Guy W. Farmer: How to lose a winnable election
August 12, 2018
Here's a sure-fire recipe for figuring out how to lose a winnable election: Be sure to advocate open borders and the abolition of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the agency that enforces our nation's immigration laws. Run on this platform and you'll lose in November. Count on it.
That's the platform some "progressive" Democrats and all Democratic Socialists are running on this fall. I think we need to keep an eye on U.S. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen and gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak, among others, to make sure they don't fall into the "open borders and abolish ICE" trap. One of my most frequent critics said I accused Ms. Rosen and Sisolak of falling into this politically fatal trap in last Saturday's column. I didn't, but I did warn them to avoid extreme positions on immigration issues.
That's because most Middle Americans — the "deplorables" Hillary Clinton and many Democrats ignored and ridiculed in 2016 — want the federal government to enforce our immigration laws firmly but fairly, and expect Congress to give ICE the necessary funding to enforce those laws. As for President Trump's big, beautiful border wall, just give him something he can call a "wall," as I wrote last Saturday.
On the far left fringes of the Democrat Party, the flavor of the moment is Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old New York City bartender who defeated veteran Congressman Joe Crowley in a primary election last month. However, anyone who thinks Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's inner city district represents a majority of American voters is seriously delusional.
As Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking Democrat in the House, said recently, "Being a progressive is one thing (but) being practical with your progressiveness is another." Of course he's right as ex-President Obama recognized earlier this month when he declined to endorse Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. And here I thought Obama was progressive.
So let's continue with our lesson on how to lose a perfectly winnable midterm election. One essential ingredient in my recipe is to organize violent demonstrations targeting police officers and ICE offices. That's exactly what a group of masked, mindless anarchists did in Portland, Oregon, last month when they freaked out in front of the ICE field office in downtown Portland. Basically, these far left-wing protesters trashed everything in sight, camping out on the streets for five weeks in 90-plus degree heat. The result was unbelievable filth and stench.
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Similar demonstrations occurred in other West Coast "sanctuary cities" including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Sanctuary cities order police not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the apprehension of criminal illegal aliens, including drug traffickers and sexual predators. At this point, let's remember Mayor Hillary Schieve says Reno is a "welcoming city."
Portland's progressive mayor, Ted Wheeler, refused to defend ICE from a violent mob. "If ICE is looking for a bailout from this mayor, they're looking in the wrong place," he said. Meanwhile, unhinged protesters occupied the streets and pooped on sidewalks as Portland police stood by without taking action, as the mayor ordered. When police and biohazard crews finally moved in to clean up the mess, what they found was filthy and disgusting.
One observer wrote cleanup workers "found used needles and buckets of human waste simmering in 100-degree heat" as the smell of urine and feces filled the air. "Thirty-eight days of government-sanctioned anarchy will do that," he added. And that's an understatement.
Well, that's what we'll get if voters opt for "open borders and abolish ICE" candidates this fall. I know this isn't what most sensible Nevada Democrats want. Good for them.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal's senior political columnist.