I have waited to make this statement until the full results of this election were known. It is unfortunate that a statement intended for immediately after the election must now wait weeks to be released, but we will discuss the status of our election system shortly.
First, I wish to congratulate Missouri’s Senator-Elect, Eric Schmitt, on his victory in the general election. On a day when several Republican candidates underperformed, you came through, scoring a resounding victory for your fellow Missourians who want to restrain the left-wing tide that is gaining momentum in many regions of our country. Now your challenge is to prevent Washington D.C. from changing you. This won’t be easy. The Washington culture is corrosive and dangerous. It can destroy people of weak character or people not fully committed to representing the values of the people who elected them. As our representative in a republican form of government we understand that you will vote for what you believe is best for the people of Missouri, but we also expect that you absolutely will not: 1) vote for what is exclusively in your best interest; 2) vote for what is in the interest of large donors who financed your campaign; or 3) vote for the interests of the DC establishment. You have our support and our trust that you will not let us down.
The Broader Results and Lessons Learned
To the broader election results, I wish to remind my fellow Republicans that we achieved our primary goal. By winning the House of Representatives we will be able to blunt the aggressive assault on our fundamental values by the Left-wing extremists who have captured the New Democrat Party. This is not something to lament, but rather something to celebrate.
At the same time, we should not understate the failures in communicating our goals, and the success of the Left in labeling us in the runup to the election. Republicans allowed the media to define our goals via polling results and media hype. It is widely accepted that the American media and national level journalists are hostile to the Republican Party and to their desire to maintain limits on the power and authority of the federal government. Allowing your opponent to define your objectives will normally result in either failure or disappointment, in this case disappointment.
So, what should have been our goals? First, we need to define what our goals were not. There was never an opportunity to throw the Democrats out of power because control of the Executive Branch was not on the November 8th ballot. Thus, reestablishing divided government was the only objective that actually was achievable. Also, while gaining a 40- or 50-seat majority in the House may have been desirable, such a margin would have been no more strategically effective than a 1-seat majority. While control over the Senate was also desirable, a majority in that that chamber in recent years has been a source of disappointment as it tends to vote with the DC establishment, especially when controlled by Republicans. While control over the Senate does provide the ability to affect the Executive and Judicial Branches via the confirmation process, we must frankly admit that Republicans do not have strong leadership in the Senate, and therefore a narrow majority in that chamber likely would have been a source of post-election weakness. Therefore, a realistic expectation for the November 8th election was to gain control on at least one legislative chamber to check the Left’s use of absolute power to transform our society. This was achieved.
We should not, however, ignore the fact that the American people did not demonstrate an overwhelming confidence in our party’s ability to lead the Nation. This should keep us all up at night, particularly given the abject failures of the Left’s policies and the devastating results they have produced in just two short years. If the American people are not willing to give Republicans strong legislative majorities in this climate of left-wing failure, then when will they be willing to do so?
What is partly to blame for this is that Republicans failed to provide the American people an affirmative reason to vote for Republicans. Just saying “the Democrats s—” is not enough. Our public school system has indoctrinated an entire generation to believe that, despite real-world evidence to the contrary, left-wing policies are the path to an equity-based modern utopia. To gain this generation’s support Republicans must continuously advance a positive and affirmative message that representative government combined with free market economics produce broad-based wealth, economic mobility, and both individual and National security. Lacking an offensive message creates a vacuum that will be filled by the left’s vitriolic and mendacious message. The House had an affirmative message, the Senate did not. Is it coincidental that we won the House and did not win the Senate?
All this said, we should not discount two important facts from the mid-terms, one positive and another negative. First, a strong majority of votes cast across the entire Nation went to Republican candidates (52% of all votes cast). This indicates strong disapproval for the Left, and a growing belief that Republicans are more closely aligned with the values of the broader electorate. The shift in voter perceptions of the two parties is most prevalent with minorities and immigrants who sense that the party of the Left is a party of academic, media, coastal, and government elites, and not a party representing the values of working- and middle-class Americans. Despite this shift, the second fact that should be learned is that electoral victory is becoming more elusive for Republicans. Recent elections have demonstrated an enduring effect of the COVID-19 virus; it provided the Left an opportunity to fundamentally change our election process. Because of these changes the outcome of many elections, elections in key districts/states, are no longer in doubt; the Left’s candidates will win those contests. They will do so because of a new phenomenon in American elections which I summarize as a new electoral axiom, “the longer we collect and count ballots the more likely the Leftist candidate will win.” The Republican party must point out that not only have these new voting processes undermined voter confidence in the results of our elections, but they were implemented outside the law, through courts lacking jurisdiction, and by Secretaries of State and/or Governors lacking authority. It should be a major objective of the Republican National Committee to reverse these unlawful changes and restore confidence in the system. And where we are unable to reverse these changes, the RNC should deploy the tactics and techniques the Left have used to exploit the new gaps and seems they produced. This may be distasteful for a Party whose values are to oppose centralized control by an elitest few, but we cannot surrender the electoral battlefield to the Left when our freedoms and liberties are at stake.
