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As the COVID-19 pandemic rages and the economic fallout of the widespread lockdowns continues to harm the livelihoods of millions of people, the November elections are rapidly approaching. In just six months, Republicans will attempt to retake the House of Representatives, retain their majority in the Senate, and ensure that President Trump serves an additional four years in the White House.
This uncertainty has greatly affected the political landscape. In recent months, left-wing groups such as MoveOn and Indivisible have utilized the grassroots playbook of the Tea Party movement following the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. In their attempt to rally their supporters, liberals absurdly claim the lives lost due to COVID-19 and the unprecedented economic suffering are a manifestation of conservative, free market policies.
Such statements are riddled with factual inaccuracies and outright falsehoods. However, they have successfully energized the Democratic base.
For instance, Democratic incumbents in the “dirty 30” congressional districts, districts that voted for Trump in 2016 and elected a Democrat to the House in 2018, have outraised their Republican challengers by a ratio of 6-to-1. Additionally, groups such as MoveOn have experienced a dramatic growth in funding and an expansion of their activist base.
At a time when more than one-third of adults are increasing their time on social media, conservatives must use the digital sphere to cut through leftist falsehoods. To combat the fabrications of liberal activists, it is imperative to communicate a message of liberty.
Free market grassroots activists are fighting against left-wing disinformation. They are as engaged as ever and will be critical to victory. Through recruiting thousands of new activists and expanding its online presence, FreedomWorks and allied free market groups within the Save Our Country Coalition are emphasizing the importance of individual liberty and free enterprise in solving this crisis. Economic conservatives should take note. The GOP will need to look outside its typical base and make the winning argument to anyone who values a healthy economy.
The underlying message in countering the liberal narrative must be that free enterprise, which has done more to advance human prosperity than any economic system in history, will allow the economy to come roaring back. It is not Trump or Republicans that have fomented financial collapse but Democrats, who maintain that an indefinite national shutdown is the only solution. To emerge from this crisis stronger than we entered it, we must unleash the free market and lift draconian restrictions on individual freedom.
It is no surprise that the pandemic has been politicized by shameless Democrats and left-wing groups. Now, supporters of small government must fight back. A compelling argument that reaches groups outside the typical GOP base will be key to securing a victory for the free market and therefore a strong economy this November.
Parissa Sedghi (@psedghi) is a vice president at FreedomWorks.