If you’re wondering how Republicans intend to fix the problems they keep complaining about—namely inflation, gas prices, and the downtrend in Americans’ overall financial stability—you’ll have to wait. Right now, they’re campaigning on complaining about those things, complaining about “the libs,” complaining about imaginary crime waves, and offering their own potential voters absolutely no relief from real problems.
Take, for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s closing comments in Georgia. Now, it’s not new that Graham is saying something ignorant and controversial, but this week the Republican Senator has been on a real spree. Campaigning for GOP Senate candidate JD Vance, Graham joked about mass suicide on Tuesday, Business Insider reported.
"You got something really special here. This guy is going to change the Republican Party, change the Senate, all for the better," Graham said at a Republican-hosted dinner party, referring to Vance. "But here's some words that really rattle the Democratic Party. What's the worst thing the Democratic Party wants to hear? Chairman Jim Jordan. There are gonna be people jumping off bridges in San Francisco by the thousands. You know, New York City, they may literally shut down.”
According to News Nation, Jordan, currently the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, is the talk of the town since he has pledged to conduct investigations into the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) if the GOP retakes the House.
It doesn’t really matter why Jordan plans to investigate the FBI and DOJ (it’s for investigating Trump); what matters is how little these hypothetical future investigations matter to everyday American families, and how little interest the GOP seems to have in actually alleviating the issues they claim Democrats have caused.
And, worse, given the increase in mental health issues across the nation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this joke is especially cruel. According to The Los Angeles Times, the Golden Gate Bridge has seen the highest number of suicides on any bridge in the country—with an average of 30 people dying each year from taking the jump.
We all know Republicans hate Democrats, but that doesn't excuse jokes about suicide and violence, and it doesn’t solve problems voters need solutions for.
And, of course, it’s not only Graham. This week, though, it is mostly Graham. In response to allegations that GOP Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker pressured not one but two women to have abortions, Graham joined Walker in hosting a press conference.
Not only did Graham take that opportunity to support his awful friend, but once again took the chance to slam Democrats.
If Herschel Walker becomes a Republican? At the end of the day, Walker has consistently failed to offer plans for the primary topics of his television ads—inflation, supporting small businesses, and increasing clean energy. Graham, too, has failed to focus on the issues he promised Americans that he will uphold. Instead, he has taken to the tactic of creating fear. Americans need more than petty name-calling, and that seems to be the totality of Republican ideas.
By emphasizing violence and encouraging pain, he is appealing to voters who are in favor of such methods—in addition to normalizing that such tactics are okay. Of course, just like he has done with other comments like this one on suicide, he will claim it was all just a joke. But how is hoping for individuals to experience violence and wanting ‘every liberal to be miserable come election night' a joke? And how does it fix inflation?
Phrases of the same nature were called jokes before they led to events like Jan. 6, when individuals were hoping to harass, beat, and even kill Democratic members of Congress.
Encouraging violence is not all Republicans have a trend of doing, though. Scapegoating names they know will rile up those who aren’t in tune with the news or truth is another tactic. Rep. Ralph Norman used this tactic this week when claiming that America was run by elitists—dragging Barack Obama’s name in and again revealing the only real plans Republicans have: Targeting Democrats with a barrage of baseless subpoenas. “We are going to subpoena as many people as we can,” he said, claiming that Biden was not running the country and that Obama and Eric Holder were. How are Obama and Eric Holder still living rent-free in his head almost 6 years after leaving office? What’s next? Will they drag Hillary Clinton in for questioning? (Probably, actually. Let’s not assume they have limits.)
"And I think what he's saying is putting the country through impeachment, what you get could be even worse. We got our hands full. I don't — there’s no question about that. But we're going to subpoena as many people as we can: We are going to hopefully have consequences, starting with Mayorkas, Wray with the FBI, I mean a whole host of things. The whole administration is a rogue administration. And I guess we all know, Joe Biden is not running this country. There is a cabal of unelected elitists who are running this country. Probably Barack Obama is involved, probably Eric Holder and — but who knows. We know it's not Biden. But the impeachment deal is a long drawn out thing, and if there's anybody that was coherent they could take over, that would not ruin the country, but it's not possible with Kamala Harris."
Meanwhile, Democrats are again left to be the grown-ups in the room. Running campaigns and governing based on bipartisan ideals, even to the chagrin of the progressive left, and as usual, Democrats are tasked with the heavy lifting of creating legitimate policy positions and actionable ideas around health care, climate change, and national security.
If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. Dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.