Robert Reich explains why Trump’s reckless rhetoric will actually help Democrats in the midterms

Robert Reich explains why Trump’s reckless rhetoric will actually help Democrats in the midterms
Economist Robert Reich in 2013, Wikimedia Commons

Robert Reich, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is explaining how former President Donald Trump's controversial rhetoric is actually helping the Democratic Party as midterm elections approach.

In an op-ed published by The Guardian, Reich highlighted how Trump still has a major impact on the Republican Party despite his limited presence online. Although Republicans hoped his influence would wane, that does not appear to be the case. "Republican lawmakers had hoped – and assumed – Trump would have faded from the scene by now, allowing them to engage in full-throttled attacks on Democrats in the lead-up to the midterms. No such luck. In fact, Trump’s visibility is growing daily."

The problem Republicans are facing actually comes as Trump's popularity gradually decreases. Reich cited recent poll results that detail the former president's steadily tanking reviews among American voters.

"According to recent polls, Trump’s popularity continues to sink. He is liked by only 38% of Americans and disliked by 46%. (12% are neutral.) And this isn’t your normal 'sort of like, sort of dislike' polling. Feelings are intense, as they’ve always been about Trump. Among voters 45 to 64 years old – a group Trump won in 2020, 50% to 49%, according to exit polls – just 39% now view him favorably and 57%, unfavorably. Among voters 65 and older (52% of whom voted for him in 2020 to Biden’s 47) only 44% now see him favorably and more than half (54%) unfavorably. Perhaps most importantly, independents hold him in even lower regard. Just 26% view him favorably; 68% unfavorably."

But despite the lacking popularity, Trump's words are still resonating. "The media is framing this month’s big Republican primaries as all about Trump – which is exactly as Trump wants them framed. But this framing is disastrous for Republicans," he explained as he offered a prime example of the problem at hand.

He continued, "The Republican Ohio primary, for example, became a giant proxy battle over who was the Trumpiest candidate. The candidates outdid each other trying to imitate him – railing against undocumented immigrants, coastal elites, 'socialism' and 'wokeness,' all the while regurgitating the Big Lie that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election."

Another advantage for Democrats is that it appears he has no intent on toning down his rhetoric anytime soon. "Meanwhile, Trump will treat America to more rallies, interviews and barnstorming to convince voters the 2020 election was stolen from him, along with incessant demands that Republican candidates reiterate his Big Lie," Reich wrote. "More help to Democrats."

With Trump's negative impact, Reich offered a suggestion to Democratic candidates and lawmakers seeking re-election as he emphasized the areas of concern that should be addressed. "I’m not suggesting Democrats seeking election or re-election center their campaigns around Trump," he wrote. "To the contrary, Democrats need to show voters their continuing commitment to improving voters’ lives. Between now and November, Democrats should enact laws to help Americans afford childcare, cut the costs of prescription drugs, and stop oil companies from price gouging, for example."

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