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Into the Jaws of Death. June 6, 1944. Robert F. Sargent.
Into the Jaws of Death. June 6, 1944. Robert F. Sargent.

U.S. POLITICS

The Last Time Americans Met Resistance Storming Beaches, Americans Won. 

I’m suing Gavin Newsom to open up California’s beaches. Here’s why.

On June 6th, 1944, Americans and the Western Allies launched the largest amphibious invasion of World War II, storming the beaches of Normandy and attacking German positions. Operation Overlord was the name of this successful invasion on the Northern Coast of France. It was the brainchild of then-Supreme Allied Commander, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The operation was brilliantly planned, with one objective in mind: establish a beachhead by driving back the Germans.

We are not at war with a hostile foreign government, nor are we under threat from an authoritarian military. We are, however, at war with a virus.

On the day of the invasion, Allied Commander Eisenhower said to the soldiers: “Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the greatest crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.” The call was simple; we have worked hard for this. Believe we can do it, and we will—because we need to.

We owe the wonderful men and women of the Allied Expeditionary Forces very much. Because of their sacrifices, the global threat to freedom and free enterprise we faced in authoritarian Europe was eliminated.

Of course, our situation today is nowhere near as dire as Normandy. We are not at war with a hostile foreign government, nor are we under threat from an authoritarian military. We are, however, at war with a virus.

And for months now, the American people have been led by those trusted with the expertise and authority to combat this enemy. Because of the faith the American people have put into our leaders, they made many sacrifices to get us to this moment.

Now, just as the Allied Expeditionary Forces were trusted to combat our enemy during World War II, the American people should be trusted to rise to the occasion.

It is the American people’s time to do our part and fight our enemy, the coronavirus.

U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Cowden, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Cowden, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

SCALING AMERICAN INGENUITY

Since March, social distancing guidelines have been readily adopted by many of our essential businesses. For example, at the local Albertsons here in Mission Viejo, they have been sanitizing all the carts after they’ve been used and placing stickers on the ground to show people how far six feet apart is. What can be used to combat the coronavirus in one industry can easily be applied to other sectors; we have tested and successfully implemented these strategies on a smaller scale.

It is the time to let American ingenuity manifest itself—and for our leaders to get on board.

That is how technology works. It starts small. It improves. It grows. Then it can be widely disseminated. So it makes little sense why Macy’s or Nordstroms at the Mission Mall cannot adopt the same procedures as Albertsons and adapt the shopping experience to implement social distancing guidelines.

It is the time to let American ingenuity manifest itself—and for our leaders to get on board.

On May 1st, as a City of Mission Viejo Councilman, California, and on behalf of my people, I filed a lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom and his administration. I firmly believe that Governor Newsom’s ill-advised decision to close our Orange County Beaches is wrong.

For decades, scientists have demonstrated the importance of sunlight and fresh air to human health. Importantly, new scientific lab results cited by the Department of Homeland Security suggest that heat, humidity, and sunlight slow and even kill the coronavirus. If the sun, fresh air, and our beautiful beaches in Orange County can help us fight and win against the coronavirus, what reason is there to shut down the beaches and disarm my people?

We are at war with this virus. And the Newsom Administration wants to strip the people of Mission Viejo, the people of Orange County, and the people of California broadly of their right to use one of the best weapons Americans have readily available to them.

The people of California deserve better during this time of crisis.

President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Official White House Photo.

STRONG LEADERSHIP MEANS DELEGATING TO ON-THE-GROUND EXPERTS

When I was Commander of a Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet Fighter Squadron during Operation Desert Storm, aboard the Aircraft Carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln, the only options I ever considered implementing were the ones which helped my Marines. The Marines under my command were people whose lives I was responsible for. Each one of us would take a bullet for the other. We lived together. We had each other’s six in dogfights. We did everything together because we trusted one another. Some leaders, I guess, think differently.

The President, unlike other leaders, is smart enough to recognize he does not have all the facts on the ground, everywhere, in every part of the country.

President Trump, abiding by his constitutional powers, is rightfully letting governors handle how they reopen their states. The President, unlike other leaders, is smart enough to recognize he does not have all the facts on the ground, everywhere, in every part of the country. He also knows that he has good people that work for him, and he trusts those people to make the right decisions.

Before COVID-19 darkened our doorstep, we had a booming economy and low unemployment. We were gaining respect on the global stage, all because President Trump runs the government like a successful business.

At a different scale, I was once the president of a successful automobile parts company, Go Automotive Incorporated, which I started leading in 2007, after my career as a Colonel in the Marine Corps and my time serving as Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Staff Executive Officer of the White House Military Office. Business leadership does not mean mastering all necessary expertise yourself—that’s impossible. To be successful in business, what is possible is understanding and building trust with the experts who will bring you actionable information that you can act on.

