With the midterms just over a week away, the Republican Party is going all out on a two-pronged assault to maintain their control of Congress: lying about their actual policies and fearmongering over immigrants.
The former strategy largely involves falsely claiming that they’ll support enforcing health insurance coverage for preexisting conditions while repeatedly doing the opposite. The latter has crystallized around the growing migrant caravan hysteria, an entirely overblown story peddled by the right-wing media as an “invasion.”
Trump has made the caravan one of his biggest talking points in the leadup to the elections and has even deployed troops to the border to make the situation seem more dire than it really is. He’s also made the absurd claim that the host of migrants — men, women, and children looking for better opportunities — is riddled with terrorists and criminals.
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Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
Fox News, acting once again as Trump’s personal state media, has been running breathless coverage of the caravan, whipping up their largely white, largely older viewership into a frothing fervor. They want their voters envisioning a wave of violent Hispanics pouring over the border, even if the image is nothing more than a deeply racist, fevered fantasy.
Today, Fox’s Shep Smith broke from the pack and slammed the caravan coverage that has been propagated by his own network. Smith has increasingly become the sole remaining reasonable voice at the conservative, pro-Trump network, and hasn’t shied away from roundly condemning the behavior of his fellow Fox hosts.
In a new segment, Smith points out that the caravan is at least two weeks away from the U.S. border and that it’s not guaranteed they’ll make it there at all. He then zeroed in on the truth of the matter, which is that the caravan coverage is nothing more than a Republican electoral tool designed to help them in next week’s midterms. They are cynically injecting fear into the political discourse in the hopes that it will spur a reactionary wave of votes for the GOP.
“There is no invasion. No one’s coming to get you,” Smith explained calmly. “There’s nothing at all to worry about. When they did this to us, got us all riled up in April the result was fourteen arrests. We’re America, we can handle it. But, like I said, a week from the elections.”
It remains to be seen if Smith’s viewers, who have been subjected to a deluge of conspiratorially-minded stories and xenophobic rhetoric from his network, will be able to hear the truth in his message and resist the dishonest schemes of the Republican Party. Next week’s election will have longstanding effects on the future of our democracy, and voters must head to the polls with a desire to strengthen this country, not surrender further to hatred and fear.
Watch the clip below.
Shep Smith on the migrant caravan: "There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There is nothing at all to worry about." pic.twitter.com/4dLmPuZem0
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 29, 2018