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Biden Pandemic COVID Education Elections MSM Politics Polls

Oh no! Lifelong Democrat Powerfully Turns on Biden Live On-Air, Dismantles Entire Party

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‘It’s Just Been Horrific’

Pennsylvania mother Beth Ann Rosica told “Fox and Friends” that she believes parents are “fed up” with inflation and gas prices.

Note: This story has been reported by multiple outlets. including: NY POST, Fox News, Western Journal, MSN, bixpacreview, and others. She has been active in West Chester, PA as a current school board member and previous Mayoral candidate. Previous news accounts describe her as a Libertarian.

A Pennsylvania woman registered as a Democrat for 34 years is making a party switch, citing many of the objections that are fueling middle-class voters to turn against the party.

Beth Ann Rosica broke down her transformation in a Thursday Fox News interview.

“As a former Democrat for 34 years prior to the pandemic, I too thought that the Democratic Party was really focused on the people that they pretend to support,” the Pennsylvania mother told “Fox & Friends” host Carley Shimkus.

“What I saw through the pandemic was that the Democratic Party basically abandoned all of those people.”

Rosica cited the Democratic Party’s mismanagement of the economy and sky-high inflation. The mother also cited big government’s failure to meet the educational needs of students, closing schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think the economy is huge, and I also think a lot of the school issues for parents across the state of Pennsylvania, it’s just been horrific watching what’s happened to our kids academically, socially, emotionally.”

“What I saw through the pandemic was that the Democratic Party basically abandoned all of those people,” Rosica explained.

“And so that was why I left the party, or as I like to say, the party really left me, and I think that a lot more people are really starting to see that.”

The Democratic Party has endured institutional decline in Pennsylvania and other Rust Belt states.

More than 8,000 registered Democrats in six western Pennsylvania counties have changed their party affiliation this year alone, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, while fewer than a third as many ex-Republicans have signed up as Democrats in the same counties.

Democrats have lost even more voters on a statewide basis, with 38,000 ex-Democrats joining the GOP.

In 2016, Donald Trump became the first Republican candidate to win the Keystone State since George H.W. Bush’s 1988 victory.

Republicans eye victories in Rust Belt states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan as key to potential “red waves” in 2022 and 2024.

The Democratic Party has historically painted itself as affiliated with the American middle class, but now longtime residents of Rust Belt states are questioning whether the party has abandoned that constituency in favor of large corporations and left-leaning billionaires on the coasts. [The answer to that is obvious — TPR]

Pennsylvania is slated to host hotly contested U.S. Senate and gubernatorial elections in November.

Republican Surgeon and television personality Mehmet Oz will face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, and Army veteran Doug Mastriano will face the state’s Democratic Attorney General, Josh Shapiro.

Pennsylvania has been one of the most stubbornly purple states in the union for the better part of a century: Since the close of World War II, Republican governors have served 10 terms in office in the state; Democrats have also held that office for 10 terms

Will the Red Wave hit Pennsylvania big?
Yes: 96% (3781 Votes)
No: 4% (149 Votes)
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Crime Leftist Virtue(!) Politics Polls

Oops! Lifelong Dem Turns on Party, Will Vote GOP for First Time After Murder of Her Son

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Erica Ingram, life long Dem, leaves the plantation.

Erica Ingram — a lifelong Democrat, whose 24-year-old son was shot and killed in front of their Cleveland home in 2019 — said she is strongly leaning toward voting for Republicans this election cycle.

Ingram singled out Ohio Republican U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance telling NBC News he best reflects her views about the current state of affairs.

“I can see him having compassion as to where the Democrats don’t have no compassion,” she said. “They’re, like, weak. They don’t fight hard enough as to where the Republicans get up there and they pull out all stops.”

See on twitter.

Republicans hold a strong advantage in the handling of crime in Americans’ minds, especially after the left’s whole defund the police thing in 2020,

Citing Cleveland Police Department figures, NBC News reported the city had 179 murders in 2020, its most ever, followed by its second-most in 2021, at 165.

A Gallup poll taken in April found concern over crime and violence at its highest level since 2016, with 53 percent saying that have a “great deal” of concern. “Great deal” of worry hasn’t reached majority since 2016

When combined with those who have a “fair amount” of concern, the number jumped to 80 percent.

Women, Republicans, city residents among most worried about crime

Not surprisingly Republicans hold a strong advantage in the handling of crime in Americans’ minds, especially after the left’s whole defund 0the police thing in 2020, during which Biden stayed pretty much silent.

An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted in April found Republicans have a 12 percentage point lead over Democrats.

“That’s a marked shift from last summer, when Americans were about evenly divided on which party is better positioned to contend with crime,” the Washington Post reported.

Voter frustration with progressives’ approach to handling crime can be seen in the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin last month.

Further south in Los Angeles, over 700,000 residents signed documents seeking to have their county’s district attorney, George Gascón recalled as well, citing his weak-on-crime policies.

These are two very obviously two Democrat-dominated cities, yet even there the left has lost a handle of where the people are concerning crime and violence.

The Associated Press reported last month that Democrats are doing more than saying they’ll vote Republican this election, they’re actually changing their party affiliation.

“More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year.”

“More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year,” according to voter registration data analyzed by the news organization.

“The previously unreported number reflects a phenomenon that is playing out in virtually every region of the country — Democratic and Republican states along with cities and small towns — in the period since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump,” the AP said.

The switch is most pronounced in the suburban counties outside of cities like Denver, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

“For example, in Lorain County, Ohio, just outside Cleveland, nearly every party switcher over the last year has gone Republican. That’s even as Democrats captured three-quarters of those changing parties in the same county during end of the Trump era,” according to the AP.

