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Friday, May 20, 2022

American politicians are using COVID-19 to raise money. It’s great?

Democracy. Global warming. Race.

Or masks?

If you’re trying to guess the hottest issue in American political fundraising – and you’ve chosen the pandemic and the health measures to deal with it – you’re probably right. While no one keeps track of how much money a given topic can raise for any given candidate, a quick look at recent proposals from nationwide Republicans and Democrats reveals that many seem to view COVID-19 as v cash cow of the 2022 election cycle.

Consider:

“…And now Dr. Fauci says he supports new vaccination mandates and other onerous restrictions on our freedoms due to COVID-19, such as showing proof of vaccination to board a plane…” Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, wrote in January newspaper. 6 Letter “Dear Patriot” asking for donations.

AND…

“We need action… which means proof of vaccination must now be required for all domestic air travel. If people are going to board a plane and sit less than six inches away from others and their families, they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” California Rep. Eric Swalwell wrote in an email to him on Jan. 5. potential donors.

Cruz and Swalwell are just two voices in a fairly large choir. In this pre-election cycle, many politicians want donors to give them money depending on how they feel about COVID-19 related regulations.

From the Republican side, vaccine demands and related public health efforts have been portrayed in reports as an abuse of the state, or even a step towards tyranny. For Democrats, the messages emphasize science, social norms and, yes, big government.

But for both parties, the result is the same – easy money.

People who donate to candidates, both right and left, tend to be the most passionate members of their political tribe. And whether they follow the details of the virus or not, these overly passionate voters tend to fund politicians who are most likely to bring their broad political convictions to what they see as the key battle of the moment.

“Politically (coronavirus) is a signal of virtue; avatar. Where you are on COVID just says a lot about your overall politics,” said Matthew Lesenyi, an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Long Beach who teaches about American government and campaign money.

“That’s why it’s likely to activate most campaign sponsors.”

This year’s hammer

Some elements of this are not new. In politics, linking big news with a request for money has a long track record of success. What’s more, campaign experts say, the more emotional the news, the more likely it is to make money, and few stories in recent American history have generated as much emotion as the pandemic.

Yet even if they aren’t surprised to see a disease that has killed more than 850,000 Americans being used as a fundraising tool, campaign consultants and others are seeing a wider shift in the game.

While previous U.S. health emergencies — from the Spanish flu to the polio and AIDS epidemics — have become political over time, they were initially seen as public health issues, not ATMs for politicians.

The coronavirus didn’t play out like that. It was political even before it arrived in North America, and over the past 24 months, that political element has at least kept pace with the virus’s role in disrupting society.

If American politicians are using the pandemic to raise money, experts say, it’s not the disease, it’s the Americans.

“This is where we are now as a country, this is us against them, this is tribalism… about everything,” said Adam Probolsky, an Irvine-based freelance pollster who has previously helped politicians raise money. “The vaccine debate – actually the fight – is indicative of where we are in America.”

The drive to turn COVID-19 into campaign money is also part of a long-term political trend. Several thorny issues in this century—issues that in previous eras might have been candid or mere political issues—have evolved into broad symbols of American ideals.

In recent years, this trend has changed to overdrive.

“The coronavirus is political because it appeared when Donald Trump was president. And in the Trump era, everything was political,” said Rob Stutzman, a Sacramento-based campaign consultant.

“But to be honest, the decade before Trump was more political than anything before. It was the same way a decade before that,” Shtutzman added. “Trump didn’t invent it.”

Examples are easy to find.

Obamacare was originally a political debate, but it has also become a political litmus test. Every position of a politician on a public health plan has become a code for that politician’s overall outlook. Even the name – Obamacare – was a tongue-in-cheek label used by conservatives when a poll showed most Americans weren’t enthusiastic about it. These days, when the polls show that Obamacare is popular, it’s often referred to as the politically oriented Affordable Care Act.

And, of course, before the Obamacare took place after September 11, 2001, an even bigger political struggle erupted. Initially, the attacks were viewed by the public as an act of war and, in short, above politics. But the internal rebuff – the “war on terror” – soon became a wedge for politicians of all political stripes. Conservative politicians were considered “hard” in relation to terrorism, and liberals – “soft”, and US citizens lined up in one of the camps. Voters soon showed little patience for nuance or average thinking.

The same dynamic is shaping the political response to the coronavirus.

“The breach of trust with the government has become sharper over the course of this century. And this certainly applies to the pandemic,” Stutzman said.

“If you are an individualist, you don’t think about the broad public health perspective when you think about COVID, you see it as an opportunity for people in government to control your life,” he said.

He added that some liberals welcome the prospect of an enlarged government.

“It seems that the disease represents a real opportunity to deprive a person of rights.”

He added that these shared feelings towards the government become buttons that politicians can press when they use the coronavirus in their requests for money.

“In that sense, it fits the moment.”

money vs health

The idea of ​​using COVID-19 to raise campaign funds is not just a matter of taste or political trends. Experts say it also determines the government’s ability to respond to a crisis.

And by “forms,” ​​they add, they mean that money ruins everything.

The reason is clear. Political leaders who have been asking supporters to literally invest in their stance on various coronavirus-related health measures have little wiggle room to change that stance, even if new information could prompt rethink.

Did Cruz, who opposed vaccines as potentially harmful to health before they were available, change his stance when they caused few problems after a real test run of more than 6 billion vaccines? He didn’t.

Or, conversely, were politicians backing tough virus regulations and social distancing rushing to reopen schools when it became clear that the challenges of distance learning were commensurate with the health risks? Not many.

But this shouldn’t go on. Some campaign experts even suggest that there are already signs that politicians will change their stance based on new scientific data and polls.

As proof, they say, look for nothing but Trump himself.

Earlier this month, the man who turned the coronavirus into a political discussion, who initially brushed it off as a non-event, who didn’t wear masks because he didn’t like the way they looked, reached out to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. for not talking loudly enough about his vaccination status.

“You have to say it. Whether you had it or not, tell me about it,” Trump said Jan. 11 in an interview with the conservative One America news network.

Trump went on to describe leaders who downplay their vaccination status — something Trump himself did in the final weeks of his presidency, even though he told a booing crowd in Dallas in December that he had received the vaccine — “weak-willed.”

However, campaign experts suggest that Trump’s new tone could open a window for other politicians to switch to science.

“Look, everyone doubted it. Even (Dr. Anthony) Fauci changed his position based on new information. And to find any answer on the web page (Centers for Disease Control) is to constantly see changes, ”said Irwin Probolsky, a sociologist from. “I do think there is an opportunity for politicians to change their stance on COVID.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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