Skip to content
By Martin Liptrot

By Martin Liptrot

A week in America | 7th July 2024

Are US voters are currently being swayed by Donald’s argument that ‘any and all’ suffering they may be feeling is directly linked to migration. Martin Liptrot explores this topic and more in his latest blog.

By any measure, it has been a momentous week in politics and the impact – hopefully – is about to be felt across the pond in the USA.

Friday morning’s UK landslide Labour victory gave hope not only to the millions of Britons who finally rejected the misrule of the previous Conservative government but, like a late Jude Bellingham equalizer, fired fresh optimism into the energy sapped step of centrist politicians and voters across the globe.

Up until this point, the World was seemingly hopelessly enthralled by a new political narrative from ever more populist candidates, and it appeared inevitable the disruption felt in our political systems had permanently opened the door to nasty, xenophobic and violent forces only too happy to seize the opportunity to park their tanks on our political lawns.

As I write this column, French voters are determining whether they support the far-right intolerance of Marine Le Pens’ Rally National party – formerly the National Front – to lead their great republic.

In Italy, Hungary, Poland, Holland and across many former eastern bloc states, nationalists are winning votes by promoting very simple sounding answers to very complex problems – ‘It isn’t your fault – it is theirs” they universally shout.

Labour’s win – and the scale of it – gave fresh hope to those of us who haven’t given up on democracy just yet. As Churchill said, it is the worst form of Government until you look at the alternatives.

America was watching and listening – and recognises it too needs a similar refresh in its political options.

US voters are currently being swayed by Donald’s argument that ‘any and all’ suffering they may be feeling is directly linked to migration. This narrative is proving successful, in large part because it is the key message from Donald, his attack dogs in Congress, the shock-jock end of the media, and the Russian-sponsored bots flooding our social media channels.

All America’s ills, they claim, are the fault of the seemingly endless number of people who still see the US as the best chance they and their families have for a free and democratic life.

So committed to the American dream are these future patriots, they are willing to risk everything, including their lives, to try and reach the land of the free.

The irony of this can’t be lost on everyone, surely?

UK electors shared these concerns too about unrestricted and unchallenged illegal immigration, but they saw in Kier Starmer someone who appeared to have a plan to tackle it.

Starmer is a youthful looking 61, and his campaign and early utterances since winning the election have been about, change, renewal, action and rebuilding trust in a political system whose reputation has too many self-inflicted wounds

He has surrounded himself with people who share his vision, have the competence to deliver it and the business community, stakeholders and financial markets have all reacted positively to his arrival in Downing Street.

A fresh start for Britain.

Back in the US, we too hope that an alternative voice to the rising tide of populist, divisive and parochial siren calls will be forthcoming before we go to the polls in November.

But the challenge we face is that the candidate who is meant to be that voice of renewal isn’t up to the job.

As I wrote in this blog last week, 81 year old Joe Biden’s abysmal TV debate performance should have seen a swift mercy killing of his candidature.

But this is America.

Strange things happen.

Who would have thought a convicted felon, misogynistic, climate change denying defeated former President would still be the Republican Party’s preferred choice?

And with his ego still firmly in place even if his other mental capacities are failing, it looks like President Biden isn’t going to go gracefully. He will, sadly, have to be dragged off the ticket kicking and screaming.

How long can he ignore the fact he isn’t helping the Democrat cause and, if he did win, is very unlikely to be around to see out another 4-year term?

The Democrat Party are plotting what to do next but Biden also knows the one thing that really governs US politics is still – for the time being – in his favour.

Money.

The amount of money raised by US candidates is staggering. Add to that the almost unregulated amounts Political Action Committees – PACs and SuperPACs – can spend in support of a cause, issue or running endless attack ads and negative campaigning.

Currently, Biden/Harris Campaign has $240million in funds. This is not money available to the Democrat Party – it is the fund for the candidate campaign for Biden/Harris. If he isn’t on the ticket, it is unlikely that pool of cash can be transferred to another candidate without there being all kinds of constitutional and tax wrangles.

So, what do American’s political funders do? Raise more cash of course!

In the last 24 hours a new effort called Next Generation PAC has launched and already has nearly $100 million in its coffers. The aim of this PAC is to give another, any other, candidate the confidence that if they do challenge Biden to step down, they will have the funds required to win the election which follows.

This will be of particular interest to Kamala Harris, the current VP, and whose name is on the Biden ticket. Campaign lawyers say if she was persuaded to run against Old Joe, because her name is on the Federal Election Committee filing, she could spend the $240million without penalty.

So, we have a big week ahead. I think Biden will come under extreme pressure in the next few days to step aside in an orderly way.

I also think a new candidate who is backed by the broad church of the Democrat Party will emerge, and it won’t be Kamala Harris who I imagine will be paid off with a job for life on the Supreme Court when a vacancy pops up.

A new candidate is needed. One close to the centre, economically conservative and socially liberal on the issues which Soccer Moms, BBQ Dads and Boomer Lifestylers care about

A Candidate who is fresh faced, youthful, and coherent. One who would make Trump look every minute of his decrepit 78 years of age and change the election outlook in a moment.

But Marty, what about the money I hear you ask?

I suggest it could be transferred to a Super PAC where it could be used to support causes and campaigns on issues like Abortion, Gun Control, Education and Health Reform.

The rules governing Super PAC’s are clear and there can be no collaboration or coordination with any candidate or their campaign.

This means huge chunks of the ‘$240million Biden/Harris Windfall’ would be used to run some of the most aggressive ads and negative campaigns ever seen, and in US politics – that bar is already pretty high.

 I imagine our airwaves and social channels will be used to go after the many character flaws, the criminal convictions, and the outstanding warrants and misbehaviours of Donald Trump.

His thin skin, the tolerance of the big money behind the Republican Party, and the moral texture of mid-west, bible belt and veteran voters would be seriously tested.

In pursuit of the same outcome – Saving Democracy – the UK Labour Party and France’s President Macron have gone high, appealing to voters’ better judgment.

 In America – I think we are going low baby, very low!

Author picture

Martin Liptrot

Martin Liptrot is a Public Affairs, PR and Marketing consultant working with UK, US and Global clients to try and ‘make good ideas happen’.

Downtown in Business

A week in America | 7 June 2024

This week, new rules to cap immigration and return enforcement powers to the police and immigration officials have been proposed in America. What might surprise readers is who is behind these new moves… Martin explores the vexed issue of migration and border control…

Read More

A week in America | 19 July 2024

Desperate to write about anything other than American politics, Martin is once again frustrated as cataclysmic events on the campaign trail once again take centre stage… Trump vs Who? is the question on everyone’s lips…

Read More