Fox News released its “Power Rankings” on Monday forecasting the GOP will retake the House of Representatives with at least seven seats to spare.

“With redistricting completed and the bulk of the primaries behind us, the Power Rankings model now reveals a clear advantage for the GOP in the House. With 218 seats required to take control, the GOP is forecast to take 225 seats to the Democrats’ 180 seats,” Fox News said.

The news outlet is marking 30 races as “toss-up” meaning the Republican majority could be much greater.

On the flip said, even if the Democrats win every toss-up race, they will still be in the minority as things stand now.

On the Senate side, the outcome is still much more up in the air, but favors a Republican takeover. The upper chamber is currently divided 50-50 between the parties.

Of the 34 seats up for election, 20 are in the solid red, likely red or lean red categories.

“The GOP has to win only two of the five toss-up races to take control of the Senate, whereas the Democrats need to win four of those races just to reach a 50-seat ‘majority’ with the aid of Vice President Kamala Harris,” according to Fox.

The five toss-up states are Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

Republicans are better on crime and many other issues, like the economy.

Expect many Democrats and Independents will be following Ingram’s example and look to the GOP to get the nation back on track after the disaster that is the Biden pResidency.

 

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Back Door Power Grab Biden Pandemic COVID Politics Polls Progressive Racism Reprints from others. Science

Moral Blinding: How the COVID-Prevention Fetish Killed Critical Thinking

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This article was written by Susan Dunham.

Feeling the fuzzies

Our first lockdown was like a great war effort. It was the closest we’ve come to the home-front experience of the World Wars, when people set aside every selfish thought in favor of the collective wellbeing. We ground our lives to a halt in a powerful rebuke against an emerging threat. Heroes emerged, along with new rituals to honor them as we banged pots for frontline workers and decorated our neighborhoods with messages of thanks. Meanwhile, the rest of us did our part: we stayed home. And it all felt good.

Months later, rising COVID cases have plunged us into another lockdown, which in short order has become a practiced routine. After a lax summer and fall season, we slip back into the usual stay-at-home restrictions. We triple our vigilance: we keep our distance, follow the masking rules, and sanitize compulsively. “Be safe,” we wish each other in lieu of the customary farewells. Even the fearless pitch in, because staying safe means preventing yourself from becoming a threat to others.

All of the prescribed safety practices have become part of a new social ritual. Participation demonstrates one’s commitment to the collective wellbeing, which the pandemic has taught us is not an individual game but a group effort. Masking, sanitizing, distancing, and isolating are not only safety measures in the traditional sense but they have also become the new signs of caring. And they are fast becoming a prerequisite for societal participation. No mask, no service says many signs in store windows, big and small.

As Canadians, long-renowned for politeness, compliance under these terms is practically built into the national DNA. Save for some pockets of protests in our larger cities, we have demonstrated a willingness to give up a little bit of our personal freedom for the greater good, and we embrace whatever is asked of us if it can save a life.

But is that really such a good thing? Could it be that our impassioned acceptance of drastic new norms makes us a little too willing to compromise on everything if we can be convinced it’s the righteous thing to do? And has our conscience been hijacked so that we consent to new norms that actually dismantle the progress we’ve made towards a free and open society?

I argue that the COVID crisis has turned a once liberal society into a cult of compliance and that we have sold off an open marketplace of ideas in a bid to secure our safety. In its place we have built a new social operating system that coerces consent and could one day render us incapable of seeing the true effects of policies that masquerade as public good..

Creating tunnel vision

While we were placing “Stay at Home” badges on top of our Instagram selfies, congratulating ourselves for staying inside, The World Food Program — an agency of the UN — was reporting that 130 million more people in developing nations would face starvation by the end of the year as a direct result of the global economy which we ground to a halt. That means tens of millions of additional deaths in developing countries because of lockdown.

At home we knew that suicide numbers must have skyrocketed and that countless unstable home lives turned dramatically worse, while food bank lines extended longer than we had ever seen them.

But rather than these realities sobering us out of our moral stupor, they instead inspired us to double-down on the categorical importance of lockdown, even as we were learning that most people are not at serious risk of severe illness. No cost was too high to prevent one more COVID case.

Months later, with better perspective on the costs of lockdown, we find ourselves in yet another one. Although we entered it with reduced appetite for the same kind of stringency we saw last spring, we have dutifully complied with everything that the case numbers have demanded. We’ve thrown out every skeptic thought, because the unquantified concerns of mental health, childhood developmental delay, economic collapse, and mass death by starvation the world over do not hold an audience more powerfully than the running tally of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

The constant beat of daily broadcast COVID briefings and the bombardment of public health messaging play no small part in constructing our perception of the coronavirus threat. Reshaping our lives to avoid a virus seems logical and inevitable when the only metric we’re allowed to hear is the COVID numbers. How naturally all other facets of life seem to fall away when we are properly obsessed over a single problem to the exclusion of all others.

This curation of concern single-handedly drives our collective reaction to the emergent coronavirus. Our laser focus on all things COVID creates a kind of team spirit in the wellness effort, encouraging our embrace of the pain-loving self sacrifice of lockdown — and blinding us to both its costs and its alternatives.

Affirming the course

By now we should have heard from our public health policy-makers that instead of blanket lockdown, we might opt for a model that is business-as-usual with the exception of a full marshaling of resources aimed at those who self-identify as vulnerable and full support for only their isolation. We don’t question the absence of this suggestion because we have been so locked onto the altruistic idea of self-sacrifice for the greater good that any kind of debate would seem selfishly motivated.

