In the hotly contested Republican primary for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, one candidate is advocating that the American electorate meet radical progressivism, Big Tech censorship and an establishment resurgence with conservative grit.
A military veteran and political influencer, House hopeful Anna Paulina Luna told The Western Journal on Tuesday that a successful GOP strategy for 2020 should center on ideological “street fighters” like herself, who are willing and able to push back against increasingly aggressive tactics from across the aisle.
“It does take people with street creds, who are street fighters, right now,” Luna said.
“People want to know that when they cast their vote for someone, that that person can vote for them, that that person will not go to D.C. and vote for outside interests. That’s a huge problem. And I think that we see that across the board is that people no longer are fighting for the people that they’re trying to represent. They’re not fighting for the Constitution. They’re like NASCAR drivers,” Luna said.
“They go in and by the time they’re in office they are bought and controlled by politicos.
“Every single day I’m interacting with people, every single day I’m on the ground and I’m talking to people. And I’ve not met one person that says I’m happy with what’s happening right now in our country. Everyone’s afraid,” the candidate added.
“Everyone wants change. And they know that if we’re going to take back this country and turn around this ship, that we need fighters. And I hope to be that fighter.”
My name is Anna Paulina Luna and I’m running for Congress.
I will no longer standby as the socialist agenda infects the youth of our nation.
— Anna Paulina Luna (@realannapaulina) September 16, 2019
Luna did not, however, grow up a hard-nosed conservative — or even remotely political.
Despite paternal suggestions that she should be aborted, Luna was brought into the world by the grace of her low-income single mother, with the majority of her early life and adolescence lived under the wing of the Southern California welfare state.
It was a rough upbringing. By age 9, Luna was already the survivor of an armed robbery. A few short years later, her cousin was shot in the head by a boyfriend who had pledged his allegiance to a Los Angeles gang. Then, at 16 years old, Luna herself would see her own Venice High School become the stage for a shootout between opposing gangs.
Without the money to escape her circumstances by pursuing a university education, 19-year-old Luna “stumbled into” a U.S. Air Force recruitment office at the encouragement of several friends who enlisted in order to secure education subsidies through the GI Bill.
Luna cites her military service as key to the formation of her political and cultural values. “It was the military that taught me not to be a victim,” she recalls.
The candidate also met her husband, Andy, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star serviceman, during her time in the service and eventually moved to St. Petersburg, Florida.
Upon stepping away, she began working with organizations that combat human trafficking before skyrocketing to fame as one of the most prominent Hispanic women in conservative politics, serving a for a time as Director of Hispanic Engagement for Turning Point U.S.A. and now as the Chairwoman of Hispanic Initiatives at PragerU.
Rules for (Removing) Radicals
According to the candidate’s official campaign website, it was this upbringing, an illustration of the American Dream, that made Luna the perfect “antidote” to popular radical left upstarts like Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — many of whom argue the American capitalist mentality of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps is an “impossibility” and a “joke.”
With as many as 43 percent of Americans professing to support “some form of socialism” as of May 2019, according to Gallup, Luna told The Western Journal that American politics rests at a “very volatile and scary tipping point” from which the nation may not survive a fall.
The premise was enough to drive Luna away from an opportunity at medical school and into the political fray.
“[Americans are] not being taught history. They don’t really realize the aspect that you can always help yourself better than government can,” she said. “This whole concept of socialism is being spoon-fed. And this is basically the make of a perfect storm. And if we don’t start working together, we’re all in big trouble.”
The Democratic Party’s efforts to sneak radical progressive policies past the American people under the cover of a supposedly moderate 2020 presidential nominee in former Vice President Joe Biden, Luna added, was all the more concerning.
“Very simply and honestly, you have a choice to make,” the candidate said. “You either vote for someone who will usher in socialism and has literally made a pact with [independent Vermont Sen.] Bernie Sanders and AOC — I’m talking about Joe Biden — or you can vote for someone who might not be perfect, but is the best chance that this country has at maintaining a constitutional republic.”
“[A prospective President Biden] is supposed to be not only negotiating, but he’s supposed to be representing the free constitutional republic of what we call America. And he’s also making backdoor deals with one of the most progressive radical socialists of our time: AOC and Bernie Sanders. I in no way, shape or form want that man to be leading this country. And so he’s not what people think he is,” she said.
Luna has garnered substantial support in her fight to secure the Republican nomination for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, accruing nearly 450,000 followers between Instagram and Twitter and raising nearly $800,000 in small-dollar campaign donations, according to the OpenSecrets.org.
Those major gains in grassroots traction, however, have not left Luna free from scrutiny.
In fact, quite the opposite.
According to Luna, left-wing figures and establishment Republicans alike have been quick to write her off for everything from her looks to her roots to her ideology. But the dismissiveness was something the candidate had expected when she first stepped into the ring — as was the big tech suppression faced by Luna’s campaign and widely reported by Breitbart.
“With all of my credibility, with all of these boxes that I check that if I was to be a Democrat, then I would have probably been an overnight sensation,” Luna said. “But because I’m a conservative, and a minority conservative at that, I’m not just suppressed, but there is almost a mental prejudice against who I am, what I represent, to those that don’t want to empower the conservative message.”
Luna was far from the first conservative woman to face such suppression and derision.
The second woman in U.S. history to secure a major party vice-presidential nomination, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was widely mocked, verbally assaulted and subjected to sexist remarks from the American left throughout the 2008 presidential election, despite allegations the Republican Party was, at the time, perpetuating a misogynistic “War on Women” and ought to treat women more respectfully.
“What really intrigued me about [Palin] is that she was this strong female figure,” Luna said. “She was so likable, so warm. But the media completely tried to destroy her. And the first thing that they did was, in my mind, paint her — the liberal media painted her — in a very sexist way. They painted her as dumb; just like another pretty face, but that she wasn’t smart.”
“So, I always respected her. I respected her grit. I respected her relentlessness,” Luna added.
That grit, Luna said, would be a reminder for her to keep fighting and keep her values at the center as tensions continue to ramp up in anticipation of Florida’s Aug. 18 primary.
“I do believe that I’m fighting to save this country. And I think that that’s the difference between a patriot and a politician.
“I’m not a politician,” she added, making sure her point was made. “I’m a patriot.”
CORRECTION, July 31, 2020: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated Sarah Palin was the first woman in U.S. history to secure a major party vice-presidential nomination. She was the second, after Geraldine Ferraro by the Democratic Party in 1984.
We apologize to our readers for the error, and for any confusion we may have caused.
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