Last week’s Democratic convention portrayed Joe Biden as a super nice guy with deep empathy. This week, Republicans are painting a picture of the Democratic nominee as Fidel Castro reborn.

If Biden beats President Donald Trump in November’s election, he will take the country into a dystopian future with churches shut down, guns confiscated, free speech curtailed, American history erased, taxes sky high, police disbanded, streets filled with rioters, suburbs overrun with the dregs of society and socialism triumphant. At least that is what is being asserted by one speaker after another at the Republican National Convention.

That dark message was delivered vividly by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and his girlfriend, ex-Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle. The younger Trump said the choice voters face is between “church, work and school” and “rioting, looting and vandalism.” Guilfoyle, in a screeching presentation that became instant fodder for social-media lampooning, declared outright that Democrats would destroy America.

“If you want to see the socialist Biden/Harris future for our country,” she said, “just take a look at California.”

I’m just guessing, but I suspect Guilfoyle’s split with her ex-husband, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, was less than amicable.

For many decades, Republicans have used scare stories about socialism to attack Democrats, with mixed results. Will it work this time? Maybe, but it is hard to think very many swing voters can be convinced that grandfatherly Joe Biden is a dangerous Marxist revolutionary or that sunny, wealthy California – even with its rampaging wildfires – is a socialist hell hole. 

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