How many times since 2012 have you heard that the Republican Party is dead? How many times have we been told that without seismic shifts in policy platform and abandoning many conservatives in our party, we could no longer win elections?
As of today, Republicans hold 31 governor’s mansions, 247 House seats, 54 Senate seats, 30 state legislatures, and have complete control (governor and both state houses) in 22 states. That equates to the largest Republican House majority since before WWII and tied for the fourth largest Senate majority in the history of our country (the higher three were all 55 seats). During the 2010 and 2014 elections, the GOP gained over 900 state legislative seats. Looking at the numbers, the party hasn’t been better off since before the Great Depression.
While we haven’t had complete control of Congress for very long, we have succeeded in doing a number of things legislatively. Since Republicans took over the House in 2011, the party has stopped “amnesty,” obstructed Obamacare at every turn, blocked cap and trade legislation that surely would’ve been introduced in a Democratic Congress, imposed stronger spending cuts, prevented tax increases, and are now in a strong position to deny President Obama his third Supreme Court appointment. No, we haven’t been able to push our own agenda through Congress and into law, but to say it was due to a lack of ‘fight’ is just not grounded in reality.
In the blocking and tackling that has been necessary to win majorities in Congress and keep them, the Republican Party has been remarkably successful. After the many liberal achievements of his first two years in office, the number of victories for the president has been incredibly small since 2011. This can be directly attributed to Republicans in Congress and the voters who elected them.
Now, if you were to ask yourself what Republicans should have done after this wave of electoral victories and success at halting President Obama’s radical policies, nominating Donald Trump to be president doesn’t make a lick of sense.
In 2010, the downright criminal way in which Obamacare was forced down the throat of the American people created a toxic environment across the country for Democrats, and Republicans were handed a landslide. After reelecting Barack Obama in 2012, in 2014, the electorate again rejected his policies after little to no change in the way Washington was operating. Electing Republican governors in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, and Michigan wasn’t a fluke – it happened because the party stood for something. We were fighting to reign in Barack Obama and Harry Reid from further damaging our country with more big government solutions, and the electorate rewarded the GOP with historic victories across the country.
Fast-forward to 2016.
Republican voters are on the cusp of nominating a New York liberal to be our choice for president. The facts don’t lie, and the facts prove that Donald Trump has been a big-government progressive on every issue until he started to run for president. Indeed, he spoke out in favor of Scottish-style healthcare, allowing Russia to re-establish a foothold in the Middle East, against reforming entitlements, and in favor of funding Planned Parenthood – all within the last six months.
The Republican Party already has a playbook on how to win elections – it was written by us in 2010 and 2014. But, instead of nominating a conservative like Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, we are flirting with an egotistical authoritarian who doesn’t understand that healthcare policy has a lot more to it than just “the lines around the states.”
This, my friends, is why Republicans can’t have nice things.
Only Republicans can experience historic, earth-shattering victories at the polls campaigning on smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations, and refuting big government liberalism, then turn to the nearest Hillary Clinton donor and say, “YOU are what we need!”
Donald Trump funded the very individuals and groups that gave us Obamacare. He funded Hillary Clinton’s campaigns in 2000 and 2008. He contributed to the Clinton Foundation. He funded Harry Reid’s PAC that aired millions of dollars worth of ads against Republicans.
This is not a businessman who greased the palms of some New York politicians to make sure he was given favorable treatment. This is a man who deliberately sought out liberal politicians across the country and subsidized their campaigns. He did not donate to any of these politicians to get a zoning decision for a hotel; he donated to them because he has agreed with them on every issue of substance for the past four decades.
Thousands of conservatives will not be there to hear your cries of betrayal when Trump nominates another John Paul Stevens to serve on the Supreme Court. Thousands of conservatives will not be there to bandage your wounds after Big Don proposes legislation granting amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants. Thousands of conservatives will not share your shock and confusion when President Trump supports gun control legislation because his New York pal Chuck Schumer assures him, “It’s a good deal, Don.” He will sell us all out to the highest bidder because Donald has never shown reverence for any principle other than high-quality hairspray.
To tell the truth, Republicans should already be tired of winning – and I guess we are. GOP voters across the country have led their party to its highest points in over half a century, but that’s just not good enough. If Donald Trump is our nominee, say goodbye to Senate seats in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, New Hampshire, and Ohio. We’ll lose dozens of House seats, the Senate majority, and the White House. Hillary will humiliate us and erase every gain the party made over the last 8 years.
Voters: don’t give the Republicans any responsibility or power, because inevitably we will light it all on fire and then ask why we weren’t given more in the first place.
An objective look at Trump’s business acumen would make him hard pressed to get hired to run a struggling Denny’s in west Texas – much less the largest economy the world has ever known. Nominating Trump to be President of the United States will prove that the party cannot put principle over anger, governing over emotion, or reason over misogynistic bluster.
I’m not sure that shooting yourself in the foot has ever been done with such furious intent or gusto as we have accomplished in 2016. Let’s hope that despite our best efforts, we will be saved from a President Trump by one of the remaining candidates. If we are so lucky, it will not be because we didn’t fight tooth and nail to drive our party into the ground. #NeverTrump