Instead we indulge in the joy of pitching-in and doing good, while remaining guiltlessly ignorant of the fact that history might look back upon lockdown as a devastating mistake. Meanwhile, we collect our CERB cheques and boast about the moral virtues of remaining indefinitely couch-bound. Thus we are placated by a public health policy that we should be debating at the very least.

The great opiate of public health stewardship makes us feel so assured of our righteousness that questioning health regulations is morally suspect. We look unkindly at the oppositional thinker, the lockdown skeptic who threatens to upend the whole care-making experience of the COVID era. Whereas normally we would give skeptical voices vital consideration, especially before embracing the drastic new normal we’ve been handed, we instead condemn them out of hand because we are pre-conditioned to despise their very premise.

Much analysis is given to the pandemic response on the government level, but it is our pandemic response on the social level which will prove the most significant to history, because that is where the true forces of lasting change carve out their legacies.

The on-the-ground tensions between the majority of us who embrace policy and those who don’t is the effect of a social phenomenon which has demonstrated an enormous capacity to reshape our world. What we are gripped by is a peculiar kind of collective blindness disguised as goodwill and righteousness that turns us against all forms of debate on public policy so long as it is positioned correctly.

Dehumanizing the rebel

Toronto’s first lockdown protest in April drew the ire of a vocal majority who denounced participants as selfish, small-minded, ignorant, and reckless. These were anti-science bigots whose ideas literally endangered lives. They thumbed their noses at the new rituals which were meanwhile bringing the city together. The protests grew in number and in frequency into the summer months. Demonstrators were spared no ill will by the court of public opinion. Many commentators openly wished they see their comeuppance in the form of a hospital bed, and such tidings were met with all round applause.

There is no moral standing, as we see it, from which to question the edicts of the health experts. Our enthusiastic focus on the wellness effort has morphed into a complete intolerance for debate on the issue. We are so emboldened by our collective struggle that we feel morally justified in throwing all opposition into the fire.

Thus we’ve become locked into a radical, all-in moral defense of new and unprecedented rules. Such a rabid mode of categorical compliance establishes a dangerous low in our capacity for critically, rather than emotionally, perceiving the issues we face. We now despise rebellious thinking, even if those deviant ideas might be our life raft out of dangerous waters.

While the Coronavirus is often said to have brought out the best in us — with our pot-banging and our well-wishing — all of this team-building has produced, almost by necessity, a dark response to doubting voices.

Silencing doubt

SARS-COV-2 has changed our reaction to voices that oppose the crowd. Whereas in the past, outlier thinking, skepticism of mainstream messaging and policy makers, nonconformity in the face of social pressure were all tolerated if not welcomed, now we deem these things dangerous, not stimulating.

The pain of the pandemic, which has shown us what can happen when people adopt the wrong kinds of opinions, has made us hypersensitive to regressive views on other global issues like climate change, vaccination, social justice, even politics, in which the actions of the individual can affect the group. We have seen the consequence of too much freedom of thought in the form of lockdowns and packed ICUs, and we bristle to think what future crises might unfold if the wrong opinions gain traction again.

So we put extra effort into vilifying harmful views. If we have to contend with freedom of speech and freedom of thought, then we get around that obstacle by making unsafe views so socially toxic that they’re more dangerous for the speaker than they are for society. Be caught courting an unsanctioned idea and get branded an enemy of the public good. Suddenly yesterday’s eccentric thinker is today’s ignorant, selfish, uneducated bigot.

The ideological cooling effect of such a social mechanism is an effective tool for steering opinion and, as the pandemic has demonstrated, behavior too.

Saving face

Universal masking and protocol compliance has been so effectively adopted precisely because it has become socially untenable to do otherwise. To be caught without a mask, that brilliant piece of cloth that shows you care, is to forfeit your status as a well-meaning member of society.

And so we have it that much of the moral fetishization of COVID protocols — the excessive displays of complying well beyond the public guidelines — has become a way of signifying ideological affinity. So repellent is the image of the COVID skeptic that COVID compliance has become as much about self-image as it is about public safety — if not more.

We find ourselves trapped within a new social formula in which conformity is social currency. The more one over-performs the prescribed duties and rituals of the good citizen, the more approval is bestowed, and the more distance the performer creates between themselves and the looming image of the social monster.

In this paradigm, independent thinking — synthesizing available data into more nuanced or perhaps contradictory conclusions — is taboo. The social rewards of conformity far outweigh the immoral stink of rebellious thought. It simply becomes no longer worth the shame, stigma, self-doubt, and the bother of holding and sharing a competing idea.

There is no end in sight to this new model now that we have set it into motion. It has been embraced during pandemic and the gears are already turning to point this machinery towards other global efforts. It is our new social operating system — and it has already proven its capacity to reshape society without limitation. Consider how absurd the notion would have been just over a year ago that it would be reprehensible to be caught barefaced in a grocery store. What absurdities today will we reconstruct as the moral obligations of tomorrow?

We now have a framework for coercing total compliance to new and changing rules and rituals, which need no backing by logic or sense. How many truly contradictory public protocols do we now follow for the sake of optics alone? We jump into the street to give space to fellow pedestrians even though there is no realistic concern for transmission in this way. Proof and reason become redundancies — at most, formalities. If the Coronavirus ever ceases to be a concern, how many people will truly abandon masking when it has become so ingrained as a symbol of prudence and altruism? Compliance becomes its own end when its made synonymous with moral good.

And thus a moral blinding has stricken society. COVID-19 has gathered us so tightly around the bonfire of cooperation, either by conversion or coercion, that we have found no better place to be, and we have lost our tolerance for anyone refusing to join. We’ve completely annexed our capacity to judge what is being asked of us dispassionately, leaving open an unguarded pathway to our consent through both our heartstrings and our self-image.