What to Do Now
All this brings us to the biggest challenge the Republican party faces today, countering the Left’s messaging that the Republican Party is fundamentally evil. Overcoming this messaging will be difficult to achieve with a media that is an advocate of the New Left Party. A positive contribution of the Trump years was that he exposed the media’s bias, but one of Trump’s greatest failings is that he did not provide an enduring strategy to overcome this bias. Overcoming the Left’s capture of the American media will involve a tactical plan that supports strategic messaging objectives. Easier said than done of course, but a must-do for Republicans if we ever hope to have our message reach the voter.
The Freedom Agenda
So, what should the Republican Party’s agenda be for the next two years? First, as stated earlier, we must advance the message that representative government combined with free market economics produce wealth, economic mobility, and individual and National security. But more on that in the next paragraph. Equally importantly, the party needs to develop a more rational plan for both raising and distributing resources. This should include the RNC deploying resources to counter the Democrat’s legal strategy, specifically as it relates to elections. It should also include the RNC’s oversight of all resources raised by Republican PACs not specifically by or on behalf of individual candidates. We are in a new era in American politics, one that includes the realignment of the two political parties. The fact that one Senator raises funds nationally and uses those funds to target new, non-establishment Republicans in the primaries and/or ignore non-establishment nominees in the general election is a recurring source of Republican electoral failure, and a major reason we underperformed on November 8th. We need new tactics to prevent the aggregation of power into the hands of a few hyper-powerful doyens, even if they are Republicans. Powerful Republicans resisting change within the party only empowers the Left.
The centerpiece of any new strategic plan must be a consistent, coherent, and unified message for all candidates. We need look no further for an example how well this works than the recent stunning victory in Florida. There, Gov. DeSantis’ strategic message was that he transformed Florida into “the freest State in America.” The evidence supporting the effectiveness of this message was not only the millions of Americans who moved to Florida since his election, but also his broad-based reelection victory. He has been able to “transform Florida” in a way the Left has been seeking to transform America, expect DeSantis transformed Florida towards freedom and liberty and away from centralized and elitest control. The Republican party’s strategic message should be that it has transformed itself into the “Freedom Party,” a party that supports free speech, individual liberty, and parents’ rights, to list just a few. This should be combined with the labeling of New Democrat Party for what the Left has transformed it to be, the “antidemocratic, authoritarian, and oligarchic party.” This “Freedom Agenda” should emphasize the transfer of power and wealth from DC back to the States and the individual citizen. It also should clearly state its support for the “rule of law” in our communities and on our border, but most especially within the government itself. A government which functions outside the rule of law is a threat to the rule of law, and therefore the freedoms of its citizens. Likewise, a government consuming a significant amount of the nation’s wealth is also a threat to the wealth and freedoms of average Americans. A poor nation is a nation with liberties reserved for only the wealthy few. Strengthening individual freedoms, rights, and sovereignty by limiting government power, wealth, and authority has proved to be a winning message in all but the bluest of States and districts.
The New Robber Barons
The centralization of power within the federal bureaucracy and empowered by a relative few Silicon Valley oligarchs, media elites, and coastal intellectuals is the modern threat to representative government. It is akin to the threat the Robber Barons posed in the late 19th century when they sought to control both our economic and government institutions. They failed because the Nation had not centralized power in the federal bureaucracy in the way it has have since the 1930s. With the traditional firewalls against consolidation of power within the Federal bureaucracy now dismantled, the threat of unrestrained government power is more real than ever. The result of this transformation of the American government is that citizens are experiencing heightened feelings of insecurity and loss of control, feelings which are resulting in the growth of conspiracy theories and higher levels of violence. Worse, the potential capture of government by the new Silicon Valley hyper-wealthy class is already in motion. The Left Party has recognized this new opportunity to amass wealth and power and is aggressively pursuing it. This is the root cause in the realignment of the two political parties. The Left is abandoning their traditional base in favor of the Silicon Valley hyper-wealthy and the intellectual elite. This is also the root cause of why working- middle-class Americans are now evaluating the Republican Party, and this is also why powerful Republicans resisting change within the party only empowers the New Left.
Time to Reverse the Drift
It is our generation’s calling to reverse this drift away for the democratic values given voice by Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence. We cannot allow ourselves to wallow in our self-pity over the disappointment we may feel from the results of the mid-terms. Instead, we have an opportunity to let November 8th be our Valley Forge, our Antietam, or our Battle of the Bulge. In each of those decisive battles across several generations, the forces of good met the threats to freedom and realized they were a formidable opponent. Those who represented us in those battles earned the respect of subsequent generations because they overcame extreme adversity to ensure American Independence would be passed to future generations. Let us rally out of the disappointment of November 8th to renew our effort to advance freedom and turn back the forces of the New Left. If we do so we will turn our disappointment of recent weeks into one of the greatest political victories since the Jeffersonian Revolution of 1800. We can then celebrate that our generation, when on the verge of allowing the light of liberty to flicker out to darkness, ensured the ideals of Jefferson’s Declaration would not perish, and that Lincoln’s “electric cord”, the cord that connects all generations of Americans with the Founding generation, endures, and still motivates us to preserve the freedoms we have enjoyed for future generations. Let this be our legacy and let the disappointment of November 8th be the rallying cry that strengthens our commitment to achieve this legacy. No legacy worthy of honor is easily achieved or without momentary setbacks.