Biden Pandemic Corruption COVID Economy Elections Links from other news sources. Politics Polls

Democrats Want Amnesty For The COVID Lockdowns! (Surprise, surprise!)

Views: 46

Thanks to on substack for this article.

America’s corrupt political class — Democrat and Republican — are looking to put the last two years of mask mandates, school closures, mandatory shots, and COVID lockdowns in the rear-view mirror. They don’t want to be voted out of office for destroying your life. That would be called accountability and there’s nothing that America’s ruling-class-pretending-to-be-public-servants dislike more than accountability.

Instead, they want a truce without counting the costs. They want an amnesty without judgment — and certainly without hearings. They want you to grant them toxic forgiveness.

What’s toxic forgiveness — you ask?

That’s why the ruling class sent out its useful idiots — fourth-rate people like David French and Emily Oster — to see if, you know, the American public was in the mood to forgive them right before the next election. If you are ever asked the name of the very last person on earth to believe that the COVID vaccines work, you can tell them: it was David French.

Matthew J. Peterson at New Founding summed up the Democrats’ fake apology tour in four tweets:

Hey—sorry you lost your job b/c of the vax that doesn’t work and your grandmother died alone and you couldn’t have a funeral and your brother’s business was needlessly destroyed and your kids have weird heart problems—but let’s just admit we were all wrong and call a truce, eh?
It’s too bad we shut the entire economy down & took on tyrannical powers that have never been used before in this country—looking back, you should have been able to go to church and use public parks while we let people riot in the streets—but it was a confusing time for everyone.
Hey, I’m sorry we scared the hell out of you & lied for years & persecuted & censored anyone who disagreed but there was an election going on & we really wanted to beat Donald Trump so it was important to radically politicize the science even if it destroyed your children’s lives.
OK, yes we said unvaccinated people should die & not get healthcare while never questioning Big Pharma once but we are compassionate people which is why even though we shut down the entire economy we also bankrupted the nation & caused inflation. You’re welcome! Let’s be friends.

Needless to say, our politicians and public health officials really want you to forget that they took America right to the edge of the abyss.

In fact, they have turned America into the Banana Republic of Biden — where your civil rights might exist depending on which judge you get in your state, and what you last posted on your social media accounts.

It’s no surprise that these pleas for amnesty have been published after the midterm polls showed a “red wave” forming. If the polls had gone the other way, Biden’s FBI would probably be wrangling you onto a boxcar right now headed for a FEMA camp — and you know it.

Never forgive. Never forget.


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Winning. Republicans Gain Edge as Voters Worry About Economy, Times/Siena Poll Finds

Views: 21

Thanks for getting it right NY Times  .

Republicans enter the final weeks of the contest for control of Congress with a narrow but distinct advantage as the economy and inflation have surged as the dominant concerns, giving the party momentum to take back power from Democrats in next month’s midterm elections, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found.

The poll shows that 49% of likely voters said they planned to vote for a Republican on Nov. 8 to represent them in Congress, compared with 45% who planned to vote for a Democrat. The result represents an improvement for Republicans since September, when Democrats held a 1-point edge among likely voters in the last Times/Siena poll. (The October poll’s unrounded margin is closer to 3 points, not the 4 points that the rounded figures imply.)

With inflation unrelenting and the stock market steadily on the decline, the share of likely voters who said economic concerns were the most important issues facing America has leaped since July, to 44% from 36% — far higher than any other issue. And voters most concerned with the economy favored Republicans overwhelmingly, by more than a 2-1 margin.


Both Democrats and Republicans have largely coalesced behind their own party’s congressional candidates. But the poll showed that Republicans opened up a 10-percentage-point lead among crucial independent voters, compared with a 3-point edge for Democrats in September, as undecided voters moved toward Republicans.

The biggest shift came from women who identified as independent voters. In September, they favored Democrats by 14 points. Now, independent women backed Republicans by 18 points — a striking swing given the polarization of the American electorate and how intensely Democrats have focused on that group and on the threat Republicans pose to abortion rights.

The survey showed that the economy remained a far more potent political issue in 2022 than abortion.

“I’m shifting more towards Republican because I feel like they’re more geared towards business,” said Robin Ackerman, a 37-year-old Democrat and mortgage loan officer who lives in New Castle, Delaware, and is planning to vote Republican this fall.

Ackerman said she disagreed “1,000%” with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and erase the national right to an abortion. “But that doesn’t really have a lot to do with my decision,” she said of her fall vote. “I’m more worried about other things.”

