As we’ve now reached mid-September in the crucial federal midterm election season, if you’re like me, it doesn’t appear as though Republicans have much of a strategic plan going into the home stretch of this year’s historic campaign.
Polls go back and forth on whether the GOP will regain complete control of Congress or if they’ll simply retake the House of Representatives – or come up short in both chambers -- but all speculation to this point is mere conjecture. Lots of hard work lies ahead of November 8 (Election Day) and it seems clear that conservative candidates could use a concise national agenda to pitch to voters now that summer is over and focus returns to the never-ceasing necessity of politics.
Whenever Republicans get bogged down on local details in the ongoing culture war or get stuck talking about January 6, 2021 – or, to a large extent, are tied up with explaining their thoughts and feelings on former president Donald Trump’s battle against the corrupt Joe Biden and Merrick Garland-run Justice Department, it’s one less opportunity to present a comprehensive, future oriented plan to Americans. Give us something to chew, Republicans.
Liz Cheney is so yesterday. Let’s get it right for the next time around.
Luckily for us conservatives, the GOP offers a respectable “bench” of political pros ready to lend their experience and advice to the strategy discussion. And best of all, if you read it in the newspaper, no highly priced consultant fees go along with the opinions! In a piece titled “A five-point plan to secure a Republican majority come November”, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote at the Washington Examiner (Restoring America):
“The August strategy (cooked up by the propaganda media and Democratic consultants) that relied on using phony polls and personal attacks on Republican candidates has now failed. The momentum is shifting back to Republicans. So what, then, should Republican candidates do to maximize their victory this fall?
“Here are some key steps.
First, ignore the media’s efforts to get you to focus on 2024 presidential politics and the unending effort to smear President Donald Trump...
Second, crime may be the big sleeper issue this fall...
Third, tie the flood of illegal immigrants across the open border with the flood of illegal drugs and overdose deaths now surpassing 100,000 people per year.
Fourth, insist on the right of parents to know what is being taught to their children and what is going on in the classrooms...
Fifth, insist on a better funded-but-reformed Pentagon to enable America to stand up to communist China.
“Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Commitment to America’ is going to be a wonderful contrast with the negative attacks and failed performance of Biden and the Democrats. Study it. Talk about it. Show America how a party with commitment and optimism can achieve what a party with hate and anger cannot. That is the Republican formula for 2022.”
I would say it’s one formula of many. These are broad categories and cover a good part of what needs to be emphasized by Republican candidates, but there’s more to the agenda than what’s listed in Newt’s five-point plan.
Point one is especially well taken. President Trump did his yeoman best to cull the proverbial herd of Republican primary candidates in states all across the country, and his endorsements were highly successful in prevailing over establishment candidates and positioning themselves to compete with the rubberstamp Democrats in their districts and states. Trump’s say-so carries instant credibility with it, and most intelligent hopefuls realized it was much better to have the MAGA leader on his or her side than against them.
But now that the primaries are over and there’s only a little over a month and a half to go until Election Day, it’s best to leave Trump’s name out of the campaign conversation. Why? Anyone who’s inclined to vote for a Trump-backed Republican is already planning to do so, while there are many independents who prefer to keep their distance from him. Just because we conservatives like Trump and think he’s the greatest leader since Cincinnatus of the Roman Empire doesn’t mean he strikes everyone the same way.
A good example is the close U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, where Trump-endorsed TV doctor Mehmet Oz is battling outrageous socialist loser Democrat John Fetterman for the vacant seat in the upper chamber. Simply put, it’s one contest conservatives can’t afford to lose. The former president himself held a rally in the Keystone State a couple weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean we should see his presence as a sign that voters would rather relitigate the 2020 election – or dwell on 2024 -- than talk about Joe Biden’s disastrous presidency.
Donald Trump will always have a role in the Republican Party, but there’re more than enough salient issues to hash over this year.
Gingrich’s point two is also sound advice, but I’m not sure about Newt’s characterization of crime as a “sleeper” issue. There’s nothing drowsy about the relevance of crime and personal safety in this year’s campaign. In his piece, the former Speaker highlighted a Philadelphia survey where 70 percent of the city’s residents indicated crime was their biggest issue. Seeing as there’s a large African-American population in the city, the mere chance of “stealing” some votes from Democrats in Pennsylvania should be of paramount importance.