What makes you successful is having people you trust around you, people you trust with your life and livelihood—people who aren’t afraid to tell you, if necessary, that your decision is wrong.

Governor Newsom, unfortunately, has no idea what is going on down here in Mission Viejo or Orange County. In fact, he probably has no idea what is going on outside of the northern half of the state.

I strongly believe that now is the time for Governor Newsom to follow the proven model, one which has already manifested in multiple sectors of the economy, and to allow that ingenuity to spread to the sectors that have been shutdown. And, for the sectors of public life that may not have to do with the economy, but have everything to do with Americans’ health and wellbeing—he should do the same.

Why do I strongly believe this?

Because I am the City of Mission Viejo Councilman, and I am the Republican nominee running in California’s 45th Congressional District. I trust my people and all Americans. They are magnificent people who have sacrificed so much for these months to learn how to fight the virus. And now, it is time to trust them to do so.

I trust my people and all Americans. They are magnificent people who have sacrificed so much for these months to learn how to fight the virus. And now, it is time to trust them to do so.

San Diego opened its beaches a week ago; the city’s mayor took decisive action. Huntington Beach attempted to do the same. But Governor Newsom, swayed by images circulated on social media, felt people were too close to each other in public and were endangering each other. From his seat in Sacramento, he demanded we shut down our beaches.

In the last six weeks, we’ve learned how to comply with social distancing guidelines and fight the virus. I see it all over my district. As a local elected leader, I have had the opportunity to review the data on the coronavirus—data brought to me by a trusted team of experts. Based on my review of this data, I believe it is safe for my community to go to the beach as long as they follow the CDC’s guidelines. And based on their sacrifices and exemplary behavior over the last six weeks, people in my community also understand how to follow the CDC guidelines as they have visited essential businesses. Given that, I believe it is safe to remove the government barriers preventing businesses and recreation in my community from opening up.

Hon. Judge Nathan Scott of the Orange County Superior Court, unfortunately, disagrees with me. The Judge has moved our hearing date to appeal the Governor’s order to May 11th, when he’s requested we come back with even more data.

As the City of Mission Viejo Councilman and Elected Republican Candidate in California 45, I have read the Constitution and the laws. I have been all around Orange County and Mission Viejo, checking on how the people I represent are responding to the crisis. They are responding as one would expect: with flawless determination.

And yet, the California Judiciary is making Californians wait ten more days to start their fight against our enemy.

Every Californian I see in public is wearing a mask or face covering. Americans are staying six feet apart from each other. Every business in California has come up with a way to quickly clean and disinfect the things people use and touch before others have contact. Stores are being cleaned at all times.

The people of my beautiful home, the Golden State, know how to respond.

US Army M4 Sherman tanks loaded in a landing craft tank (LCT), ready for the invasion of France, c. late May or early June 1944

US Army M4 Sherman tanks loaded in a landing craft tank ready for the invasion of France, c. late May or early June 1944. U.S. Army Signal Corps.

OUR SOLDIERS SIT IDLE

This is not to say we should reopen the entire economy, all at once. There still is a virus we must combat, after all. But we should put our trust in our constituents before we put our trust in harsh government policies. Our people know how to keep themselves safe, and we should let them.

Americans are not scared—they are frustrated.

Because our Governor has chosen authoritarianism, the people of Mission Viejo continue to face difficult, unnecessary situations daily. We don’t have very many cases, very few. The point of the shelter-in-place order was not to overwhelm our medical facilities—they, thankfully, are not. At an official local councilman meeting last week, we were told that 50% of the beds are empty at St. Joseph’s Mission Hospital. And because of the sacrifices of all Americans in Orange County, St. Joseph’s had to let go of many nurses and doctors, because people are no longer coming in for routine medical treatments.

Americans are not scared—they are frustrated. They are being dictated to, having their actions micromanaged by the government, are being forced by law to stay home—all after they’ve been drafted and trained to fight the enemy.

This is hurting our economy and ruining millions of lives—as evidenced by the 30 million unemployment benefit claims made in the last month so far, and the 11 million already on benefits. The American people do not want to sit at home; they want to work. The American people do not want to waste their lives on the couch; they want the trust and freedom to go to the beach if that’s what is best for them.

Governor Newsom’s order to shut down the beaches, after Department of Homeland Security officials announced sunlight is the best disinfectant. That’s not just bad leadership; it’s incompetence.

The American people have the weapons, intelligence, and determination to combat the enemy. Now is the time to let them win this war.

Written By

Greg Raths is the Councilman for Mission Viejo and the Republican nominee for California’s 45th Congressional District. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @Gregraths.

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