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Don't Take the Red Wave for Granted

Now is no time for Republican voters to become complacent.

Donald Trump Holds Rally With Ohio Candidates In Youngstown
Republican Senate candidate JD Vance and Rep. Jim Jordan at a rally in Youngstown, September 17, 2022. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The red wave is coming. Even if some polls suggest a Democrat surge or at least only a mild defeat today, it is more likely that the GOP candidates will win in most races. It is even possible that voters in progressive bastions like New York and Oregon might elect a Republican candidate. It turns out that issues like inflation, gas prices, crime, immigration, and Covid tyranny mean something to voters of all stripes, and no amount of campaign funding and media blitzing can change this. 

Of course, a red wave shouldn’t surprise anyone. Even Joe Rogan is saying that the midterm election results are “going to be like the elevator doors opening up in The Shining.” While not the most pleasant simile, the idea it expresses is sound. Biden and the Democrats have made themselves extremely unpopular, as have their media allies. 

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However, predictions in themselves prove nothing, and can be dangerous if treated as certainty. Just ask a Democrat. Everything around her tells her that she will win and that hope and change are on the horizon, but in every election she find out that Republicans still make up a large portion of the electorate and people still dissent on many issues a leftist takes for granted. On the other side, Republicans tend to understand that they are always facing a Flight 93 election and so cast their vote, hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

The complacency of Democrats has led to the current slew of insultingly bad candidates. Two have refused to debate their opponents, one is cognitively impaired, two are perennial losers, and all of them hover around the leftist fringe on most issues, particularly on abortion. No one believes that any of them have the will, much less the basic capacity, to fix the myriad problems afflicting the country.

Knowing this, Republican voters need to resist the temptation to become overconfident or overly paranoid. This is undoubtedly a factor in the lower voter turnout in Texas thus far. Every vote matters, and conservatives should ignore the apparent odds and make sure to vote. Moreover, they should continue to keep their eyes open on fraud and vote-rigging. Although automatic mail-in ballots are being used in fewer states this year, election-deciding chicanery can still happen.

More importantly, Republican voters also need to stay involved after the election whether it turns out to be a red tsunami or merely a red ripple. Voting isn’t simply an expression of political belief, but an important means of ensuring accountability. All too often, conservatives forget the latter and find themselves plagued with ineffective politicians who immediately forget their constituencies as soon as they enter office. 

Writer and musician Tal Bachman speaks quite eloquently on this challenge in his now-classic essay “The Republican Party Sucks.” After listing the many instances of feckless Republican politicians, starting from George H. W. Bush, Bachman concludes: “The brute fact is that the Republican Party today—unlike its original incarnation—has no rootedness in any specific moral conception of political life. It is an unmoored, mercenary instrument for hire.”

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While it is important to at least hinder the Democrat agenda, particularly if a nuclear war with Russia is on the table, it is also important to advance an agenda that reduces the suckage of the GOP. This would include protecting the life of the unborn (Dobbs is the beginning, not the end), safeguarding elections, defunding the FBI and other intelligence agencies, balancing the budget and reforming entitlements, nominating judges who are faithful to the constitution, impeaching corrupt officials, and breaking up corporate monopolies.

True, Biden will probably veto and make executive orders as much as he can, but the legislature still holds the power of the purse, and it’s critical that they use it. As bad as the executive branch has been, the Democrats in the House and Senate have also wreaked havoc, voting for trillion-dollar omnibus bills as well as nominating leftist radicals to the cabinet and courts. The only thing keeping the country from falling into an unconstitutional oligarchy that fixes elections, makes abortion a national right, and eliminates the filibuster are “moderate” (i.e., not insane) senators like Kristen Sinema and Joe Manchin.

So yes, voting and holding politicians accountable will be key. But voters will also need to be prepared to look past the gaslighting sure to follow a Republican victory and stay committed to executing the agenda. As sure as night follows day, Republicans will be blamed for the fallout of the last two years. Indeed, this is already happening. It is guaranteed that gas prices will increase, inflation will stay high, and the current recession will start hitting people hard. It will be left to Republicans in the next couple of years to take action, and once they do, they will be immediately excoriated as fascists, racists, and extremists. 

If there is any chance of reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, voters will need to remember what caused these problems and continue voting for change. The GOP doesn’t have to suck, nor does the country at large. Normal Americans can fix this, but it may take a few more red waves to get it done.