News & Politics

Will the Democrats' Scare Tactics Work in 2022?

Will the Democrats' Scare Tactics Work in 2022?
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Almost 8 months into the presidency of Joe Biden and Democrats are slowly beginning to realize that their 2020 “landslide” victory was a freak of circumstance and not a harbinger of the future.

Key constituencies are accelerating an exit from the party that was already underway before the election occurred. Their party leader is foundering, lurching from one mismanaged crisis to the next while pushing a needless, ruinously expensive, and inflationary agenda that dangles shiny baubles in front of voters rather than propose actual solutions to everyday problems.

The United States is deep in crisis and Democrats aren’t doing anything to address it.

Because they lack the vision and ideas to get us out of this mess, Democrats have fallen back on their tried and true tactics of ginning up outrage and hysteria to try and scare people into voting for them. The problem is that the voters are looking for something more. And Democrats are coming up empty.

The latest COVID scare is a good example. Calls to shut down the economy again and the obligatory mask mandates don’t carry quite the kick that they did when the pandemic began. No one thinks we should shut down the U.S. because some vaccinated people come down with a mild case of COVID — especially when it’s still not clear that vaccinated people are contagious or not.

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We should follow the science until the science doesn’t help Democrats.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney clearly sees the danger his party is in. But apparently, few are listening to him.


During a closed-door lunch last week with some of his most vulnerable incumbents, House Democrats’ campaign chief delivered a blunt warning: If the midterms were held now, they would lose the majority.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) followed that bleak forecast, which was confirmed by multiple people familiar with the conversation, with new polling that showed Democrats falling behind Republicans by a half-dozen points on a generic ballot in battleground districts. Maloney advised the party to course-correct ahead of 2022 by doing more to promote President Joe Biden’s agenda, which remains popular with swing voters.

It’s not unusual for polls to show a deficit for the party in power a year and a half from the next election. But most of those vulnerable Democratic seats are in congressional districts that will be redrawn in states under Republican control. What was shaping up to be a GOP landslide in 2022 could end up being a Republican tsunami.

Maloney’s foreboding words come as Democratic leaders map out an aggressive strategy to hold the House next November, defending a tenuous majority with the help of a president who has more ambitious plans to juice the economy. But Maloney’s omen of defeat was hardly a surprise to the battleground-district Democrats he was addressing, some of whom have been sounding the alarm for weeks that the party’s messaging — particularly on the economy — needed a reboot.

And it’s not just those so-called frontliners who have begun to alert their colleagues. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), who co-leads caucus messaging, gave a wake-up call to another group of fellow Democrats last week, telling colleagues that the party needed to better explain what Democrats have been doing to help the Covid-ravaged economy.

Political “messaging” is the art of appearing to say something meaningful while spouting nonsense. In truth, it’s an art form that Democrats have mastered.

The art is in targeting Democratic interest groups by using specific code words and images in order to either scare voters (minorities), anger them (class warriors), or appeal to a softer side by using children, the environment, concern for the poor, etc.

Mahoney thinks that highlighting Biden’s multi-trillion spending spree is the path to victory. In truth, people may love the free stuff but are also worried about the cost. This is especially true when the Democrats have made no credible effort to suggest how we pay for these very nice things.

Eventually, Democrats will focus their energy on scaring voters about the return of Donald Trump. It’s all they believe they have. But it’s doubtful voters will care much about Trump when their pocketbooks are being emptied by high inflation.