The Republican Party has within its grasp long-term political control over several states, including California and Texas, the nation's two largest (the Census Bureau reported this week that New York has slipped to third place). If it misses this historic opportunity, the consequences will probably not be victories for the Democrats, but instead the likely... Read More
With the victory of Washington state's Initiative 200, which ends affirmative action in government hiring, contracting and education, supporters of racial preferences have asked us to imagine an America in which members of some ethnic groups are virtually excluded not only from state university campuses but elite institutions in general. But no imagination is actually... Read More
Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush has now announced that he will not impose an abortion litmus test on his Supreme Court nominees. Such views may also be shared by most of Mr. Bush's leading rivals, thus transforming abortion into a word whose pronunciation is silence. The wide consensus of reporters, pollsters, consultants and major... Read More
Everyone agrees that the current campaign-finance system is dreadfully flawed, consisting as it does of a mishmash of contribution limits unadjusted for 25 years of inflation and a gigantic "soft money" loophole that has grown large enough to devour any and all financial restrictions. But the virtual defeat yesterday of the McCain-Feingold bill marks an... Read More
John McCain's victory in Michigan was impressive, but he would have lost badly if not for the crossover votes of Democrats and independents. The crucial March 7 primaries in California and New York are both closed to non- Republicans, so Mr. McCain must now concentrate on winning GOP votes. One issue can win him the... 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
Just a few years ago, congressional Republicans overwhelmingly supported proposals to expel a million or more Hispanic children from American public schools. Now, perhaps in a misguided attempt to expiate that political sin, the Republican-controlled Senate has voted by an overwhelming two-to-one margin to quadruple the federal budget for Spanish-only bilingual education programs, largely aimed... Read More
In his Aug. 8 editorial page commentary, "The Real Value of Options," Harvey Golub, the former CEO of American Express, argued that the issuance of stock options should not be treated as an accounting expense because no outlay of corporate cash is required. Profits per share might fall, but total profits should not. This reasoning... Read More
It's fair to say that when arguably the most liberal Democratic state in the U.S. has abandoned bilingual education, it is indeed an idea whose time has passed. In recent months, the home of Harvard and Michael Dukakis, and the only state that voted for George McGovern in 1972, is rediscovering the value of good... Read More
About Ron Unz
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.