It is very clear that all Republicans, but especially President Donald Trump, are growing increasingly desperate as the midterm elections grow near.
While they had initially planned to base their November campaigns on the great economy and the wonderful benefits of their tax plan, they have discovered that those ideas aren’t working.
Most American voters know that neither the economy nor the tax plan benefit them, but instead benefit big corporations and the super-rich.
This has left Republican candidates grasping at straws to find issues and messages that resonate with swing voters. And what they are left with is their main fallback issue: racism.
The GOP has met with great success when they use racism, bigotry and fear to motivate voters. Because of this they have been able to sell average Americans on their programs which actually hurt average Americans economically.
The most recent example of this is the great danger (according to Trump) that Americans are facing from the “army” of migrants who have left Central America in a caravan, heading to invade the United States. If you listen to Trump and others on the right-wing you’d think that a few thousand poor refugees were threatening the very safety of the United States, with its 325 million people and a $20 trillion economy.
Trump has been tweeting about the dangers of the caravan almost nonstop. And he has been blaming Democrats for everything, and saying they need to pass new immigration laws. Of course he is ignoring the fact that the entire federal government — and two-thirds of state governments — are controlled by Republicans.
One tweet this morning illustrates Trump’s approach, and shows that he thinks race-based fear will help the GOP in this year’s elections:
“Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally.”
Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2018
Trump’s desperate ploys probably won’t salvage the midterms for the GOP, although his appeals to racism and fear have worked before.
In an opinion piece for The Hill, Juan Williams outlined other examples of Republican candidates basing their campaign messages on racism. In a piece entitled “GOP plays the bigotry card in midterms” Williams gave the following examples:
- “In California, Republican incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter is running an ad accusing his opponent of being a “radical Muslim” who tried to “infiltrate Congress.” Ammar Campa-Najja, the Democrat, is an American of Palestinian and Mexican ancestry who worked in President Obama’s White House.”
- “In Ohio, Republicans ran an ad against Democrat Aftab Pureval, suggesting that he supported terrorism backed by the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya. The only basis for that claim is that Pureval worked at a law firm that handled some Congressionally-mandated settlements for terrorism lawsuits against Libya.”
- “In Virginia, Republicans are trying to save Rep. Dave Brat by running an ad claiming his opponent, a former CIA operative, “doesn’t want us [voters] to know that she taught at an Islamic school nicknamed ‘Terror High,’ a terrorist breeding ground.” In reality, the school is an elite religious, prep school of Islamic Americans — the kind of religious private school Republicans typically support through voucher programs.”
Williams closes his piece by making a disturbing observation:
“With just over two weeks to go, we are now getting a clear picture of what the GOP’s closing argument will be to voters in the 2018 Midterms. It will be anti-immigrant bigotry. This is the frightening, ghoulish state of American politics in October 2018.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.