Back in November I published a long column discussing the results of the 2018 midterm elections and then a couple of weeks ago I also released a private letter I'd distributed to prominent figures in the Alt-Right movement back in 2017, suggesting some of the ways that their public positions had severely damaged their credibility... Read More
A Confidential Note to Various "Alt-Right" People and Others Dated: August 21, 2017 I've been very dismayed by the recent "political purge" being conducted by some of the largest Internet companies, in which numerous controversial websites of the "Alt Right" have suddenly been "disappeared," and in which all sorts of basic Internet services such as... Read More
I wasn't closely following the midterm elections campaign, but the results seemed to be about as expected for Donald Trump and the Republicans. With some races still undecided, the Democrats will apparently pick up close to 35 House seats, giving them solid control, and also a half-dozen governorships, while losing at least a couple of... Read More
When I'm driving, my car radio is invariably tuned to KOIT, the leading "easy listening" station in the San Francisco Bay area. My tastes are humdrum and unsophisticated, so the songs merely provide some pleasant background music, occasionally punctuated by commercial ads, mostly annoying but occasionally amusing. One of the better ones began running only... Read More
Twenty years ago, California public schools were forcing thousands of Latino children into Spanish-almost-only classes against the wishes of their parents. In 1996, The Los Angeles Times told the story of a group of Latino immigrant parents who began a public protest against their local elementary school for refusing to teach their children English, boycotting... Read More
As a software developer and company co-founder who has lived in Palo Alto since the early 1990s, I understand the extraordinarily important contribution that immigrants have made to our technology industry over the last half century and the crucial role they play in maintaining American competitiveness. I've found it unfortunate that for years top Silicon... Read More
I'm willing to take clear stands on issues, including some controversial ones, regardless of ideology or political orientation. Maybe you'll agree with me and maybe you'll disagree with me, but at least you'll know what I believe. As a U.S. Senator, I'll carefully listen to both sides of every issue, do my own research, and... Read More
Simple ideas buoyed by a tidal wave of popular sentiment are difficult to oppose, and subterfuge is one of the favored methods. National support for raising the minimum wage runs between 70% and 75% in most polls, with close to 90% of Democrats backing the idea. Meanwhile, our initiative to raise the minimum wage in... Read More
Millions of California immigrants work in low-wage service industries. They would be among the greatest beneficiaries of our ballot initiative to raise the state minimum wage to $12 per hour. Latinos, many of whom come from a relatively recent immigrant background, would gain the most. The data shows that around half of all Latino wage-earners... Read More
Although our school textbooks claim we live in a democracy or a representative republic, a more accurate formulation might label our polity a “mediocracy.” Our views and votes as well as those of our elected representatives are largely shaped by the ambient waves of media emanations that wash over us during so many of our... Read More
Last week I took a brief break from two months of concentrated software development effort on my new publication The Unz Review to travel to NYC for a debate on a hypothetical “Open Borders” proposal for private employment, one in a long series of such public events produced by Intelligence Squared. The event was carried... Read More
Over the weekend, a leading financial voice at National Review---central ideological pillar of the mainstream American Right---gingerly endorsed my suggestion that a $12.00 per hour minimum wage be required as part of any Congressional immigration legislation. Perhaps miracles do indeed sometimes happen in real life. My same proposal had also been endorsed a couple of... Read More
Congress is currently considering bipartisan legislation providing an amnesty for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants, probably combined with extra visas for skilled workers and an agricultural guestworker program. But principled liberals and conservatives should both demand that any immigration reform proposal also include a sharp rise in the federal minimum wage. The reason is simple.... Read More
My Friday Aspen Institute panel in DC on raising the minimum wage went well, though the discussion underscored the somewhat insular thinking of many of the policy elites who dominate life in our capital city. As an example, although the audience and participants skewed heavily toward the “economic left,” several individuals mentioned how surprised they... Read More
Last June the U.S. Census disclosed that non-white births in America were on the verge of surpassing the white total and might do so as early as the end of this year. Such an event marks an unprecedented racial watershed in American history. Over the last few years, various demographic projections from that same agency... Read More
Although I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to this particular election, a few results do seem a bit intriguing and indicative. According to the newspapers, well over $2 billion was spent by both parties, and of this national combined total almost 10%—perhaps approaching an astonishing $200 million—was spent by a single candidate, Republican... Read More
Ron Unz part 1. Ron Unz, publisher of the American Conservative, discusses the myth of immigrant crime. Ron Unz contends that crime rate among immigrants and illegal aliens - particularly hispanics - is much lower than commonly believed.
According to Lou Dobbs, “a third of the prison population in this country is estimated to be illegal aliens,” and Glenn Beck regularly warns of “an illegal alien crime wave.” Congressman Tom Tancredo insists, “The face of illegal immigration on our borders is one of murder, one of drug smuggling, one of vandalism for all... Read More
The Los Angeles Times (Andrew Blankstein and Garrett Therolf, December 27, 2006) recently carried a major year-end news story which has finally forced me to completely admit the error of my ways with regard to immigration matters. We all have personal ideological biases and beliefs, often deeply resistant to change. But facts are stubborn things,... Read More
Having been overly preoccupied in recent weeks with some complex software development issues, I must belatedly---but very sincerely---issue a heartfelt Thank You to the Rev. Pat Robertson, whose recent actions appear to have done so much to rescue America, and thereby have permanently established him as one of my greatest personal heroes. Consider that just... Read More
The nature of the Internet provides a near friction-free (and cost-free) means of distributing information. Words and ideas are almost pure information, hence their natural applicability to this medium, and the current mushrooming growth of various Me-zines, We-zines, and Idea-zines. In the long run, this development may have considerable political implications. For example, marginalized political... Read More
Tuesday's Mayoral primary vote in Los Angeles saw left-liberal ex-Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa ride his powerful Latino-Labor coalition to a surprisingly strong first-place showing over LA City Attorney James Hahn, an establishment liberal and the longtime front-runner. Although Villaraigosa still faces an uphill battle in the run-off--- nearly 40% of the vote went to candidates... Read More
Just 10 years ago, California was a GOP bastion, regarded as the cornerstone of the Republican Electoral College "lock." The 1990 elections merely confirmed this impression, with the GOP winning its third gubernatorial race in a row, its fifth of seven. Two years earlier, the 1988 presidential race had marked the sixth straight California victory... Read More
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. Immigration. Bilingual education. Over the past few years, these issues and broader matters of ethnic politics have become the stuff of nightmares for Republican candidates around the country. On the one hand, ethnic issues are tremendously important to the future well-being of our large and diverse society. They are the hottest of hot... Read More
Responses to The End of White America by Sean Walsh, James W. Wilson, Mark Krikorian, Fred C. Ikle, Edward Blum, Arthur Kruger, Jay P. Greene, Hal Netkin, and Jared Taylor, with reply by Ron Unz. TO THE EDITOR: Readers of COMMENTARY who are not knowledgeable about the events surrounding the passage of three important ballot... Read More
Republican leaders, worried about their party's lack of success among ethnic minorities, are reaching for just the wrong remedy. The GOP, they say, should stress symbolic ethnic outreach, while downplaying its principled opposition to affirmative action, bilingual education, and multiculturalism. As a result, "diversity" is now a watchword in GOP candidate selection, choice of convention... Read More
Timothy McVeigh, alleged perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing, is said to have believed that, while he was in the Army, the government implanted a microchip tracking device in his buttocks. Most of us would dismiss this as the ravings of an obvious madman. But to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, McVeigh is just a bit ahead... Read More
A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.
He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.
In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.
In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.
After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.