Inner cities are run by leftist Democrats, the prosecutors in many of them are George Soros-backed Democrats and the vast majority of congressional Democrats endorsed the “woke” riots and defund the police movement a couple years ago. The crime issue is a no-brainer and Republicans own it. If you’re a candidate, talk about it first, last and maybe even a little bit in the middle of your speech.
The same for Gingrich’s point three, illegal immigration and the ill effects of Joe Biden and the Democrats’ absurd open borders policies. For those who might’ve missed it – or in most cases, skipped it – vice president cackling Kamala Harris appeared on ultra-liberal Chuck Todd’s Sunday morning show a few days ago and had the temerity to claim that the southern border is closed and the only thing that’s needed to squelch the flow of illegals is work on a pathway to citizenship in the “broken” system. As senile Joe himself would say, no joke.
Democrats haven’t learned a thing from the past two years where illegal alien apprehensions totaled two million or more. And of course, they never bother mentioning the flood of illegal drugs that are crashing into America’s small towns and cities. These substances are often disguised as legitimate products, providing lethal consequence to those who unwittingly ingest them.
Democrats bear full responsibility for the horrible condition of the U.S.’s border defenses. Liberals would much prefer sweeping the issue under the rug and not talking about it, which is exactly why Republicans should be going out of their way to keep the topic front and center. Nothing good comes from illegal immigration and Democrats must be forced to confront why their attitudes have switched, over time, from strict enforcement to open borders.
The former speaker’s fourth point could possibly hold the key to the entire election this year because education and parent control touches everyone, particularly those who are trapped in deteriorating public school systems whose leaders are more preoccupied with shoveling “woke” garbage to impressionable minds than teaching the next generation the basics. Liberals care more about allowing gender confused boys to use girls’ restrooms than they do about making sure youths are well grounded in the founding principles.
Thankfully, conservative groups such as the 1776 Project PAC are making a huge difference in getting conservative majorities elected to schoolboards. If there’s one topic that unites Americans from all over the political spectrum, it’s education. This issue is credited with helping Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin to an upset win over the Democrat establishment a year ago. Not all elections are the same everywhere, but what Republican candidate wouldn’t benefit from talking about parental rights?
It's Gingrich’s final point – “insist on a better funded-but-reformed Pentagon to enable America to stand up to communist China” -- that I disagree with. As Senator Rand Paul and other conservatives have repeatedly suggested over the years, the Pentagon budget must be examined just like that of every other executive department, and if looked at closely enough, certainly there’s a lot of waste in there – just about everywhere.
Blindly allocating money to the military without changing priorities and purging the enormous waste just isn’t smart policy. After the debacle in Afghanistan and Joe Biden’s disastrous relations with NATO and the Middle East, is the American public hankering to spend more on the armed forces? Don’t cut the budget, but even the military needs accountability and belt-tightening.
Needless to say, there wouldn’t be a groundswell of support for Republican candidates to propose sending more “aid” to Ukraine. Despite a recent successful offensive campaign against Russia, the odds are still with the fighting force with the biggest and most powerful guns. The longer the conflict lasts, the more impact it will have worldwide – including here at home. Anyone in the mood to go back to $6 a gallon gas prices?
The best Americans can hope for is a rapid end to the war. “Climate change” obsessed Europe is going to suffer this winter as their reliable and affordable Russian natural gas supply won’t be available for purchase. All the speeches and slogans in the world aren’t going to heat your home. Not even a politician’s plethora of hot air will fill the void.
Republicans can add energy exploration to Gingrich’s list of points to emphasize. Survey after survey reveals that Americans don’t pay much mind to “climate change”, but they will respond – negatively -- to Democrat proposals to end the sale of gasoline powered cars. GOP candidates should jump on all of these issues. Talk about them a lot. It’s the future, people.
The GOP is in good shape to make big gains in November. Why settle for a little electoral ripple? Let’s make it a wave.
Joe Biden economy
Biden cognitive decline
January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election