It’s been said that a community is only as strong as its neighbors, and the affluent beach City of Malibu appears to be no exception.
Whether through monetary means, time or service, or even mentorship, the heart of a thriving community depends on the values of its residents. They must be willing to give to each other, to come together when times are tough, and of course they must be able to communicate with each other—for these actions make up the heart of a community.
Yet today, with the growing inequality between the left and the right, along with the rise of the era of political correctness, some of Malibu’s Republican community members are finding themselves unable to speak freely, unable to participate in their own community. Local resident Ashley Lewis wants to change that.
A documentary producer whose credits include “A Bridge for the Children,” “No Subtitles Necessary,” and “Voices That Care,” she’s not your traditional Trump supporter. She’s a homeowner, a long-time resident of Malibu and part of Pepperdine’s Crest Advisory Board—a community outreach program.
Lewis believes education is paramount to creating open dialogue and preserving our freedom of speech. She quotes from our forefathers, such as James Madison, who said, “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.” George Washington also said, “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”
Concerned with the ongoing state of censorship and political disparity between the left and the right, Lewis has generously opened her home to speakers, providing a safe space for right-leaning politicos.
“I feel very sad that there’s so much hatred, impatience and intolerance and discrimination coming from the left to the right and I want to let people know there’s a safe forum for discussion,” said Lewis.
When Nonie Darwish, a human rights activist needed a place to talk, Lewis was there. She opened her doors to provide Darwish a platform where she could speak freely about her experiences leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, which she discusses in her book, “Wholly Different: Why I Chose Biblical Values Over Islamic Values.”
Lewis has also entertained notable political activists and columnists such as; James Simpson, Trevor Loudon and Howard Hyde.
A Republican since she was 12 years old, Lewis fondly recalls having political debates with her father, who was a Democrat. She grew up “all over the South,” she says, moving around for her father’s construction jobs. What attracted Lewis to the party at such a young age were, “the ideals behind it, the Constitution.” Even though her family wasn’t religious, she remembers telling her mother that her younger brothers and sisters had to go to church.
“I knew church was important. I do feel that Judeo-Christian values are fundamental to, and the basis for our society,” she said. Lewis recalls her mother would drive her and her siblings to church and drop them off, but wouldn’t attend. Lewis has faith in God but doesn’t consider herself a religious person.
She came to California to be an actor, but became involved in producing documentaries, and politics, and in the philosophy behind politics, because she says, “Politics affects every facet of life.” Lewis strives to cultivate a deep understanding of the United States Constitution and how it affects all that we do, say, and think.
“Many socialist progressives believe the Constitution is outdated, but it is precisely the Constitution which created America, and all the freedoms we enjoy are based on it. The Constitution is what has kept us freer, and stronger, than any country in the world.”
An avid reader, Lewis came to be a Republican through the economic vision of Ayn Rand. “It’s so on target for what’s happening right now. [Rand] says, ‘Ideas cannot be fought except by means of better ideas. The battle consists not of opposing but of exposing.’” In thinking about what can be done, Lewis believes it’s a matter of educating our children.
In the “Ayn Rand Lexicon,” Rand states, “For many decades, the leftists have been propagating the false dichotomy that the choice confronting the world is only: communism or fascism—a dictatorship of the left or of an alleged right—with the possibility of a free society, of capitalism, dismissed and obliterated, as if it had never existed.”
“Never has socialism been introduced into a country where it hasn’t been followed by tyranny and dictatorship, and the very first thing done in any dictatorship is to cut off free speech,” she says.
What’s amazing to Lewis is her belief that the socialist policy the democrats are advocating would limit their ability to express themselves. “I don’t think they’re following it to its logical conclusion. If more democrats realized and understood the tyranny that is sure to follow the social policies they’re advocating, I don’t believe they would support [those policies], because I don’t believe [those policies] support the values that they live by.”
She also shared about the irony of socialist-leaning celebrities currently making so much “capitalistic” income and their take on universal healthcare. To this, Lewis said, “The Democrats keep saying, ‘Everyone’s entitled to medical, everyone deserves to be taken care of. Universal healthcare is very important to life.’ Well, I think music is important to life, so I think, if the doctor can only charge $15 a visit, how about you only charge $15 a ticket for your music event (instead of $650) and give the rest to the government?” She makes an interesting point.
As to the most important element for changing the current political tide, and a way to get people back to traditional values, Lewis circles back to education and action being the keys. She believes in the importance of our Constitution. “It is the foundation of our freedom, and capitalism is the means by which we have become the strongest country the world has ever known. Yet, we have failed to teach our youth the value and importance of both,” she says.
Lewis continues to have private parties in her home, bringing in conservative authors and allowing them to speak. She wants Republicans and conservatives in Malibu to feel like they too are a part of the community.
“The Democrats are active and they spread the word; we need to do the same.”