Republican Obsession With the “Caravan” Was as Obnoxious as the Democrats Claiming Voter Suppression in North Dakota

Migrants from Central America make their way to the town of Tapanetepec, in the southwestern state of Oaxaca, Mexico, Oct. 27, 2018. (Todd Heisler/Copyright 2018 The New York Times)

Turn on Fox News in the days since the election and a story, given much attention in the days leading up to the election, seems to be missing.

I’m talking about the “caravan” story. The fear that a veritable army of migrants was making its way through Mexico to invade our country was used to stoke criticism against Democrats for opposing enforcement of immigration laws. And, to be fair, plenty of Democrats (and Republicans too) deserve criticism for allowing, through inaction, the immigration issue to descend into chaos.

But the coverage of the caravan? Blatant manipulation. Now that the election is over, said manipulation isn’t necessary any more.

Our friends on the left can rightly be critical of conservatives using the specter of the caravan as a political weapon, but it’s not like they’re above doing something similar.

The furor over alleged voter suppression, much like the furor over the supposed threat of the “caravan,” was a put-on. A way to drive certain political demographics to the polls.

Here in North Dakota, in the weeks before election day, left wing groups manufactured a controversy over what was alleged to be voter suppression. The narrative supposed that the evil, Republican-controlled Legislature had implemented voter ID requirements with the express intent of suppressing Native American voters many of whom couldn’t possibly comply with those laws.

Except, as it turns out, voters in tribal communities were actually able to comply with the law. “Across the state, there was little to no issue with new tribal IDs being accepted at the polls or voters being turned away at precincts on or near reservations,” ABC News reported this week.

“Only a few dozen Native American voters appear to have been affected on Election Day by changes to North Dakota’s voter identification requirements that many tribal members believed were aimed at suppressing their vote,” the Associated Press reported.

Turnout in tribal communities, much as it was across North Dakota, set records for a midterm election.

Maybe the state’s voter ID law isn’t that bad after all.

The same people who were decrying voter suppression are now spinning this strong turnout in tribal communities as a product of voters there overcoming the voter ID requirements. With help from do-gooder liberal activists, of course.

In reality, all that was required was the tribes straightening out some issues with rural addresses and issuing new ID’s. Something which wouldn’t have been nearly such a dramatic mission if they’d commenced it more than a year and a half ago when the Legislature passed this law.

The furor over alleged voter suppression, much like the furor over the supposed threat of the “caravan,” was a put-on. A way to drive certain political demographics to the polls.

Now that the election is over, I suspect we’ll hear very little about either of these issues.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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