Losing Control

The foundation is laid for future incursions into our daily normal, which have no hope of encountering resistance. The next radical social change need only be positioned as the next good thing, and even in the mind of the conflicted individual, doubt will be set aside in favor of appearance. Woe to anyone with the misfortune of disagreeing, because an intense, scapegoating hatred for those who do not comply will justify any manner of policy, punishment, and correction against them. And social spoils will await the loudest and most zealous followers and enforcers of whatever new normal the future cooks up.

We have burned our safety net against tyranny. Rather than doing the hard thing, respecting an individual’s right to self-direction even at a marginal expense of safety, we wage war on thought, between right-think and wrong-think, good action versus bad action so that we may burn every deviant in our path.

Sealing our fate

Through a system of self-adulating social rituals, single-minded public messaging, and stigmatization of the uncooperative, we have lost our capacity to see the shades of gray between extremes and to recognize the fundamental merits of debate and the freedom to dissent. We now prefer that every last skeptic be shamed into compliance, as if the benefit of that is worth the cost of forcing a free society into a hive mind.

We have so easily forgotten that it is in the dialectic of competing views — some for this side, others for that side — that we prevent any one extreme from over-dominating. And it is precisely by the moral exclusion of oppositional views that a population finds itself one day in a world it doesn’t recognize.

So while the world stampedes in lockstep towards new extremes of safety protocols, we are in danger of a well-intentioned agenda breaking away from itself and running ahead of its own mandate if there is no one left to one day challenge it.

And yet the average person shakes their head to learn of the latest citizen to defy protocol.

In just a few short months, the old liberal mindset that would have called for a balance between safety and liberty, that would have rejected the idea that science offers only one way through a crisis, that would have accepted the foundational need for some dissent, has eroded into a culture of compliance. To obey is to care. That is the equation that has reprogrammed our social order. And if it might benefit us today, it could more easily hurt us tomorrow, the next time something to which we wouldn’t normally consent finds that tested appeal to our hearts.

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Back Door Power Grab Corruption How sick is this? Politics Polls The Courts

Clarence Thomas Responds To Supreme Court Leak – And Bully Left-wing Activists

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas isn’t backing down.

Amazing how fast these PROFESSIONALLY printed signs showed up. Coincidence?

While speaking in Atlanta, he addressed the Roe v Wade draft leak for the first time.

Justice Thomas said that the Supreme Court can’t be “bullied” into giving decisions.

Fox News reported:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas dismissed the idea of pressuring the court for desirable outcomes at a judicial conference Friday.

Thomas spoke at the 11th Circuit judicial conference in Atlanta this week, where he discussed the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion for the first time. The opinion would overturn Roe v. Wade if made official, sparking panic among Democrats and protests against the court.

“We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that.,” Thomas said, according to reports.

Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with him:

“A leak of this stature is absolutely appalling,” Roberts said. “If the person behind it thinks that it will affect our work, that’s just foolish.”

Immediately after the leak, Democrats attempted to bully the court into ruling in favor of Roe v Wade.

A far-left group doxxed the addresses of Supreme Court Justices who are votes against Roe v Wade – they have protests planned at their houses.

Plus, Democrat Chuck Schumer announced that a vote would be held attempting to make abortion up to birth a federal law.

Breitbart reported:

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Thursday announced the Senate will vote on abortion legislation, via the Women’s Health Protection Act, Wednesday.

This legislation “would enshrine abortion on demand and up-to-birth in federal law as well as void all state laws aimed at protecting the lives of the unborn.”

The vote is likely to fail bigly. Democrats need 60 Senate votes to pass the legislation. And polling shows that public opinion may be at odds with Schumer: Democrats have failed to secure a majority consensus among voters to enact abortion legislation, a Wednesday Politico/Morning Consult poll revealed. Only 47 percent support codifying Roe v. Wade. Fifty-three percent of the electorate either oppose abortion legislation or have no opinion.

Democrats are desperate!

You go,  Justice Thomas!

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Elections Politics Polls

Analysis: Hispanic Shift To GOP Is Building

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The midterm elections are looking even worse for Democrats.

A voting analysis of counties in Texas is confirming that the Hispanic shift to the GOP is not slowing down.

The political consulting company Ryan Data & Research published a report showing Republicans are outpacing Democrats in voter enthusiasm.

Fox News reported:

Early voting analysis in two primarily Hispanic counties along the Texas border suggests Republicans are outpacing Democrats in voter enthusiasm and perhaps turnout, and Hispanic politicians in the state tell Fox News that its indicative of a larger trend.

A report from the political consulting company Ryan Data & Research shows that Republicans are 76% of the way to matching 2018 turnout in Cameron County, Texas along the southern border with Mexico with eight days remaining until Election Day. In Hidalgo County, which also sits on the border with Mexico, turnout is 65% of the way to matching 2018.

On the Democrat side, the party is only 59% of the way to matching 2018 turnout in Cameron County and 47% of the way in Hidalgo County.

Hispanic political candidates and operatives in Texas told Fox News that the early data points to a larger trend of Hispanic voters, especially in the Rio Grande Valley, supporting Republican candidates in areas that have been predominantly controlled by Democrats for decades.

This is another sign in a long list of signs that Democrats are losing support.

Pollsters have also warned the Democrats that they are going to lose the working class of races due to their radical policies.

The American people are turning against the Democrat Party.

Original here: Gateway Pundit

 

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Elections Politics Polls

Latinas Are Pushing a Political Revolution in South Texas—to the Right

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Monica De La Cruz, Mayra Flores, and Adrienne Peña Garza, all from Hidalgo County, hope to flip congressional seats across the region.

Monica De La Cruz on the campaign trail.

