America's Divide: Where Republicans See Leadership, Democrats Declare Scare Tactics

By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

As the Republican National Convention continues, speeches paint a devastating portrait of America under President Donald Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden.

They do so while portraying the president, not Biden, as the only caring and compassionate candidate vying for the White House.

In the midst of a pandemic, clashes between police and protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin highlight strong divide throughout the country. For example, a recent CBS News poll showed a deep split along party lines on the president’s handling of the coronavirus, specifically whether the number of deaths in the U.S. from complications related to COVID-19 are "acceptable."

Republicans contend Trump has shown great leadership in handling the pandemic.

Democrats, however, don't see it that way.

New @CBSNews poll: 57% of Republicans think the number of US deaths from #coronavirus pandemic (170,000+) is “acceptable.” Huge disconnect on that from the rest of the country: 90% of Democrats & 67% of independents say it’s not.

— SovernNation (@SovernNation) August 23, 2020

"I think he’s managed things amazingly," said Harmeet Dhillon, a Trump delegate just back from Charlotte, North Carolina and California’s Republican National Committeewoman. "I think he’s done a great job of making sure at the outset, on the basis of information that was known about the coronavirus, he took steps to keep Americans safe, shut down travel from certain countries, made sure that states like California and New York that are very populous had access to resources from other states and from our national stockpiles."

Dhillon is known as a conservative "legal warrior," leading many coronavirus-related lawsuits against California Gov. Gavin Newsom through her firm, San Francisco’s Dhillon Law Group.

The actions include church services, students, vote-by-mail and everything in between.

"We’re seeing a lot of economic impact," Dhillon said of the governor’s coronavirus shutdowns. "You probably know...that I’ve filed over a dozen lawsuits against the state of California as well as other states for what I view as civil rights violations in excess in the shutdowns. Some of those shutdowns have negatively impacted economies in certain states. Certainly, California and right here in San Francisco is one where just about every street is littered with boarded up signs."

Critics have called the RNC’s approach thus far dark and divisive, using stark warnings to stoke fear among Americans about what could happen to them if the Democrats regain the presidency.

Republicans, on the other hand, have countered the Democratic National Convention by skipping a traditional party platform for a 50-point plan, outlining the Trump administration’s "core priorities" and offering complete support to the president as he seeks another term.

"Overall, we heard from some Democrats (Monday) night at the convention," said Dhillon. "A lot of them actually pointed out that the president has given historical growth in jobs across the all sectors, African Americans, women, minorities, non-college educated folks and so forth. Even despite coronavirus, the economy has rebounded tremendously over the last few weeks, and we expect that trend to continue."

Dhillon was a guest on Tuesday’s "The State Of California."