The first midterm election of a presidency has been historically challenging for the party in power, and Democrats are approaching this one saddled with a president who has a disapproval rating of 58%, including 63% of independent voters.

Democrats have no margin for error in 2022 — with the slimmest of majorities in the House and a 50-50 Senate, where the flipping of a single seat in that chamber would deliver a Republican majority. Republicans have vowed to curb President Joe Biden’s agenda and launch a series of investigations into his administration and family if they take charge of either the House or Senate.

The added challenge for Democrats is the intensity of the electorate’s displeasure with Biden: The poll showed that 45% of likely voters strongly disapproved of the job that Biden was doing, and 90% of those voters planned to back a Republican for Congress this fall.

Democrats were actually pulling in the support of 50% of voters who said they “somewhat disapprove” of Biden. That is good news for Democrats — for now.

It is also a perilous position to be in, because those voters are ripe to be won over by Republicans who are unleashing millions of dollars in ads to link Democratic candidates to an unpopular president.

Democrats have essentially maxed out support among voters who support Biden, winning 88% of them, according to the poll. But Republicans have room to grow among voters who don’t like Biden.

The issues that mattered most to voters aligned heavily with partisan preferences. Voters who were focused on the economy and inflation favored Republicans over Democrats 64% to 30%. Democrats held a 20-percentage-point advantage among voters who cared the most about any other issue.

The economy was the most pressing issue for voters in both the July poll and now. The challenge for Democrats is that the share of voters focused on economic matters is bigger now.

“It’s all about cost,” said Gerard Lamoureux, a 51-year-old Democratic retiree in Newtown, Connecticut, who is planning to vote Republican this fall. “The price of gas and groceries are through the roof. And I want to eat healthy, but it’s cheaper for me to go to McDonald’s and get a little meal than it is to cook dinner.”

Biden has repeatedly tried to put a positive spin on the economy and has noted that inflation is a worldwide problem. “Our economy is strong as hell,” he said Saturday at a stop at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop in Portland, Oregon.

In July, in the wake of shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Highland Park, Illinois, and the passage of the first gun legislation in decades in Congress, 9% of likely voters named guns as the top issue. But that number collapsed to 1% by October — dropping from a virtual tie for third as the most important issue to outside the top 10. The vast majority of voters who named guns as the top issue over the summer said they preferred Democratic control of Congress.

While the share of voters focused on guns declined, those who identified abortion as the top issue remained flat, at 5%. There is a sizable gender split on the issue’s significance: 9% of women rated it as the top issue compared with just 1% of men.

The poll was the latest evidence of the growing class divide between the two parties, in terms of both Biden’s standing and the race for Congress. Biden’s base of support is increasingly shrinking to urban, well-educated enclaves, with Black voters, city dwellers and those with at least a bachelor’s degree among the few demographic groups where a plurality of likely voters think he is doing well.

Among likely Hispanic voters, a narrow 48% plurality disapproved of Biden even as 60% said they would vote for congressional Democrats this fall — one of a few groups, including younger voters, who appeared to separate their frustration with the White House from their voting plans.

College was a particularly strong dividing line. Among those with a bachelor’s degree, Democrats held a 13-point advantage. Among those without one, Republicans held a 15-point edge.

In taking over the House in 2018 and winning the Senate and White House in 2020, the winning Democratic coalition during the Donald Trump presidency relied on a significant gender gap and on winning women by a wide margin.

But the poll showed that Republicans had entirely erased what had been an 11-point edge for Democrats among women last month in 2022 congressional races to a statistical tie in October.

The survey tested Trump’s favorability rating, as well. He had a 52% unfavorability rating, better than Biden’s 58% job disapproval rating.

In a hypothetical 2024 rematch, Trump led Biden in the poll by 1 percentage point. Among women, Biden was ahead of Trump by only 4 points, compared with the margin of more than 10 points that Biden had in the 2020 election, according to studies of the national electorate for that election.

Today, the mood of the nation is decidedly sour. A strong majority of likely voters, 64%, sees the country as moving in the wrong direction, compared with just 24% ( White Progressives, Undocumented, and welfare blacks? )who see the nation as on the right track. Even the share of Democratic likely voters who believe the nation is headed in the right direction fell by 6 percentage points since September, although it is above the low point of the summer.

“Everybody’s hurting right now,” said David Neiheisel, a 48-year-old insurance salesperson and Republican in Indianapolis. “Inflation, interest rates, the cost of gas, the cost of food, the cost of my property taxes, my utilities — I mean, everything’s gone up astronomically, and it’s going to collapse.”



