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Medium: “Don’t Fall For ‘Divide and Distract’ Campaign Tactics in the OH12 Special Election”

 

In an opinion piece for Medium, Matt Hildreth, Political Director of America’s Voice, weighs in on the race for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District and the PAC-funded anti-immigrant attack ads directed at Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor. Hildreth argues that these xenophobic attacks aim to divide Americans and distract from administration policies that do not benefit the middle class. This piece is about one special election that’s happening now, but it could be about races across the country in the run up to November, since Trump and the GOP have signalled that immigrant-bashing is the centerpiece of their political strategy.

The article is below and is available online here:

It was only a matter of time — sadly — before the “Party of Trump” brought their dumpster-fire politics to the special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District.

Since the election of President Donald Trump, his party has been running on xenophobia and fear in elections across the country. We knew sooner or later they would try their tactics here.

The latest offense comes from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan, that is now airing a disgusting new anti-immigrant ad.

The ad attacking Danny O’Connor is a pathetic, cookie-cutter campaign that is nearly identical to ads the same PAC ran against Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania earlier this year and comes straight out of the Trump, Jeff Sessions, and Stephen Miller playbook. In fact, Miller, a top White House aide, told Breitbart this would be the GOP’s campaign message in 2018.

The Republican strategy this cycle — led by Trump and fueled by Ryan’s corporate donors — is crystal clear. They want to divide Americans and distract us from their policies that hand giant kickbacks to the rich, de-fund our schools, and cut Medicare and Social Security. They’ve got nothing to offer working class voters, so they try to pit us against each other.

As Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania and Doug Jones in Alabama showed, candidates who face these attacks can win by address local issues, maintaining support for common sense policies, and calling out the “divide and conquer” tactics when they see them.

We face many challenges across the 12th district — fixing our healthcare system, fighting the opioid epidemic, and creating good jobs. Sadly, instead of looking ahead and solving shared problems, Republican leaders, led by Trump, have made a deliberate decision to choose division and distraction over unity and common sense solutions.

Americans deserve better. We deserve elected officials who respect us, not attack us; who invest in our future, not endanger it in order to line the pockets of a few. We need leaders who will stand up for all of us and fight for funding our schools, ensuring health care, and preserving Medicare and Social Security.

America’s strength comes from our ability to work together. Voters in Ohio 12th Congressional District are tired of Trump and the GOP’s politics of fear, we want real solutions built on the values of opportunity and equality for all.It’s time for us to stand up for each other and come together and vote for leaders who reflect the very best in us. That’s why voters across the 12th district are joining together with people from all walks of life to fight for our future, just like we won better wages, safer workplaces, and civil rights in our past.

Our voice is our vote. We must promise one another that we will show up to vote, mobilize others to do the same, and make this election a referendum — one that rejects Trump’s cruelty, cronyism, and divisiveness, and elects leaders who work for all Americans.

By joining together, we can elect new leaders who work for all of us, not just the wealthy few.