Three issues that each side would like you focusing on


In bringing his road show to Grand Rapids on Tuesday, the opportunistic Donald Trump drove home the murder of 25-year-old Ruby Garcia, whose death, presumably, came at the hands of an undocumented immigrant.

Early indications are Brandon Ortiz-Vite spent a significant amount of his young life in the United States and the murder is more about domestic violence and gun control than creepy “illegal” immigrants hiding behind trees taking out young women.

But in politics, we don’t let the facts get in the way of a good narrative, and that’s exactly what Trump and Republicans have right now.

Immigration is the best issue Republicans have, based on just about every poll, so they might as well ride it. And considering Trump hasn’t done as well in Grand Rapids as other Republicans, historically, Garcia’s horrific death gives the presumptive Republican presidential nominee a relatable talking point.

With this, I’ll launch into the three best issues Trump and Democrats each have at this stage in the 2024 presidential campaign.

GOP Issue #1: Immigration Among Republicans, I’ve seen polls showing immigration being the top issue for well over 30 percent of traditional Republicans. In most cases, it isn’t even close.

American history is littered with examples of blaming the relative newcomer with crime, stealing jobs and general unsightliness, whether its Arab-Americans, the Irish, the Japanese, Eastern Europeans, whoever.

With President Joe Biden’s comparatively lax immigration policies bringing in a record number of undocumented populations through the southern border, this is an easy one for Republican politicians.

GOP Issue #2: Electric vehicles Things are shapely up nicely for Trump on this one, too. American automakers need Chinese partners to make electric vehicles, which feeds into the hysteria that Red Communist China is taking over U.S. manufacturing.

Seeing videos of electric vehicles breaking down from the cold weather in Chicago, combined with with anxiety over mileage range, makes the fear of change a great political selling point.

GOP Issue #3: Biden’s age This issue is getting a little old, no pun intended. I mean, we’ve all seen videos of the president wandering offstage to look at a baby or falling off a bicycle. Yeah, the guy is old. We get it.

But for every time we hear Biden mumble something, we also hear Biden pop off a decent zinger or manage a strong speech, like his State of the Union address. Clearly, Biden has his good days and his bad days ... but that’s not unlike Trump himself, who is only a couple years younger and is slipping, too.

Dem Issue #1: Threats to democracy Whenever this is polled, Democrats cite it as their top issue. Every time. People are genuinely frightened that Trump will take control of the government for his own purposes. We all saw what happened on Jan. 6, but beyond that, what is going on with all these criminal cases against Trump?

It makes you wonder if Trump is being prosecuted for running for office or if he’s running for office to avoid prosecution.

Dem Issue #2: Abortion This really shouldn’t be an issue in Michigan anymore with the passage of Proposal 3 making the right to an abortion a constitutional amendment, but ... along comes Michigan’s old, old surrogacy laws.

Is it possible we were the last state in the union to outlaw surrogacy contracts between consenting adults? That in Michigan, a man and a woman had to adopt a child created from their sperm and egg because it was delivered by another woman?

The only thing more unbelievable than that is that nearly every legislative Republican voted against changing the law to fit with the modern advancements of 2024. Crazy.

Dem Issue #3. The economy isn’t really that bad I mean, it’s really not. Unemployment is as low as it’s going to get. Anyone who wants a job can get one. The inflation created post-pandemic has slowed down. The whole Biden-omics moniker isn’t great, but the economy didn’t crash and burn after COVID. That’s an accomplishment that isn’t appreciated enough.

(Email Kyle Melinn of the Capitol news service MIRS at


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