Elections Corruption Politics Polls

Michigan’s Most Secure Election? Missing Voting Machine Bought for $7.99 at Goodwill Then Auctioned Off

Views: 24

Authorities are still investigating why a Dominion Voting machine was left at a Goodwill store in Northern Michigan. The investigation has grown to involve Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Michigan State Police.

The machine was purchased online from Goodwill for $7.99 by Ean Hutchinson, who lives in neighboring Ohio, CNN reported. Hutchinson then sold it on eBay for $1,200 to Harri Hursti, a Connecticut cybersecurity expert.

Hursti, who investigates election discrepancies and was featured in HBO’s documentary “Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections,” understood the significance of the find.

Hursti contacted the Michigan secretary of state’s office before the device even arrived, believing that type of device was still in use in Michigan. As it turned out, he was right. The authorities told Hursti not to open the box the machine arrived in and to preserve it for law enforcement.

A few days later, a Michigan official emailed Hursti: “We have determined this device originated in one of our jurisdictions. The jurisdiction has now reported the device to law enforcement as stolen.”

Benson released a statement regarding the incident, saying, “We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate allegations of an illegal attempt to sell a voter assist terminal acquired in Michigan.”

“Voter assist terminals are not used to tabulate ballots, but are typically used by voters with disabilities who need assistance marking their ballot privately at polling places,” she said.

“While our elections remain secure and safe, we take seriously all violations of election law and will be working with relevant authorities to ensure there are consequences for those who break the law,” Benson said.

The voting machine originated from Colfax Township in Wexford County, Michigan,

“No election data was on it and you can’t get into the machine without the program cards and those were all accounted for,” according to Wexford County Clerk Alaina Nyman, who spoke to Cadillac News,

Nyman also issued a statement to Cadillac News.

“At this time, there is an ongoing investigation into this matter,” she wrote. “The county is working diligently with the Michigan State Police to ensure this matter is handled accordingly.”

“Please know that election security in Wexford County, has been, and will continue to be, one of my top priorities as the county clerk.”

Colfax Township Clerk Becky Stoddard, confirmed to the outlet that the device was a VAT, or Voter Assist Terminal, used to mark ballots by disabled or handicapped voters.

“It is a tablet for handicapped voters. No election data is on it. It was never used by the public and I’m the only person who voted on it in six or seven years,” Stoddard said. “The MSP is investigating and I’m not sure what happened.”

Michigan State Police Public Affairs Manager Shanon Banner confirmed to Cadillac News that an investigation into larceny involving voting equipment was underway. However, she told reporters she couldn’t discuss an open investigation further.

Stoddard told Cadillac News that moving forward, “We are going to do things differently and will sign things in and out.”


Back Door Power Grab Corruption Leftist Virtue(!) Polls Privacy

Report Critical of Group Managing Voter Rolls in 33 States & DC

Views: 11

By Beth Brelje for Epoch Times Aug. 21, 2022 Updated: Aug. 23, 2022

Personal information of 56 million voters shared

Your voter registration shouldn’t be used by another person to cast a ballot.

When someone moves or dies, their name should be removed from the registered voters’ roll so it can’t be used to vote. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 requires states to make a reasonable effort to remove ineligible people from voter rolls.

It’s usually handled at the county or state level, but today, 33 states and the District of Columbia, are outsourcing parts of this task to the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

According to a report by Verity Vote, ERIC, which claims that it’s nonpartisan, is actually connected to left-leaning backers and engages in a host of troubling practices that could sway elections across the nation.

Verity Vote is a group of citizen volunteers with professional data research and investigation backgrounds who examine election integrity throughout the country.

New Jersey and Massachusetts joined ERIC in August. The other ERIC member states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus Washington, D.C.

In a July 13 letter, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin gave notice that the state was officially dropping its ERIC membership. This followed a January statement in which Ardoin announced that Louisiana was suspending participation in the voter registration agreement “effective immediately,” citing concerns about questionable funding sources and the possibility of partisan actors having access to ERIC data for political purposes, potentially undermining voter confidence.

The Epoch Times has reached out to ERIC and a connected organization, the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), for comment. Neither of the nonprofit organizations responded.

Partisan Leanings

David Becker is CEIR’s director and founder. He also founded and is still a board member of ERIC. Becker didn’t respond to a request for comment.

According to its website, “CEIR’s mission is to restore trust in the American election system and promote election procedures that encourage participation and ensure election integrity and security.”

But CEIR leans to the left with its assertion dismissing the election integrity concerns of many Republicans over the 2020 election, saying: “The 2020 general election was the most secure in American history.”

