2018 Election

What Happened to the Caravan and Preexisting Conditions?

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The Republicans knew they were in for a rough Election Day in 2018. Most projections showed them losing more than 30 seats, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen (though a brutal Senate map for Democrats led to some Republican pickups).

Yes, Republicans knew they were in for a rough Election Day, so what did they do? They lied. Specifically, they lied about 2 things:

  • A migrant caravan
  • Preexisting conditions

As the Washington Post points out, there’s not much chatter about either now that Election Day is over.

How Republicans Lied

Republicans told Americans that a migrant caravan emerging from Central America was filled with criminals and people of Middle Eastern descent.

They told Americans that wealthy Democrats like George Soros were funding the caravan.

They told Americans that people in the caravan were coming to vote illegally in the mid-terms in an attempt to swing the election.

None of that was true, and I think it’s important to recognize this: Republicans were lying about these things in an effort to stoke racial animus and get their base voters out to the polls. That approach is despicable.

They went so far as to send American troops away from their families so that they could carry out a charade along the border, even as the caravan remained thousands of miles away. Let’s remember this next time that Republicans suggest only one party “supports the troops.”

Republicans also told Americans that they wanted to protect those with preexisting conditions. This was an absurd message because Republicans have voted time after time after time to repeal existing laws that do protect Americans with preexisting conditions.

Now that the election is over, Republicans aren’t talking about the caravan and they aren’t talking about preexisting conditions. They were just pawns used for political gain. Republicans never really cared about either.

The Media’s Role

I’m disappointed in our mainstream media outlets. The New York Times and other large newspapers splattered photos of the caravan on their front pages. (Though reporters were a little tougher in calling out Republicans’ collective hypocrisy on preexisting conditions.)

But here’s the thing: We’re not going to hear much about either in the days and weeks to come. These two things were Republicans myths shared and spread in an effort to save an election. Republicans never really feared the caravan, and they never really intended to protect Americans with preexisting conditions.

Watch for this: The newly elected Democratic majority in the House will pass a bill on preexisting conditions as one of its first moves. It’s guaranteed that the Republican-led Senate will refuse to take up that legislation, vote on it and send it to the president for signing.

Let’s remember this in 2020: Republicans will lie and mislead to steal an election. Don’t listen to their words. Watch their actions — and hold them accountable.


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