It’s the weekend after the November midterms, and here are three key takeaways from Tuesday’s election.
No. 1: Conservatism still wins.
No. 2: Trumpism does not.
No. 3: If we don’t learn lessons one and two, and learn them quickly, the GOP will get destroyed in 2024.
Before you accuse me of treason, please take a deep breath, calm down, and do what all good Republicans should do — listen to the message before you shoot the messenger. In other words, don’t succumb to the conservative variant of TDS that causes inexplicable babblings of “Yeah, but Trump …” and just consider the following argument with an open mind.
First, there is good news. Principled conservatism won big on Tuesday. Two examples among many are Florida and Oklahoma, where strong conservative governors fended off the highly funded challenges of former “moderate Republicans” — otherwise known as unprincipled opportunists who now admit they were Democrats all along. In both of these states, liberals spent tens of millions of dollars to convince voters that the pro-life, pro-gun, pro-child, pro-freedom, pro-common-sense and pro-America principles of Govs. Ron DeSantis and Kevin Stitt were just too “extreme.” The result? In Florida, Mr. DeSantis thoroughly trounced the soulless Charlie Crist by 19.4 percentage points, and in Oklahoma, Mr. Stitt notched a 13-point victory over a power-hungry charlatan named Joy Hofmeister. So what do these two races teach us? Conservatism wins and wins big when competent, uncompromising leaders carry its banner.
That’s the good news. So, what’s the bad?
Consider the words of Richard A. Viguerie, a conservative icon, who wrote on Nov. 10, two days after the election:
“If you feel that Republicans did not have a bad night on November 8 … let me remind you, the GOP had the most favorable political environment ever.
• 80% of Americans say America is on the wrong track.
• 58% do not support President Joe Biden.
• 62% do not support Vice President Kamala Harris.
• Democrats have caused the highest inflation in 40 years.
• Americans said inflation was their number one issue in this election.
• Democrat policies have led to sky-high gas and fuel prices.
• Democrats persist in doubling down in their war on fossil fuels.
• Democrats continue their anti-police rhetoric.
• Democrat efforts to defund the police have contributed to rampant crime and murder in many major cities at epidemic levels.
• Democrat open border policies have led to 100,000+ fentanyl/illegal drug deaths in 2021, mainly because the Mexican cartels are using the open border to import their ‘death pills’ from China.
• Since Joe Biden became president, at least 5,000,000 illegal aliens have responded to his open border policy and invaded America.
• Democrats no longer try to hide the extremism of abortion on demand for any reason and up to the moment of birth.
• Democrats now require taxpayers to pay for these abortions.
• President Biden’s abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan led to the worst foreign policy defeat in American history.
• Our enemies in Russia, Iraq, and China see that we have a weak, ineffective, and mentally challenged president.
“So, with the best political environment ever,” concludes Mr. Viguerie, “we have a squeaker of an election. How do we expect to have big victories in the future and govern America at the national, state, and local levels with our present, ineffective leaders?”
And who is the poster child of such “ineffective leadership,” you might ask?
Look no further than the “chief endorser” of Tuesday night’s major losses in places such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York and, at least as I write this piece, maybe even Arizona and Georgia.
The bottom line is this: If we can’t usher in a red wave with the political landscape that Mr. Viguerie describes above, we have to be honest with ourselves and ask if the man who arguably gave us a Democrat-controlled Senate in 2020 may now be doing the same thing again.
If you remember, by nearly all accounts, incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler should have defeated Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the 2020 Georgia runoffs. Almost all the pundits on the right and left were saying the odds of both of these sitting Republicans being defeated were slim to none. So how did Georgians end up with two of the most extreme leftists in all of the U.S. Senate? The answer is found in two words: Donald Trump.
As the direction of our country hung in the balance, millions of us watched in horror as Mr. Trump decided to draw attention to himself rather than throwing every bit of influence he still had into winning these two Senate seats. The result was a Democrat victory because many conservative Georgians stayed home for the runoffs, convinced by their president that their votes wouldn’t matter.
The lesson of this midterm is simple and clear. Mr. Trump’s endorsements hindered rather than helped the much-anticipated “red wave,” and his petty selfishness could likely lead to another series of runoff losses in the days ahead.
The take-home of this past week is simple: Donald Trump has to go. If he’s our nominee in 2024, we will get destroyed.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host.