Adrienne Peña Garza remembers the insults at least as vividly as her triumphs. In 2018, Peña succeeded in her campaign to lead the Hidalgo County Republican Party, based in McAllen, becoming the first Hispanic woman to sit as chairwoman. As someone proud to call herself raza (a word Mexicans use to describe themselves as a race), a woman of color, and a Latina, the win meant something special to Peña: it wasn’t just for her, but for South Texans who looked like her. That feeling of warm pride, however, soon clashed with the caustic burn of scorn. When she began leading meetings at the HCRP office, two women swung a sledgehammer outside, smashing open a coconut. The symbolism wasn’t subtle. With the shell cracked, Peña could see the brown on the outside and the white on the inside.

In 2018, that disdain from fellow Mexican Americans was not unusual for Republicans in Hidalgo County, especially with then-president Donald Trump in the Oval Office. In response to the indignities, Peña formed deep connections with the other Latinas who came in the HCRP office doors. In particular, Peña remembers when she met Monica De La Cruz and Mayra Flores. De La Cruz, a local insurance agent, started attending meetings the same year that Peña was elected head of the local party, and eventually volunteered as a precinct chair. In 2019, Flores, a respiratory nurse whose husband is a Border Patrol officer, began coming in for events supporting immigration agents during the government worker furlough. Peña recalls how the two immediately brought fresh energy into the office, as if someone had turned on music in a room that had been quiet. “I just thought, ‘Wow. You’ve got that something,’” Pena says. “‘And we need your help.’”

Through 2019 and 2020, the women worked to increase Republican turnout in South Texas, with Flores running the HCRP’s Spanish-language outreach. For the most part, they toiled outside of the spotlight. Even when De La Cruz announced a bid to try to unseat two-term Democratic congressman Vicente Gonzalez, national Republicans—and even the statewide GOP—paid little attention to her campaign. South Texas was still a blue firewall, a place where it seemed Republicans had no chance of winning. Some counties there had not elected a Republican in more than one hundred years, and in 2016 Trump hadn’t mustered even 30 percent of the vote in Hidalgo County, where Gonzalez’s district was anchored. Most of the time, the local news painted conservatives such as Peña as outspoken but hopelessly outnumbered in deep blue South Texas, like horseflies biting cattle down in the Rio Grande.

Then everything changed. The political world of deep South Texas was rocked in November of 2020 when Trump smashed expectations in all the counties along the Rio Grande, transforming once-clear political boundaries in Texas into disputed territory—and leading Democrats around the country to question whether they were losing Hispanic voters. Republican politicians from Governor Greg Abbott to U.S. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy made pilgrimages to South Texas in the months after the election. Money and resources have followed: hundreds of thousands of dollars have poured into midterm races for House seats, and the Republican National Committee opened new Hispanic community centers in Laredo, McAllen, and San Antonio. On the local level, Republican organizations like “Project Red Texas” have paid the filing fees for a bevy of local candidates across South Texas.

Overnight, local underdog political leaders, such as De La Cruz, Peña, and Flores, became conservative celebrities. The attention has both stunned and emboldened the Hidalgo County women. After the election, Peña had her name in publications as high-profile as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. (When a photo of her ran on the cover of this magazine, she and her family bought over a hundred copies.) This year, after Peña launched her reelection campaign for HCRP chair, she received a video endorsement from Donald Trump Jr.

Flores, meanwhile, saw her star rise most vividly on social media. On both Instagram and Facebook (where she was already popular before the election), she gained tens of thousands of followers from all over the country. She declared a bid for Congress shortly after the 2020 election. “#SomosConservadores,” she captioned a post last February announcing a bid for Congress to represent the Thirty-fourth Congressional District, which spans the western RGV and parts of the Gulf Coast, and extends as far north as  San Antonio. After her announcement, Thomas Homan—the ICE director turned Fox News talking head—gave his endorsement, as did Texas congressional representatives Beth Van Duyne and Pat Fallon.

De La Cruz also saw her celebrity skyrocket. In 2020, when she ran against Gonzalez in Texas’s Fifteenth Congressional District, which stretches like an exclamation mark from the Rio Grande Valley up north to Seguin, the incumbent had expected to coast to victory, as he had in 2018 when he won almost 60 percent of the vote. De La Cruz nearly took him down, coming within three points. Then, following Trump’s lead, she refused to accept the loss, baselessly alleging fraud. When she made it clear she would run again in 2022, McCarthy, the minority leader, declared her a GOP “Young Gun,” one of the upstart congressional candidates whom the party will throw money behind in this election cycle; endorsements from Senator Ted Cruz and Houston congressman Dan Crenshaw soon followed. The Fifteenth, fresh off a round of redistricting to make it more favorable for the GOP, is considered the only truly competitive congressional seat in Texas, and De La Cruz has enjoyed immense support from all levels of her party.

Republican victory this November is far from a given; South Texas has yet to elect a single Republican member of Congress. If De La Cruz and Flores both win their races, however, they wouldn’t just be the first in their party to be elected in the Fifteenth and Thirty-fourth districts, respectively—they would also be the first women elected to Congress from anywhere in deep South Texas, the borderlands from Laredo down into the Rio Grande Valley. Meanwhile, if Peña wins reelection to chair the Hidalgo County GOP in March, she’ll be one of four Latina GOP chairwomen in the RGV’s five counties.

This marks a remarkable shift: for generations, South Texas border politics have been dominated by men—and often their male heirs. Politically powerful families, some with towns named after their ancestors, have frequently passed down political offices like heirlooms. Other onetime political newcomers, such as Representative Henry Cuellar (the child of migrant workers, and the incumbent in Texas’s Twenty-eighth, anchored in Laredo), have held office for decades, forming powerful grips on local politics.

