The GOP didn't see what was coming, and they still don't really get it

Let's be honest.  We should have seen this coming.

Before the November 8 election, a friend of mine made calls to Republican voters in Pennsylvania to remind them to vote for Doug Mastriano for governor.  He was shocked at the response.  A majority of them said they disagreed with Mastriano and were not going to vote for him.  And these were Republicans! 

It's not surprising.  The Pennsylvania news media had aggressively portrayed Mastriano as an anti-abortion zealot, an anti-Semite, and an insurrectionist who once posed in a Confederate uniform.  (That out-of-context photo of him was from a Civil War battle re-enactment he'd participated in years ago.)

Herschel Walker, Dr. Oz, Kari Lake, and virtually every Republican candidate across America running in a hotly contested race got similar treatment.  A heavy dose of anti–Donald Trump fear-mongering was often added.  The Republican Party was cast as a "threat to democracy" — a libel that was never properly challenged by our side.  Rather, most candidates shied away from any reference to the fraudulent 2020 election (the actual threat to democracy) for fear of being labeled a "conspiracy theorist" or supporter of "insurrection."

The left conducted a nationwide campaign of vile demonization that America has never seen before.  It was a blitzkrieg of venomous hatred and outrageous lies about Republicans and what would happen if they got elected.  It was not just Joe Biden's hideous ranting about MAGA Republicans in his press conferences and Independence Hall speech.  It was also the commentary on every national TV news station (including Fox) every night.  There was a constant flood of venomous opinion columns in newspapers and social media posts.

Actual facts didn't matter.  Anything could be twisted to be part of the attack.  When an illegal alien leftist attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband, the national scream was that it was the result of Republican calls to murder those they disagree with.

That vile messaging is like jet fuel to the liberal-socialist-communist aircraft.  Leftists thrive on lies and hatred.  And even many "Republicans" and others who weren't paying close attention could easily get caught up in it.

Conservative commentators and the GOP largely ignored the leftist propaganda campaign.  But at a minimum, our GOP leadership should have been on top of it with effective responses.

Most of us don't tend to take in the mainstream media the way a large segment of America does, so we didn't see the bulk of this defamation effort.  And the average conservative simply couldn't believe that people would actually ignore what's happening to their pocketbooks.

So, with a few exceptions (e.g., Ron DeSantis, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kari Lake), our side either didn't recognize it or didn't take it seriously.  We all believed that the horrible state of our country brought on by the Biden administration — including the crippling inflation, the invasion on our southern border, the food shortages, rising crime, and the castigation of concerned citizens as "domestic terrorists" — would bring a flood of Republican votes.

DeSantis, Greene, Lake, and some others boldly addressed the attacks against them — and hit back.  They were also willing to take on the "culture war" issues.  DeSantis addressed the abortion hysteria by publicly describing what an abortion does to a baby.  When accused of being "hateful," Greene talked about the destructive "transgender" agenda targeting children.  Lake was hard-hitting on election fraud, government corruption, and the border invasion.

But too many GOP candidates avoided taking bold stands.  And the national GOP seemed clueless.  The conservative press never quite caught on, either.

As a result of that tsunami of unchecked propaganda, a cursory study of the voting patterns shows that people came out of the woodwork to vote the straight Democrat ticket.  Large numbers were voting out of fear and anger, with no concern whatsoever for what was happening to the country.  (That fact itself is extremely frightening.)  And many GOP voters didn't vote at all, they were so discouraged and disoriented.

A second part of the left's strategy was also very effective.  Their voter fraud efforts were more sophisticated and even better organized than in 2020.  Many conservative groups understood this and had organized people to attempt to stop it in 2022.  But with the continuing poison of mail-in ballots, ballot-harvesting, drop boxes, poor voter verification, unregulated machines, and early voting — plus the Biden administration's jack-booted efforts to protect those interferences — it was a difficult fight.  Many have calculated that this vast and institutionalized criminal voter fraud gave the Democrats 5 to 10 percent (or more) across the board.

Another obvious systemic problem: The left has an array of mega-donors such as Soros, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, and corporate donors who funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into their plans to change America.  Our side doesn't have that.  There are some very wealthy conservative donors, but the left has sophisticated armies of paid staff, while we tend mostly to rely on volunteers.  Until that changes, we have a huge uphill battle.

Apparently, half of the country is so emotionally crippled and politically vacuous that they're perfectly willing to vote for people who are leading us all into a veritable hell.  With good reason, many fear that our near future will be even bleaker than the Great Depression — or 1930s Europe.

Brian Camenker is President of MassResistance, a national pro-family activist group.

Image: kolyaeg via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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