Has the GOP Learned Anything After the Midterms?
The congressional midterm elections are thankfully over.
Predictions of a red wave, including by yours truly, didn’t materialize. Instead, it was more of a pink trickle with the GOP flipping the House. The Senate is still up for grabs, with the best outcome for the GOP being a 50-50 split, depending on the Georgia run-off results.
Red wave predictions made sense at the time, given President Biden’s unpopularity and incompetence, leading to a declining America. This includes 40-year high inflation, a recession, open borders, energy shortages, supply chain disruptions, World War III simmering in Ukraine, and a woke culture ruining the lives of children and families.
By comparison, President Obama, in his first term midterm election in 2010, oversaw his party being shellacked. In those elections, Republicans gained seven Senate seats and 63 House seats. Obama presided over a better economy, was somewhat competent, and certainly more coherent and charismatic than Biden, yet if this year’s midterms were any referendum on Biden, he outshined Obama.
How did this happen? And in an eerily similar fashion to the 2020 elections. Has the Republican Party learned anything in the past few election cycles? Or have voters voiced their preference for personal and national decline over prosperity, choosing to make America weak rather than strong?
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One obvious explanation is the election process. Republicans focus on winning votes while Democrats concentrate on gathering ballots. Joseph Stalin said, "It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes."
There are quasi-legal ballot maneuvers including ballot-harvesting, mass mailings of ballots weeks or months before the actual election, extended counting, ranked voting, and similar election procedures enacted with Republican support or minimal resistance.
Then there are seemingly illegal maneuvers, many outlined in Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary, 2,000 Mules. Funny how vote counting stopped on election night in swing districts, only to resume the next day with a winning Republican on election night replaced by a winning Democrat when the sun came up. Or voting machines mysteriously malfunctioning on Election Day in high GOP turnout precincts. For example, in this midterm, 48 percent of Maricopa County election centers suffered problems. Or random vote count spikes always favoring the Democrat candidate. Or phantom ballots and voters based on neglected voter rolls.
2022 was a repeat of 2020, with Republicans caught flat-footed once again, or else complicit in another “selection” rather than an “election.” Concepts like cleaning up the voter rolls, signature verification, same-day voting with few exceptions, paper ballots, and even consideration of a national holiday to eliminate the need for early voting, all seem to be lost on Republican lawmakers, preferring a system that Democrats take full advantage of and Republicans cannot even grasp, much less utilize to their advantage, leading to predictable outcomes.
Democrats are using modern oversized golf clubs and tennis rackets while Republicans are using the decades old tools of Gene Sarazen and Jack Kramer. Or an abacus rather than a calculator. If the GOP plays by old rules and doesn’t fix the system, elections really don’t matter, with the ruling class offering an electoral charade and a predetermined outcome, much like professional wrestling.
Another explanation is the messaging. Although messaging is about voting and Democrats are way beyond votes, concentrating on ballots, such that the message doesn’t really matter. Democrat candidates, hiding in their basements or avoiding debates, such as Joe Biden, Katie Hobbs, and John Fetterman, need not worry about a message if their political machines already have ballots firmly under control.
But where is the GOP messaging, like Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America”? Where was the simple, “Are you better off now than you were 2-4 years ago”? Simply saying that Biden and the Democrats are bad, vote for us instead, is hardly an inspiring message. Republicans need a story of reversing the decline, not simply slowing it down.
Where are Republican leaders? Former President Trump held myriad rallies while the Senate leader hid in his turtle shell, financially supporting RINOs and candidates of his and his donors’ choosing rather than honoring the wishes of GOP voters.
If this isn’t fixed, expect similar results in 2024, regardless of who the Republican presidential nominee is. Lousy messaging and a crooked election system is a recipe for a blue wave. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.
The interesting bit is that Republicans expect a different result, which clearly hasn’t happened. Democrats are doing the same thing over and over but expecting a similar result, meaning they must be the sane party.
Lastly, the electorate has changed. Aside from being the party of the wealthy coastal elites, the Democrat party’s large new constituency is single, urban, educated, middle-aged women who view Republican candidates as a personification of their ex-husbands. Young people are all about their “rights” and validation of their woke virtue-signaling. Republicans need a message pointing out that safety and security depends on a strong economy, energy policy, law and order, and a secure national border.
This should not be difficult. According to Rasmussen Reports, only 28 percent of likely U.S. voters think the country is headed in the right direction. 57 percent see a depression ahead. And 57 percent, “believe it is likely that the outcome of some elections this year will be affected by cheating.”
Investigating the Biden crime family won’t be enough to win elections, either. But still a reckoning is necessary and long overdue as most Republicans are tired of our two-tiered justice system where Democrats skate and Republicans are investigated and imprisoned. Hopefully the GOP House can begin tilting Lady Justice’s scales back to neutral.
The bottom line is that if the electoral process is not fixed, delivering America fair and honest “elections” rather than these ruling class “selections,” any further discussion about candidates, messages, and whether Trump or DeSantis would make a better candidate for president become irrelevant. Both will lose in 2024 as their election night leads in swing states evaporate by morning after thousands of ballots suddenly materialize and no one is there to watch the vote counters.
If America’s electoral system is miraculously repaired, there is still the message, the GOP making the case for peace, safety, and prosperity in a convincing manner, as Ronald Reagan did in 1980. Otherwise, the most secure election in history will still leave the GOP short as voters stay home, tired of more hot air and broken campaign promises by what has been appropriately named, “the stupid party.” Let’s see if the Republican Party has finally woken up and learned something.
Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a physician and writer. Follow him on Twitter @retinaldoctor, Truth Social @BrianJoondeph and LinkedIn @Brian Joondeph.