world’s best are loyal to their families and will refuse to leave them behind, choosing another nation to settle in — family reunification is what makes America great, what attracts the doctors, lawyers, scientists, and businesspeople. Duncan Hunter’s family values are detestable. Their dream immigrant is a self-serving lunatic who works for little and asks for nothing, leaving their family in the dust, not family men or women who are loyal to their people.

This deep dehumanization of people of different skin color is also poisoned fruit, grown from the same soil as desperate homophobia and contempt for the poor. It is the same soil that yields naked greed on Wall Street as the law of the land, the same soil that replaces a free and competitive market with oligarchies and monopolies with free bailouts for big companies and bankruptcy for the small businessman.  It is the same moral failing that creates vile transphobic ranting and family separations. It grows an immigration policy that abandons translators who served us to die and revokes promised citizenship to soldiers. It provides feeble and incompetent disaster relief that nihilist members of Congress vote to slash, crumbling inner-city schools waiting to be replaced by for-profit claptrap, and mindless mass incarceration. It is again rooted in an amoral lack of compassion for all the citizens one seeks to govern, in a total lack of belief in a level playing field for anyone who wishes to work, in an obscene picking and choosing of who to serve.

The public servant cannot pick and choose among citizens who they recognize. They must serve all, even if they disagree with some, with at least the dignity of respecting their citizenship. They must give all citizens an equal playing field to compete in the economy, for jobs, and for schooling. But above all else, they cannot pick and choose their citizens.

Disloyal to his supporters, displeased with humble service, and dedicated to a vision of an America for whites and whites only, disgraceful Duncan Hunter is a Constitution-trashing, contribution-stealing, campaign finance report-faking, immigrant-bashing, Social Security-slashing, self-serving, law-breaking snake oil salesman who can’t tell the difference between the truth and a lie. And America deserves better than a leader with no compassion towards his citizenry, no fiduciary duty to his campaign, and no moral compass.

Purge the stench of amorality from Congress and put your country first. Donate to Ammar Campa-Najjar’s campaign today.

And make sure to tell Duncan Hunter there’s no vaping in jail.

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