That female candidates—Latinas—are now the most poised to change South Texas politics is not a complete coincidence. Trump improved his approval rating among Hispanic women in 2020 significantly more than in many other demographic groups. And besides their conservative ideologies and expansive political platforms, candidates like De La Cruz and Flores offer a vivid sense of something new. Many voters, even those who will vote blue this year, are tired of the unwieldy Democratic Party program in South Texas, which, as with any party machine that spends decades in power, has become convoluted, rigid, and prone to insider politics.

But perhaps the clearest answer to why women like De La Cruz, Flores, and Peña find themselves at the forefront of conservative politics in South Texas is simple: they’re the ones who were there, doing the work, organizing and striving before anyone was paying attention.

At her office in Alamo, Monica De La Cruz greets me with the industrial-strength warmth of a consummate politician. During our late January interview, an ear-to-ear grin that spreads up to her eyes never fades. It’s a face set with the sort of confidence I’ve known dancers to practice in the mirror, but De La Cruz might not need to feign happiness. Things seem to be going her way. She’s got hundreds of thousands of dollars in the war chest, and none of her eight primary opponents in the Fifteenth can boast her eighteen endorsements from current members of Congress. If she makes it to the general election, she’ll no longer need to face an incumbent: after Republican gerrymandering redrew boundaries, the incumbent, Vicente Gonzalez, chose to run to the east in the Thirty-fourth, a district the Republican-led Legislature packed with Democratic voters, where Flores is running. Meanwhile, the Fifteenth—already mockingly known as “the fajita strip” for its farcically long shape—got sharpened down like a pencil, as Republicans shaved out counties that favored Democrats, turning a district that favored Biden by 2 points into one that would have favored Trump by 3. Local Democrats, forced to scramble at the last minute to find a replacement for Gonzalez, have not coalesced behind any one candidate.

Despite De La Cruz’s newfound political stardom, her campaign still has some of the trappings of her underdog 2020 run—what she calls her “true grassroots” first effort. De La Cruz’s office is a nondescript building off U.S. 83, where she works as an insurance agent. (Incidentally, Apple Maps will navigate a person to a nearby used car dealership if one searches for her office on the app.) But today De La Cruz speaks like someone who already has an office on Capitol Hill. Her answers acrobatically return, without fail, to bullet points from her stump speech. When I ask why she first decided to run, she brings the question back to border control: she says the thousands of migrants crossing the border in 2019 convinced her of a need for change. When I ask her how, if she wins, she intends to represent disparate constituencies in her large district, she brings the question back to border control: “The number one issue from the south to north is border security.” When I ask what she plans on doing when she first gets to Washington, she once again brings the question back to border control: “The first thing I’ll do if elected to Congress is to meet with our Border Patrol leaders and be their voice.”

Unsurprisingly, De La Cruz’s first campaign commercial, released in January, also focuses on the border: it was filmed largely in front of the wall in Hidalgo County. In the spot, De La Cruz emphasizes her identity as an American: “I’m Monica De La Cruz and I love America,” she says. She then holds up a photo of her grandmother. “As a mom, I teach my kids to follow the rules, just like my grandma did, when she legally immigrated from Mexico. But Joe Biden abandoned us, and our border, transforming our country with drugs, gangs, and violence.” As she speaks, images of asylum seekers crossing the border flash on screen with what look like stock images of cocaine bundles and tattooed gang members. 

Focusing on immigration is an interesting pitch to make in TX-15, where more than a quarter of residents are immigrants, and many voters have families with mixed status—a parent, a tío, a cousin who is undocumented. I ask De La Cruz if she worries about alienating would-be voters who think her rhetoric—like Trump’s messaging—portrays border crossers as dangerous criminals or, at its worst, denigrates Mexican Americans as an entire ethnic group. De La Cruz’s answers are not conciliatory. “If the people in South Texas were frustrated by President Trump’s narrative of the wall and of people coming illegally, then this district would not have swung eighteen points in his favor,” she said.

The data undercuts that argument a bit. Besides the fact that Trump and De La Cruz both lost in 2020, De La Cruz’s support largely came from far from the border. While she handily won more northern—and much more Anglo—counties like Guadalupe (roughly halfway between San Antonio and Austin), her vote total plummeted closer to the border, and especially in majority Hispanic districts. In Hidalgo County, De La Cruz flopped: she didn’t manage even 40 percent of the vote.

Another fact that makes De La Cruz’s emphasis on the border peculiar is that the border is not the primary issue for most voters in South Texas. Polling from Cambio Texas, a progressive advocacy organization that has headquarters based not far from De La Cruz’s office, in Pharr, found that among South Texas voters who supported Trump, the most important issues, by far, were the economy and health care. Of the 512 voters surveyed, only 14 percent said border security or immigration was their primary concern. (The border wall itself can also be a wedge issue among conservatives. Even among voters who want to see enhanced border security and who support the Border Patrol, the idea of a physical barrier—an ugly scar along the river with a dolorous environmental impact—can give some pause. In recent years, I’ve spoken with Republicans in Zapata and Starr counties who want to see a wall on much of the border—just not in their backyard. They’re worried it could cause flooding.)

De La Cruz’s emphasis on the wall, however, might not be entirely about courting voters in TX-15: instead, it’s about securing national endorsements, as well as fund-raising from Republicans around the country. According to FEC filings, more than 40 percent of De La Cruz’s campaign contributions have come from outside of Texas, with maximum contributions reached by donors including a hedge fund CEO in New York City and a ski resort owner in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. De La Cruz offers a vision made to play nationally among Trump voters: a Latina who is an American first; a Mexican American whose family came legally; and a border resident who wants to see Trump’s wall completed.

