Liz Peek: Democrats Overplayed the Race Card and Voters Are Fed Up
In a recent interview, Flordia Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz told Bloomberg that Republicans had no “ideas” to offer American voters, and hence no winning platform going into the midterm elections.
She’s wrong. When polling shows that only 23% of the country thinks we’re headed in the right direction, the opposition party has plenty to talk about.
GOP candidates can offer sensible, time-tested solutions to some of our most pressing problems — like soaring inflation, rampant crime, and the flood of people entering the U.S. illegally. They’ve done it before and they can do it again.
But Republicans can also capitalize on the public’s growing disgust with race-focused policies which reverse our civil rights progress and produce new-age discrimination.
An Economist/YouGov poll shows only 13% of the nation “strongly approves” of Joe Biden’s stance on civil rights. The demographics of that survey suggest that white and Hispanic Americans are fed up with Biden’s insistence that the U.S. is a “systemically racist” country and the overreaching efforts by the Democrats and the White House to correct racial “inequities.”
The latest salvo came from the New York, where the Department of Health has indicated on its website that that rationing of potentially life-saving therapeutics including monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals like Paxlovid and Molnupiravir should take into account race and ethnicity.
The guidance from the department includes this statement: “Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”
In other words, because some groups have a higher incidence of disease and because we have hypothesized that those unequal outcomes stem from past inequities as opposed to poor diet or other factors, we may withhold scarce treatments from white people.
This suggestion is offensive, but it did not originate in Albany. On January 21 last year, newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden signed an executive order “Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery” which vowed to tackle “severe and pervasive health and social inequities in America…”
In the order, Biden established a “COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force” tasked with rooting out racism in our approach to the coronavirus.”
The task force was charged, along with various other agencies, of collecting “equity data” and making sure vaccines, therapeutics and tests were distributed “equitably.”
Voters might speculate that if our health authorities had been less consumed with ferreting out speculative racial bias they might have done a better job of organizing testing, for instance, or informing the public about the efficacy of vaccines instead of relying on data from Israel and other countries.
Health departments have not been the only groups plunged into racial controversy. Schools and teachers’ unions are engaged in mortal combat between those who want kids to learn to read and do math and those who would indoctrinate them in critical race theory.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is urging her state’s legislature to pass legislation guaranteeing no university or school system in her state will teach “That any race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior” nor that “individuals… are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.”
In other words, her bill proposes that no kid would be demeaned or demonized because of the color of their skin or because of something done two hundred years ago by their ancestors. Can anyone possibly disagree with that? As Noem said in an interview, “Americans believe ‘all men are created equal,’ and we also believe the American dream is available to all regardless of race, color, or national origin.”
This would not seem controversial. But activists across the nation perceive this bill, and Noem, as a dire threat.
When New Hampshire passed a similar bill, the state was sued by the National Education Association’s New Hampshire affiliate and the American Federation of Teachers.
Leftists like those leading the teachers’ unions view Noem and others as jeopardizing their purposeful destruction of the progress made over many decades by our civil rights leaders, which have been codified by law. Martin Luther King, who in 2013 famously dreamed of a day when his children would not “be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” would be horrified. These people insist that those children be judged solely by the color of their skin.
Why would teacher unions push racial discord? Because it advances Democratic candidates, who have worked overtime to solidify their hold on minority voters. They push racial grievances because that’s all they’ve got.
Blue state officials have been unable to significantly narrow racial gaps in income or employment in their jurisdictions, not because of “systemic” discrimination but because their policies allow crime to run riot, discouraging investment in minority neighborhoods and they tolerate inner city schools which fail to educate black and brown kids.
Republicans should and can do better on issues of importance to minority voters, such as reforming controversial police tactics. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., proposed a sensible package of regulations to that end but was rebuffed by Democrats terrified of losing their grip on what they see as a potent issue. GOP candidates should campaign on adopting Scott’s proposal.
Republicans can also vow to overturn wrong-headed Democrat policies that have enabled a crime wave in our big cities, and especially in minority neighborhoods.
A survey of Minneapolis residents this fall showed Black voters more opposed to reducing police presence than white voters. African-Americans also rejected the alternative of a “Department of Public Safety” while white citizens approved that idea.
GOP candidates can also run on school choice, which is universally popular, and especially within minority communities.
Democrats have overplayed the race card while failing to deliver solutions. Voters will make that clear come November.
Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.