Arizona Democrats are reportedly working behind the scenes to bring their party’s traveling presidential circus to the Grand Canyon State.
I, for one, hope they succeed. As fun as it’s been to see 10, 12, or even 20 extremist liberals try to outdo each other’s incoherent pandering and resentment mongering on national TV, there’s a certain something about having the big top come to your own backyard. Besides, I’m eager to see how these candidates will tailor their act to a Southwestern audience.
Democrats, mostly without evidence, believe the best way to attract Hispanic American votes, for instance, is to campaign on effectively ending immigration enforcement. In successive debates, they’ve driven this message home in shockingly candid terms.
Early on, nearly every Democratic candidate explicitly endorsed “decriminalizing” illegal entry into the United States. While the proponents of this policy scrambled to claim that this doesn’t mean “open borders,” that’s exactly what it is; the distinction is purely semantic. Barack Obama’s own Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, was honest enough to admit that decriminalization is “tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders.”
Even the few debaters who fell short of endorsing open borders — Joe Biden the only leading candidate among them — raised their hands to say American taxpayers should provide free healthcare for illegal immigrants. Biden later walked that back, chalking it up to confusion about the question, but the fact that his rivals remain firmly committed to such an obviously unpopular policy shows just how deep this dogmatism runs in the Democratic Party.
The strategy is fundamentally misguided as these policies are broadly unpopular. One poll found that even among non-white voters, only 28 percent support decriminalizing illegal border crossings. The impetus for taking these positions comes not from the Hispanic American community, but from Democratic Party activists.
We could see that when Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, who has made open borders a central plank of his campaign, last visited Arizona. When a woman at his rally asked, very reasonably, if these policies were a slap in the face to legal immigrants, he launched into a tirade and equated the question to supporting dead children and separated families.
If Arizona Democrats do convince their national Party bosses to hold the December or January debate in the Phoenix area, however, immigration extremism might not even be the most outrageous thing we hear from the candidates. Just consider the CNN-hosted LGBTQ Town Hall that many of the same candidates attended earlier this month, which featured a veritable smorgasbord of radicalism.
In between protesters rushing the microphone to claim that mispronouncing their names was “violence,” multiple parents parading their nine-year-old transgender kids, and candidates patronizingly informing viewers of their “preferred pronouns,” the 2020 Democrats let loose some truly insane policy proposals.
Beto set a high bar by threatening to revoke the non-profit status of churches and religious institutions that oppose same-sex marriage. He would treat every Catholic church, Orthodox Jewish synagogue, traditional protestant congregation, and private Christian university in America like for-profit corporations if they don’t abandon their religious beliefs in favor of his social agenda.
Senator Elizabeth Warren endorsed the social-engineering strategy of teaching kindergarteners about “gender fluidity,” and for good measure, threw in the idea of taxpayer-funded gender reassignment surgery for prisoners.
Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, interestingly, chose not to revisit their past support for legalizing prostitution, while supposed front-runner Joe Biden could only muster some confused word salad about “gay bath houses” in San Francisco and “round-the-clock sex.”
What are the Democrats hoping to accomplish with this nonsense? Open borders and identitarian radicalism aren’t going to help workers grow their 401(k)s, make American businesses more competitive, or provide our children with a better education. The Democrats are just making hollow promises that appeal to their radical base but won’t do anything to make life better for ordinary Americans.
As that debacle on CNN proves, venue matters in these types of campaign events. If the Democrat candidates do find themselves on a debate stage in Arizona a few months from now, I look forward to watching them try to adapt their far-left rhetoric and policy agendas for a Southwestern audience. I wish them luck. They’ll need it.
Monica Yelin is a Member-at-Large of the Maricopa County GOP, Republican National Hispanic Assembly Western Regional Director and sits on the national “Latinos for Trump” coalition.