Indeed, although she says it’s exciting to see Latinas carrying the GOP banner in South Texas, De La Cruz stresses that her candidacy isn’t about ethnicity; it’s only about America. “The fact that women leaders like Adrienne, like Mayra, are willing to sacrifice their careers, the time with their family, in order to be leaders in this movement and awakening is just a testament of this country,” De La Cruz says. “And the fact that truly, anyone, everybody has an opportunity—whether you’re male or female, whether you’re Hispanic or non-Hispanic—if you’re willing to sacrifice and work hard for the opportunity, the road to the American dream is there.” (For De La Cruz, part of that sacrifice has been her privacy. In the midst of a bitter divorce, publications as varied as the Washington Post and People have broadcast the sordid details of her clashes with her estranged husband.)

Where once De La Cruz bonded with Peña and Flores over feeling ignored by the broader party and disrespected by local Democrats, today there’s a sense of excitement. De La Cruz speaks as if she’s already won her race, and, in a way, she has won something: she’s being taken seriously, dead seriously, by both national Republicans and national Democrats.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CZelyc9syK0/

Like tens of thousands of others, I first encountered Mayra Flores through her social media. On Instagram and Facebook, she’s cracked the code of the conservative mass media: a mix of political memes, earnest prayers, and constant, seething resentment. On Facebook, she’s called for a militarized response against immigration across the border (“Send Troops To Our Southern Border Not Europe,” read a recent post). On Instagram, she talks about Democrats “destroying America.” She’s also made at least a subtle appeal to followers of QAnon-style conspiracy theories, captioning some photos with “#Q” and “#QAnon,” as well as with the conspiracy movement’s slogan (“Where we go one, we go all”).

I was surprised, then, by the Mayra Flores whom I met for coffee at He Brews Life Cafe, an evangelical coffee shop in McAllen. Flores spoke with clear compassion for undocumented immigrants and families arriving at the border, she seemed eager to represent both Republicans and Democrats in her district and work across the aisle in Congress, and she explicitly condemned the QAnon web of conspiracy theories and its supporters. She spoke with an optimism that belies the odds stacked against her: even if she clears the primary, the Fifteenth, as currently constructed, went for Biden, and Gonzalez has over $2 million to spend compared with the $180,000 Flores has raised.

Flores does not read like your average Republican candidate for Congress. She was born in Burgos, Tamaulipas, Mexico’s easternmost border state with Texas, where she still has relatives who have been waiting for years for visas as the region becomes more dangerous. At six years old, she immigrated with her family to the Rio Grande Valley, where her parents had come to work the fields. In her adolescence, Flores worked alongside them, picking cotton in Memphis, Texas, to raise money for clothes and school supplies. Growing up, Flores saw firsthand the discrimination that the undocumented face in this country. When she traveled with her family to pick onions in Georgia one year, she saw managers denigrate and underpay some of the workers. When she asked her father why they were being treated that way, he answered, “Porque no tiene papeles”(“Because they don’t have papers”).

Flores’s intense pride in her mexicanidad (her Mexican-ness) can seem at odds with her willingness to parrot Trumpian messaging that portrays Mexico as a country overwhelmed with violence, sending criminals and drugs across the border. She admits that the issue of immigration is difficult for her. She struggles to find the rhetorical nuance that captures the unique perspective she has, as someone who is both Mexican and American and as an immigrant married to a Border Patrol agent. Her idiosyncratic position means that she has felt out of place politically in the Republican Party at times. She remembers a GOP operative once telling her he couldn’t trust her or other Hispanic candidates in Congress because “Y’all always vote Democrat.” She also says she’s had Democrats tell her to go back to her own country and call her a slur for border-crosser.

But she says she’s been a conservative all her life, and describes volunteering and meeting other Hispanic Republicans as the culmination of a long awakening. Despite her father’s Democratic politics, Flores says she was raised with “strong conservative values,” among them a fierce work ethic and undying bootstrap-ism. The most animating political issue for her is abortion. “How can you say you have South Texas values if you’re not pro-life? South Texas is pro-life,” she says. (Much as De La Cruz pivots reflexively back to the border, Flores repeats that second sentence many times over the almost two hours we speak.) Flores says that once, while she was marching in an anti-abortion rally in a MAGA hat, a man accosted her in Spanish, calling her “vendida,” the word for sellout, traitor. “Eres hipócrito,” she shot back at him. She continued, in Spanish: “You’re here marching for the lives of the innocent, but in November you’re going to vote pro-abortion? Shame on you. You shouldn’t be here.”

Flores can comprehend why tensions run high, especially in an immigrant community. When I ask if she worries that her fearmongering on the border might demonize others like her, she’s quick to agree that one must be careful with one’s language. “Absolutely I understand—and that’s when I say that there are good people coming. They want to come here for the American dream and work hard,” she said.

When pushed, it becomes clear how Flores supports aggressive border enforcement while still caring about those crossing the border: Though her campaign’s immigration messaging focuses on protecting Americans, she believes a tightly controlled border is also in the best interests of would-be immigrants. “There are good people wanting to come here,” she says. “But I don’t want the good people to go through that journey; I don’t want them to sacrifice that much. So how do we help them and guide them to do it the right way?” She also believes a stricter enforcement of immigration laws domestically is necessary to prevent undocumented immigrants from being exploited for their labor. It’s a restrictionist talking point already popular among politicians (including those in the Biden administration): that deterrence—making the border impossible to cross—is actually compassionate, because it discourages people from making the dangerous journey northward.

