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Immigration Is the Secret Weapon of the Right

By Louis Perron, Ph.D.

A party should always run a campaign on an issue where their own side is unified, and the other side is divided.

For the left, climate change is such an issue. It has long become mainstream; the vast majority of people want something to be done. Just look at the corporate world where companies are all about being green, energy efficient and sustainable. Only the political right is beholden by special interests on the matter.

The mirror opposite issue on the right is immigration. Asylum is the secret weapon of the right, because it’s an issue where the left can’t think straight because it is being caught in denial. No one can look at the current system and honestly say that things are going great. Even if one looks at the footage from the border from a leftist or humanist perspective, the pictures are terrible. If we could create a new immigration and asylum system from scratch, few people would say what we currently have is exactly what they would create. While parts of the left know this, another part defends the status quo out of ideologic reflexes.

It's also an issue where the left is divided and loses part of its own electorate. A recent survey reported by the Associated Press showed that about two-thirds of Americans now disapprove of how Biden is handling border security, including 40% of Democrats. According to the same survey, 55% of Black adults and 73% of Hispanic adults disapprove of Biden’s handling of the boarder – key segments of the Democratic coalition. This makes immigration the secret weapon of the right.

If you think that things are bad in the U.S., let me tell you that it’s worse in Europe. In June, voters across the continent will head to the polls to elect the representatives in the European parliament and I expect right-wing parties to do very well in many countries. People have had enough of an asylum system that is obviously out of control, and frankly, they have had enough of being called racist for criticizing a system that is very obviously broke.

Immigration is also the secret weapon of the right because even if the right is in power and people are unhappy about immigration, they never turn to the left to look for an alternative on the matter. I remember the 2015 UK General Election in that respect. This was the time before Brexit, immigration was one of the main issues and people were unhappy about the status quo on the matter. The incumbent Conservatives basically ignored the issue and instead, focused on the economy. The left was unable to exploit the potential weakness with the result that the Conservatives won an outright majority, and the left suffered a scathing defeat.

In the U.S., the issue is double trouble for Democrats. It’s a losing issue for the left to begin with, but there is more to it. At the moment, there is a lot of talk about the economy improving on paper but voters not yet feeling the Bidenomics. What happens if the economy indeed continues to improve and people will actually start to feel it? Immigration might move up the ladder as the most important problem facing the country. After all, voters rarely turn out in droves to say thank you.

Dr. Louis Perron is a global political consultant who has orchestrated winning election campaigns around the globe. He is the author of the new book “Beat the Incumbent: Proven Strategies and Tactics to Win Elections.

  • illegal immigration

  • climate change

  • campaign strategy

  • border security

  • border wall

  • immigration and asylum

  • black and Hispanic voters

  • European immigration

  • Brexit

  • Economy

  • Democrats

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