Is Nikki Haley a Candidate in the America First Mold?

Nikki Haley, who is opposing Donald Trump in the primaries for the Republican presidential candidate, has been described as a shape-shifter

This is not without good reason. 

Driven by ambition, she seems to have abandoned what the Republican Party stands for.  Her views on climate change, communist China, free speech, and illegal immigration are out of sync with GOP voters and conservative thinkers.  Besides, her wishy-washiness on the Great Reset, DEI/CRT, and gender fluidity raises doubts about her America First bona fides.

Voters must cut through the contradictions Haley personifies.  She certainly isn’t the ideal Republican presidential candidate.  Consider the political legerdemain she has adroitly deployed.  Also, consider the web that links her to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and influence of the political fiefdoms of the Koch empire and master manipulator George Soros.

In a play for young voters indoctrinated with dubious climate hysteria, she proclaimed that climate change is real and that the U.S. needs to tell China and India to cut emissions.  As governor of South Carolina, she signed legislation supporting the solar industry.  In Iowa, the nation’s top fuel ethanol producer, she endorsed carbon capture and storage from ethanol plants as “good for the environment.”

But during Trump’s presidency, she hailed the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and attacked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for being too liberal on environmental issues.  Perhaps the latter was to score points for the Republican nomination over an issue that is unpopular with conservatives.  Given her equivocations, voters will find it impossible to know where she stands and how quickly she will change her position when it suits her.

Candidate Haley is hawkish on China and criticizes recent American policy on the communist state.  But her record as governor of South Carolina tells a different story.  She granted the China Jushi Group, a fiberglass manufacturer with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), close to 200 acres at no cost contingent on their investment in her state.  During her tenure (2011-2017), she oversaw $1.43 billion in Chinese investments; in 2015 alone, she brought in $565 million, the highest of any Republican governor.

Taking a near-fascist stand, Haley had declared anonymous social media posts a “national security threat” and demanded mandatory verification of all user identities.  She later denied, then walked back on, these statements.  Now, she again says that on becoming president, she will force social media companies to “show America their algorithms.  Let us see why they’re pushing what they’re pushing.”  She continues to insist that all users must have verified identities to bring “civility to the cyberspace.”  

Haley’s views on illegal immigration are both dubious and anti-democratic.  Illegals, she has said, shouldn’t be referred to as criminals though they are breaking the law (albeit unenforced under the current administration) because they are “families that want a better life.”  She also endorses a policy of allowing corporations, not the American people, decide how many workers they want.  “[She is] saying that she believes foreigners and corporations should be the only people making decisions about how much immigration the U.S. should have. I can’t think of a less democratic way of looking at migration,” says Jon Feere, director of investigations for the Center for Immigration Studies.

Neither is Haley’s position on woke ideology and gender ideology clear.  Hastily buying into a leftist narrative, she had sprung to the defense of stock car racer Bubba Wallace, when he released an image of a “noose” in his garage.  The story was a hoax, the offending item a simple garage door-pull.  Criticizing the GOP when it suits her, she has said, “The problem for our party is that our approach often appears cold and unwelcoming to minorities. That’s shameful and it has to change.” 

Most opportunistic, however, is how she has played with her own identity.  Born to Indian immigrants, she registered as “white” on her voter card in 2001.  Even so, she has given accounts of being bullied at school “every day for being brown.”  Sharon Carter, the county Republican Party chairwoman, who lived in the same town as Haley around the same time, says Haley’s family was well-regarded and race was never much of an issue for her.

On transgenderism, too, Haley has been protean.  When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis censured Disney for creating transgender characters and placing cross-dressing greeters at its entrance, Haley welcomed the company to South Carolina.  DeSantis had taken a principled stand against inappropriate messaging to minors, in line with the Republican/conservative view.  But Haley, had to one-up him, ignoring the GOP’s position.

It is difficult to tell if she is well-informed on gender and identity issues, for at an Iowa tele-town hall, she failed to answer definitively if a man could become a woman.  When South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R-SC), a staunch conservative, introduced a bill to prohibit trans people from using public bathrooms that align with their claimed gender identity, Haley, then governor, vetoed the legislation as unnecessary.  On the campaign trail, she has said the government should stay out of the issue of “gender-affirming” surgeries for minors, leaving the decision to parents.

Her positions on vital issues apart, voters must ask themselves if Haley’s mendacity makes her a good candidate.  “If you’ve got to lie to win, you don’t deserve to win,” she has emphatically stated.  Ironically, an ad from the DeSantis campaign has caught her in four big ones: denying that Hillary Clinton was an inspiration; backpedaling on a statement to raise the retirement age for Social Security benefits; countering the perception that she didn’t take a stand against transgender bathrooms; gainsaying her call for the verification of social media users. 

Among other disturbing facts about Haley are her being honored as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the WEF, which champions the nefarious, anti-freedom Great Reset.  Americans for Prosperity, a libertarian anti-Trump group backed by billionaire brothers Charles and the late David Koch (died 2019), has endorsed her presidential candidature.  David Koch, it might be added, was a trustee at the Aspen Institute, which receives funds from George Soros and presumes the U.S. is fraught with deep-seated cultural racism.

The Koch brothers have favored amnesty for illegal immigrants and seek Republican support for illegals in former president Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at a time the surge of border-crossers is at its highest level in American history.  Certainly not in concert with the position held by most Republicans.

Trump has rightly characterized Haley as out of step with today’s Republican Party, and former South Carolina state representative Doug Brannon has described her as a chameleon.  Not surprising, given that she has said she’s inspired by Hillary Clinton and has praised Obama for being a barrier breaker and a good communicator.  She had even called upon Republicans to share – with Obama – the responsibility for the nation’s problems.  Haley brooks no hesitation in criticizing Trump, at the risk of alienating MAGA voters she needs to enlist to win.

Despite her machinations in the New Hampshire primaries – where 70% of her voters were non-Republicans, indicating Democrat support – she lost by 11%.  Also afoot is the gaming of open primaries, accumulating support from Democrats and unaffiliated voters to ensure a victory for Biden.  DeSantis, meanwhile, has dropped out, backing Trump.

As author Victor Davis Hanson sees it, Haley has four options: drop out like DeSantis; fight on but moderate her attack on Trump, then wrangle for the post of vice president; fizzle out after a few more primaries; and fourth, put up a full-blooded fight, which she would lose, contributing no more than nuisance value.

While it’s difficult to predict what she will do, the one lesson voters can take home is that the opportunistic Haley does not stand for the American ideals that the Republican party believes in.  They must keep that in mind when they vote – and choose Trump.

Image: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

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