Republicans pin their 2020 hopes on tricking voters into fearing the 'radical' Democrats in Congress
Republicans have made their strategy for the 2020 elections crystal-clear: going after the newly serving Democratic women of color in Congress. Given this, we can only anticipate conservatives becoming even more rabid over the next two years, ramping up their claims that progressive Democrats in the House are all socialists, who also happen to be anti-Semites that get a kick out of murdering unborn children. The New York Times reports that this is how Republicans hope to appeal to voters, and that they have unabashedly claimed this as their plan for victory going forward.
Of course, it’s always super fun for the GOP to make false claims about Democrats and paint them as out-of-control lefties who threaten the American way of life. But this time, it isn’t just business as usual. By pinning their hopes on this as a viable campaign and fundraising opportunity, Republicans are also hoping they can “strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy.”
Donald Trump used his State of the Union address as a test case, pointing to Democrats and their calls to adopt socialism in our country (not true) while also stating that recent abortion legislation in New York and Virginia that has been supported by Democrats would permit “a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth” (also not true). Unbothered by the tactic of using outright lies to dupe its voters, the rest of Trump’s party has gleefully jumped on the bandwagon— subsequently running digital ads and sending fundraising emails warning about the dangers of radical Democrats, especially Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
Of particular note is how Republicans continue to go after Ocasio-Cortez for anything and everything because they are obsessed with her. Right now, they are especially fixated on her sponsorship of the Green New Deal, a plan meant to transform the economy by investing in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure in order to combat the effects of climate change. Basically, they are hoping that they can do enough fearmongering and lying that their base will actually believe that the plan means scary Washington elites and the big, bad government will completely take over the energy and transportation sectors while stripping everyone of their health care. In other words, “socialism” on steroids. They’ve really spent a lot of time and energy concocting this lie, so much so that the national Republican Party wrote its own briefing paper about it titled “The Democrats’ Burgeoning Love Affair With Socialism.”
But here’s the thing Republicans fail to realize: When they aren’t being lied to with false claims, the majority of Americans actually support progressive policies to reduce healthcare costs, tax the rich for their fair share, preserve Social Security, work on infrastructure, and create jobs. This may be the strategy they think will flip some seats from blue to red. This also may be what they think secures Trump another term, as Democrats running for president try to court both progressives and right-leaning voters. But they still don’t have a coherent message other than hate, nor do they have one that is consistent with what Americans want—outside of Trump’s base. As Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, notes, it is Democrats who have the ideas and an agenda to help families. Bustos said, “Washington Republicans are set back now, and all they’re playing on is exaggerations and fear.”
If the midterms are any indication of what’s to come (and we have every reason to believe they are), this latest tactic of the GOP will fall short at the voting booth. Americans want and deserve sound policies that will uplift people, especially the ones struggling the most. We don’t need more hate speech and lies. Besides, given that this has been the strategy of the GOP for the last few years, how is it actually going to yield a different outcome for Republicans? It’s just more noise added to our political discourse. And while Republicans have proven that they can yell the loudest and longest, they have also shown time and time again that they don’t actually do anything to contribute to real change.