The theory does not often dwell on how many migrants coming north are also leaving a place where it’s impossible to stay. When I ask Flores what should be done about the those already here who are hoping for legal status, or those arriving on the border desperate, she again invokes her family waiting for visas in Mexico. “The people already in line, we should focus on them first,” she says. When I ask again what is to be done with the others not in that line, she says, “We absolutely need bipartisan immigration reform.”

Flores’s contradictions and complexities are a form of indigestion, as she tries to metabolize her own lived experience with the orthodoxies of conservatives in the Trump era. Nowhere is the strain more apparent than in her social media presence: her organic political beliefs and bold perspective on what Hispanic conservatism can look like has earned her a dedicated following. But she’s also consumed and regurgitated all the key takes that have gone viral in conservative media spaces; she believes the election was stolen from Trump. (In our interviews she said she condemned the January 6 insurrectionists. But on the day of the violent attempted takeover of the Capitol, she posted a photo on Instagram of what appeared to be crowd on the DC streets, with the words “PROUD AMERICAN” in bold over it.) She’s strongly in favor of beefing up voter ID laws. And while the memes slamming Democrats are often hilarious, they add up to a clear point: “owning the libs” is, for Flores, a legitimate political priority.

What’s behind the rise of Latinas in GOP politics in the valley? There’s a unique politics brewing among South Texas conservatives. Candidates speak in the same way as progressives on issues of identity, using the language of “representation,” but repurposed for a conservative audience. In interviews, Peña often brings up the fact that she’s the first Hispanic woman to chair the Hidalgo Republicans. And Flores gets solemn when she talks about how she feels about running for Congress as a Mexican-born Latina. “When elected in November, I will be the first Mexican American [born in Mexico] in the Republican party,” she says. (That’s not entirely true: New Mexico Republican politician Octaviano Larrazolo, the first-ever Hispanic member of the Senate, was born in Chihuahua in 1859; but Flores would be the first since Larrazolo left office in 1929.) When it comes to why Latinas are leading a political charge from the right, Flores attributes it in part to the fact that our communities often look to our matriarchs for moral guidance.

For the national Republican party, the value of identity is simpler and more strategic: putting a Latina like De La Cruz in Congress could send a clear message that the party is serious about shaking its long-term image as a white men’s club; that the tent is getting bigger. And in Texas, where Hispanics are on the precipice of becoming the largest ethnic group, Republicans’ ability to attract Hispanic voters is a matter of political survival. Candidates like De La Cruz and Flores know that and are capitalizing on that newfound power. After being ignored for decades, they have a voice in Texas conservatism. “Everywhere I go, I tell the party, you need to start investing in Hispanic community now,” Flores says. “I tell people it’s beyond Mayra Flores, it’s beyond Monica De La Cruz—if we don’t start investing in the Hispanic community to vote Republican now, we will lose the state in ten years.”

This article first appeared in Texas Monthly

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Biden Pandemic Corruption Crime Opinion Polls

Thank Joe Biden and the left. Crime surge nationwide. Especially in the cities.

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Thank Joe Biden and the left. Crime surge nationwide. Especially in the cities. 2020 was the year of the BLM and Antifa race wars. Wars against Police and Capitalism. Well since Joe came into office, it hasn’t let up. If you don’t believe me, even CNN gets it for once.

The number of homicides continues to rise in major American cities following a year that saw a record increase in homicides across the country, according to a report published Thursday by the Council on Criminal Justice.

A study of homicides during the first six months of this year in 22 cities showed that the number of murders increased by 16% compared to the same period in 2020 and by 42% compared to the first six months of 2019.

 

 

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Biden Pandemic Opinion Politics Polls

What America thinks about Joe. You can’t make this stuff up.

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The Poll can be found here.

What America thinks about Joe. You can’t make this stuff up.  Americans are catching onto President Joe Biden; they are beginning to see what Democrats, along with CNN and MSNBC, et al, so successfully hid from them during last year’s presidential election campaign.  Voters are discovering that they elected a shell of a president, a frequently addled man without conviction or force who’s every campaign promise was entirely bogus.

A brand new Economist/YouGov poll contains alarming readings for Biden and his party:

  1. 39% of those polled think Joe Biden says what he believes; 44% think he says what people want to hear;
  2. 38% are confident “in Joe Biden’s ability to deal wisely with an international crisis,” while 46% are “uneasy”;
  3. 41% think Joe Biden is “honest and trustworthy” but 42% thinks he is not;
  4. The nation is split on whether Biden actually “cares” about people like them;
  5. Only 21% think Biden can bring the country together; 53% do not;
  6. 51% think Biden is “liberal” or “very liberal” and only 27% think he is “moderate.

 

Democrats created an artificial shortage of workers to fuel the recovery by paying people more to stay at home than to return to work. Businesses large and small are having to pay up to hire staff and are passing those costs along in increased prices.

Pay for private industry employees rose 3.1% in the second quarter, the most since 2008. https://www.bls.gov/ect/ That’s good news for workers, except that the increase was more than eaten up by a price hike during the same period of more than 5 percent.

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Polls

Poll. If Joe Biden is declared the winner, will you be part of the loyal opposition?

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[poll id=”5″]

 

If Joe Biden is declared the winner, will you be part of the loyal opposition? I for one will be. So please vote Yes or No.

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Polls

Poll. After repeated warnings. Government worker is always on social media while at work. Should they be fired?

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[yop_poll id=”9″]

Poll. After repeated warnings. Government workers are always on social media while at work. Should they be fired? So there you have it. Government workers, workers being paid by the tax payer being on social media. Twitter, Facebook, Disqus, etc. Is that a good use of taxpayer money?  And what if they’re also involved in their home business on company time?

What say you?

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Any threat especially against law enforcement or politicians will get you banned.