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Throw up a red flag. Strategically speaking, the DNC has walloped the current RNC. Having raised a record $1.5 billion since Trump took office, how did the RNC end up so ineffective? Speaking as one who’s spent a career in the entertainment industry, it’s clear that they fell into a self-made dark abyss through poor marketing coupled with a misdirected ground plan. And they’re so far down they can’t climb out.
In contrast, the DNC has mastered the art of branding. Although their leaders are just as old as — or even older than — their GOP counterparts, they present themselves as younger and more in touch with the masses and are successful in portraying Republicans as the party of stodgy, old white men. In reality, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s time for Ronna McDaniel to pass the baton to a bold, new leader who’s ready and able to invigorate, and capitalize upon, an evolving party. Without change, the party is “on the verge of permanent irrelevance.”
Harmeet Dhillon is a masterful strategist, which is one trait that makes her such a formidable foe in the courtroom. But most importantly, she’s a fearless leader. Leadership: it’s that inner blessing that can’t be taught. Because it’s a gift.
I can vouch for Harmeet Dhillon’s powerful leadership skills because they’ve had a great impact on the direction of my life. Because of a chance email encounter with her three years ago, she inspired me to become an activist — and indirectly inspired hundreds more Californians to become citizen activists.
Back in 2019, after nine years in Los Angeles, I finally had enough of California’s escalating crime, vagrants sprawled all over major thoroughfares, and alas, all of those criminal-releasing corrupt policies. Three years earlier, I’d been held by knifepoint by a criminal vagrant in a Beverly Hills coffee shop. Then the final straw: One night I looked out the window of my beach condo to see a deranged man wildly swinging a metal pole just a few feet away. I was angry, and I was ready to fight back.
I called a trusted friend who was active in political circles. I asked him to join forces with me and other citizens to pursue a lawsuit against Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on the grounds that his policies and failure to enforce the law was destroying our safety, our streets, our parks, and for some victims…their livelihoods.
The next day, that friend forwarded an email chain to me. My “lawsuit-vs.- the-mayor” idea had found its way to a San Francisco lawyer who I did not know. Her name? Harmeet Dhillon.
Harmeet explained in legal terms why my lawsuit would (unfortunately) have no merit in the state of California. On top of that, it would be costly to litigate. She could have ignored the email or simply said no, but she took the time to explain why, and then went the extra mile. At the time, L.A.’s crisis wasn’t even garnering national attention. I’d acquired a personal library of over 1,000 photos and videos of L.A.’s destruction from 2016 to 2019, and Harmeet suggested that I had just the ammunition to change the media’s ignorance of the crisis, encouraging me to shed light on what was happening in L.A. for the rest of the nation and even globally.
That day in 2019, while eating lunch in a Hermosa Beach café, I randomly started a Twitter handle and named it @LAVagrants. Day-by-day I slowly unleashed every photo and video I had showing the city’s horrors: rampant crime, naked addicts shooting up in public, feces-filled streets, and even a rape committed right outside a fancy cafe’s window during the busy dinner hour. Soon I was inundated with direct messages from mothers who were relieved to finally have a spokesperson for their secret beliefs, because they couldn’t speak up for fear of their children being ostracized at school.
Before long I had nearly 5,000 loyal followers. I was booked on numerous radio shows to discuss the atrocities of Los Angeles. I was in touch with Tucker Carlson’s producers and advised them on the best spots to shoot their next segment covering L.A. County’s demise. And soon after, advocates in cities like New York and Austin joined, hoping to follow the lead of @LAVagrants and save their own cities that were also slowly dying from far-left policies.
We became a movement, a force to be reckoned with, all because Harmeet Dhillon kindly took the time to answer a stranger’s email and not only give sound legal advice, but to light a fire in one pissed off citizen by suggesting a brilliant marketing strategy, an outside-the-box game plan that succeeded in bringing necessary media attention to the crisis and, secondarily, flipped many of my Twitter followers from blue to red, then resonated and spread from state to state.
I shut down @LAVagrants after becoming a mom and while recovering from a bout with early breast cancer. During my run with @LAVagrants I’d been doxxed three times, and my life had been threatened. Admittedly, there were nights that I went to bed scared. What kept me going was the thought of our country’s forefathers, who had faced much more turmoil and uncertainty in a quest for safety. But there’s something about the “cancer” word and staring into your sweet baby’s face that forces your fight to shift gears for a little while.
The movement I started, though, is going strong, with hundreds of citizen activists documenting what they see every day in California, bringing national attention to the truly dystopian reality, and that attention is starting to create change by holding elected officials accountable. I’m sure I am just one of many people Harmeet Dhillon has influenced in this way, and that’s why we need her leading the RNC.
Inexplicably, the current RNC is asleep at the wheel. Through three losing election cycles, they’ve done nothing to fix the party’s poor branding and have allowed the words “Republican” and “Conservative” to become an albatross around the neck of candidates and activists working to bring the conservative message to new neighborhoods. Contrary to popular belief, conservatives are not the party of stodgy, old white men. We define diversity.
We’re the party of Mark Robinson, North Carolina’s first black Lt. Governor, a former foster care child from an abusive home who joined the Army Reserve to bravely seek a better life.
We’re the party of religiously devout Black and Latino families who’ve never been approached, let alone embraced, by the current RNC, even though our ideals and beliefs are more alike than different.
As Harmeet knows well, we’re the party of immigrants from around the globe who belong to a multitude of religious sects, but who passionately believe in the liberties and freedoms our Constitution guarantees.
We’re the party of LGBTQ crusaders like Scott Presler, my transgender friend Bree, and Caitlyn Jenner, all wise enough to know that without safety in our towns and in our homes, we have nothing.
We’re the party of silenced Hollywood celebrities who need the encouragement of knowing that they are not alone, and who also need a gentle reminder that Hollywood’s allure and sway has now plummeted more quickly than the Golden Globes ratings.
We’re the party of another silenced group: famous athletes, many of which are minorities. I know the multitude of athletes that are silenced politically; a bold and modernized RNC will find a way to open these floodgates. Courage isn’t defined by what you do on the field or the court. Courage is the ability to stand up, go against the status quo and demand (yes, demand) that your beliefs matter too.
Remember that old adage, “As California goes, so does the country?” There couldn’t be a scarier time to hear those words, as the likely Democrat nominee for President in 2024, California Governor Gavin Newsom, childishly picks fights with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Republicans’ best shot at a 2024 President. Someone seems to be feeling the heat — as he should.
Because Harmeet Dhillon, a San Francisco fighter who’s witnessed the Golden State’s destruction by merely glancing out her office window, will never let a President Newsom happen. In fact, she might be the only one who can rescue a broken party, and finally prove that old California adage wrong.
Carol Silver hosts the Hollywood Sports Mom podcast (YouTube, Spotify). She’s a mom, wife, infertility advocate and breast cancer fighter. A 20+ years long writer/producer for TV sports events, she’s also produced notable specials featuring President George W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, Kevin Costner, Luke Bryan and athletes of every sport, including logrolling. She calls herself a “Republican-leaning Independent” because she’s not a robot. She usually runs out of time for social media squabbling but can be found at Twitter: @HwoodSportsMom and IG: @hollywoodsportsmom