In order to keep up with the barrage of GOP immigration-themed attack ads, America’s Voice today launches its new “Divide and Distract” website. It includes a searchable database of the worst examples of Republican anti-immigrant ads. Featuring spots aired by House, Senate, and gubernatorial candidates, as well as by allied PACs and outside groups, the new database offers a window into this ugly and cynical strategy.
As with most Republican strategies these days, the reliance on xenophobia starts with Trump. This weekend, for example, the President railed against something he called the Democrats’ “Open Borders Bill,” claiming Senator Dianne Feinstein was behind it (which led rally goers to chant “lock her up”). The only problem, of course, is that such a bill is a figment of President Trump’s imagination.
Nonetheless, Republicans are following suit. This “divide and distract” strategy – polarize the electorate on charged issues of race and identity as a way of distracting voters from the fact that Republicans are more interested in lining the pockets of their donors than improving healthcare, education, wages and retirement security – has been picked up by leadership PACs closely aligned with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, as well as GOP candidates across the country.
According to Matt Hildreth, America’s Voice Political Director, “Instead of running on their record, Republicans are stoking fear. Instead of bringing us together, they are dividing us on the basis of background and birthplace. Instead of talking about kitchen table issues of wages, healthcare, retirement and education, they are race-baiting and scapegoating. This is not normal. It is dangerous. Through our www.divideanddistract2018.com website, we will capture this Republican strategy in all its ugliness.”
- Check out the new America’s Voice “Divide and Distract” website with examples of GOP ads and a searchable database available here.
- For more on the Republicans’ divide and distract strategy and how Democrats and progressives should respond, read this recent Medium analysis by Frank Sharry, available here.