It calls claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent “The Big Lie,” and the CEIR website states that the majority of the GOP and Trump supporters see conspiracies—some of which U.S. media outlets had previously raised concerns about—assume the worst about election integrity, and are pushing harmful, unnecessary new election laws.

Before forming ERIC and CEIR, Becker was a senior staff attorney at the left-leaning People for the American Way and director of election initiatives at Pew Charitable Trusts, according to Influence Watch.

In 2020, CEIR received nearly $70 million from the left-leaning Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and distributed $64 million in grants to fund “urgent voter education assistance” in 23 different states, with the largest amounts going to Pennsylvania ($13.2 million) and Michigan ($11.9 million).

On its tax-exempt 990 form, ERIC describes itself as working to improve the accuracy of U.S. voter rolls by providing member states with information on voter registration records that are inaccurate because of voters moving or dying. ERIC provides lists of possible ineligible voters, then states may contact them by mail to verify the information, then adjust the voter rolls.

Verity Vote found that states are slightly better at this than ERIC. While non-ERIC states removed an average of 2.3 percent from voter rolls, ERIC states removed an average of 1.9 percent.

Using the data that states provide, ERIC also runs a get-out-the-vote operation, giving lists of eligible but unregistered (EBU) residents to states a minimum of every 425 days. As per the ERIC agreement, states must contact every person on the list and inform them how to register to vote.

This results in a significant swelling of voter rolls. The report shows EBU additions consistently exceed suggested removals—by 10 times.

Sharing Private information

Member states give ERIC more than voter registration records. By agreement, they also hand over all records of individuals who went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and other places where people are given a chance to register to vote.

In Pennsylvania, that includes state offices that provide public assistance or services to people with disabilities, armed forces recruitment centers, area agencies on aging, county mental health/mental retardation offices, centers for independent living, and the county clerk of court. It’s similar in other states.

In the right hands, personal information gleaned from these agencies could predict which political party a person may belong to.

Since voter registration is offered in these places, all personal information is shared with ERIC, even if the individual didn’t register to vote, Verity Vote found.

“This appears to violate federal law,” the report reads. “The NVRA prohibits states from sharing any records that relate to a declination to register to vote, or to the identity of a voter registration agency through which any particular voter is registered.”

ERIC’s website states that it has handled 56 million voters.

Although ERIC is required to protect personally identifiable information, the report documents how ERIC shares the data with CEIR.

“CEIR is creating the lists of voters who should be targeted for voter registration efforts and laundering the lists back through ERIC for distribution to the states,” the report reads.

In September 2021, Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers investigating the 2020 election subpoenaed the Department of State, requesting detailed voter lists including name, date of birth, driver’s license number, last four digits of Social Security number, address, and, date of last voting activity.

The Democratic governor, state lawmakers, and secretary of state went to court to block access, citing the protection of voters’ personal information.

In court papers, the Department of State stated that it couldn’t provide the information to investigators because “bad actors who gain access to this information would have all the data they need to control the voters’ registrations, and even their votes.”

Verity Vote noted in its report that the Department of State “was comfortable sharing data about voters and citizens who have chosen not to register to vote with Zuckerberg funded CEIR but went to court to keep that data from the Pennsylvania Senate.”

Targeted Communication

Imagine the power to text targeted voters on election day. CEIR is launching a free service for election officials called REVERE, aimed at combating disinformation in real time, according to the report.

It’s unclear who gets to define what constitutes disinformation.

In a communication from Becker to an official in Georgia, Becker describes REVERE’s power.

“REVERE will enable states to draw on phone numbers and email addresses contained in the voter file, and send texts, emails, and even voicemails to any set of voters (a particular precinct or county, older voters, etc.) rapidly. This will allow states to proactively communicate with voters about how to vote effectively (deadlines, early voting, etc.), send links to official websites (drop box and early voting locations), and rapidly respond to disinformation,” he wrote.

In its report, Verity Vote asks if it’s proper to entangle the private motivations of CEIR and ERIC with the governmental role to execute elections, placing the power to judge what’s disinformation—and whom to distribute it to—in the hands of this public/private partnership.



Elections Biden Pandemic COVID Education MSM Politics Polls

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

Views: 47

‘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)


Crime Leftist Virtue(!) Politics Polls

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

Views: 29

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.



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

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

Views: 36

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.


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

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

Views: 18

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!


Elections Politics Polls

Analysis: Hispanic Shift To GOP Is Building

Views: 26

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



Politics Elections Polls

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

Views: 20

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.

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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