Wisconsin Examiner: The GOP Tests 2020 COVID-19 Campaign Theme

As President Trump and Republicans push to reopen states, it brings into question the political narrative that will follow them into the 2020 November elections. The Wisconsin Examiner features the organizing work of progressive groups in Wisconsin and the impact the GOP COVID-19 narrative will have on voters. The article highlights the perspective of For Our Future CEO Justin Myers:

“On a personal level, as someone that has had a death in the family, it’s disheartening,” Myers says of the rallies to reopen the states. But he also believes GOP support for those rallies and their rhetoric about “tyranny” is politically doomed.

Myers is proud of the work they did to organize in Wisconsin in 2018 and in the recent April elections, including the state Supreme Court race and school-funding referenda in Milwaukee and Racine. “We have this great program Wisconsin, and we’re going to make sure that we’re utilizing it in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio.”

“There’s so much disinformation out there now,” he says. “Someone is more prone to believe their cousin, their brother, the person that they sit next to every day at work.”

“A high threshold of people — and all types of communities, including impoverished communities — use their phone as their primary source of either communication or entertainment,”

“People are living this every day,” he says. “Whether a family member has died, or someone has lost their job. That’s the reality. So when you have an RVP leader talking to a person that has been devastated by COVID and talking to them about the reality of a family member dying, or, you know, our cousin died, or uncle Ted lost his job and then connecting this back to the fact that this president made the situation worse than what it could have been. That is what’s going to really motivate people.”

“When I scroll through Facebook, and I see every fifth post is someone giving condolences to either their friend or the family of a friend because someone passed away …. That’s our new reality. And I think that’s going to be in people’s faces until Election Day and well beyond. And that’s going to speak louder than anything that [Trump] could put on television, where he’s trying to lie to people about his record as it relates to this or anything else.”

Reflecting on organizing efforts in all of the states where he works, he adds, “I think what we’re going to see out there is that working-class people are pissed off because of the economy, they don’t have jobs. And then you’re going to have a lot of black and brown communities or poor communities talking about loss.”

“You can’t white-out tens of thousands of deaths,’ he adds. “You can’t gloss over that. You just can’t.”

Read the full article here.