NEWS AND OPINION:
Republicans in Washington should not overlook the potential of the heartland to shore up the clout of the Republican Party. The changing sentiments of those within grassroots populations could easily make the Grand Old Party a lot grander as the 2022 and 2024 elections loom on the horizon. There’s a clear opportunity to pick up disgruntled Democrats now unnerved by the unapologetic progressive or socialist directions the Democratic Party has taken. Some activity in Nevada is a perfect test case. Once upon a time, Nevada was Republican territory. Things changed. Democrats have won the last three presidential elections there.
Some Democratic stalwarts, however, now suffer from a case of Democratic doubt. Momentum is building, and it has started on the local level. John Lee, the mayor of North Las Vegas — a city of 235,000 — is fed up with the Democratic Party, and has publicly announced he is now a proud Republican.
“Card-carrying socialists have completely hijacked the Democratic Party here in Nevada,” Mr. Lee tweeted on Wednesday, later referring to the Republican Party as “the party of freedom, opportunity, and hope.”
Mr. Lee went big with the announcement, revealing his change of heart during an appearance on Fox News. The Democratic Party, he told the network, has undergone a negative metamorphosis.
“It’s not the party I grew up with 25 years ago, and it’s not the party I can stand with anymore. The working class, the small business owners are not part of the conversation anymore. It all has to do with the elitists and the socialists, and that’s not the agenda what I have in mind for this country in the future,” Mr. Lee advised.
The Nevada Republican Party is pleased with the mayor’s bold move.
“Excited to have Mayor Lee join our party! He shares our values in protecting life, defending the 2nd amendment, and fighting for working families,” the excited Nevada GOP tweeted following the news.
The Nevada Democratic Party was predictably disappointed.
“Mayor John Lee, who claims to have voted for Donald Trump twice, has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, and has always opposed a woman’s right to choose, has long been out of step with the core values of the Democratic Party, even as he has used our ballot line time and again to run for and win election to public office,” said party chair Judith Whitmer.
Meanwhile, the mayor could be upping his political ante at this very moment.
Mr. Lee said he had been “approached” to consider switching to the Republican Party and running for Nevada governor as a moderate, the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted in an analysis.
There are likely several “Mayor Lees” out there who also may be dissatisfied with the evolving Democratic Party. The GOP should watch for the next one to surface.
CAN’T GET OFF THAT SOCIAL MEDIA
Likes, dislikes, endless family photos and amateur videos are here to stay it seems.
Despite a string of controversies and “the public’s relatively negative sentiments about aspects of social media,” roughly 7-in-10 Americans (72%) say they continue to use social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.
“This share has remained relatively stable over the past five years,” the pollster noted, revealing that YouTube and Facebook continue to dominate the online landscape, with 81% and 69% of the public, respectively, reporting that they have used, or are using these sites.
See more in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
MR. TROY PREVAILS
The multitalented Tevi Troy — a bestselling presidential historian, former senior aide in the George W. Bush White House, and former deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services — has joined the Bipartisan Policy Center. The versatile Mr. Troy will serve as a senior fellow focusing on the formal study of the presidency.
Tough job, but somebody has to do it.
“All Americans, regardless of party or ideology, have an interest in making sure that the presidency is an effective institution,” Mr. Troy advises.
The aforementioned center is, according to its mission statement, “a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that actively fosters bipartisanship by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans.”
OLYMPICS ON HIS MIND
It is a very delicate situation, played out on a truly global stage. The State Department made it clear on Tuesday that it was not part of the public calls from other nations for a “joint boycott” of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, based on concerns about human rights violations within China.
A New York Republican, however, remains adamant about the issue.
“The world is watching our next move. Now is not the time to let up. The only thing aggressors understand is strength and now is the time for the United States to project just that,” says Rep. John Katko, a ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
“It’s incumbent upon us to shine light on the atrocities taking place in China against the Uyghurs and the Chinese Communist Party’s multifaceted and multidecade campaign to undermine our security and way of life. The world should be calling out the CCP’s acts of genocide, not giving it a platform to host the world’s most time-honored competition,” the lawmaker says.
“For months now, I have urged the Biden administration to match their actions with their rhetoric around holding the CCP accountable as the greatest 50 year threat to our homeland. Our athletes deserve to compete in this honored tradition. It’s time to move the Olympics to a country that embodies democracy and the spirit of the Olympic charter. The games just cannot be held in China,” Mr. Katko declares.
POLL DU JOUR
• 81% of U.S. adults have used and continue to use YouTube.
• 69% have used and continue to use Facebook, 40% say the same of Facebook.
• 31% use Pinterest, 28% LinkedIn, 25% use Snapchat.
• 23% use Twitter, 23% use WhatsApp, 21% use TikTok.
• 18% use Reddit, 12% use Nextdoor.
Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,502 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 25-Feb. 8 and released Wednesday.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.