The Election as a Referendum on Political Cowardice
It's time for a different type of representative.
In recent days, I've been inundated by friends and fans asking for my thoughts on the election. They tend to be depressed, resentful, or outraged. Election day turned election season has resulted in an increased distrust in an election infrastructure that desperately needs reform. While I don't trust modern elections either, especially elections that take more than a week to conclude, I don't share the sense of disappointment.
Part of that is caused by my pre-existing cynicism, which prevented me from expecting massive gains or the materialization of a "red wave". But even if we had those gains, I'd still be cynical. How many of those with an R beside their names vote differently to Democrats on the social issues that matter?
Just take a look at the recent bipartisan bill to codify gay marriage federally (the euphemistically named Respect for Marriage Act, which I've written about before). If this is what we can expect from Republicans, why vote at all? It's easy to consider the perspective of those who surrendered to melancholy. Yes, there are lots of self-identified 'conservatives' that are pro-gay marriage now — few can tell me what they're trying to conserve. Even if gay marriage was an issue worth ignoring, which it is not, imagine prioritizing that over the Born Alive Protection Act, which would ensure that the babies who survived their abortions received needed medical care. Instead, the "bipartisan mission" is gay marriage.
When that's what a moderate Republican looks like, voter apathy should be expected. If I were a voter in Pennsylvania; voting for the elitist, mainstream, middle-of-the-road Dr. Oz would have been nearly painful. Voter turnout will always be lower if the candidates are awful. Plenty of strong candidates with clear positions (like Ted Budd) won, and caused people to show up. It's not enough just to expect people to vote against the Democrat because "he's even worse". It's an atrocious way to govern considering the magnitude of the battles that we are inheriting. We don't just need candidates who will stall the decline of our society by not voting with Democrats on every issue; we need those who will actively work to correct what is broken. That requires backbone. Those who don't have courage during an election campaign certainly won't when it's time to act.
The left-wing media and Conservative Inc are both celebrating the election results, as if they represent a referendum on Trump, but that's absurd. Yes, Trump-backed candidates did poorly in some areas, but many of them were terrible. One of Trump's biggest weaknesses is choosing decent friends and colleagues. The people he surrounded himself with during his White House tenure undermined his ability to fulfill the campaign promise to "drain the swamp" because invariably, they were the swamp.
Mitch McConnell did his part to undermine the election for Republicans, sacrificing his party (and his country if he believes his rhetoric) in order to exercise spite against those who held stated positions not to vote for him to be the Senate leader. His super PAC stopped funding for the Arizona senate candidate, Blake Masters, because Masters had stated his unwillingness to support Mitch's bid for leader. Of course, Mitch desperately needs to be replaced in that position, and that's further demonstrated by his poor prioritization hitherto described. All of this brings us back to the fact that national elections are corrupt affairs that mostly sleazy individuals play in.
The majority of our national candidates are terrible, and to get better candidates, we need to:
Fix the elections themselves
Get people to vote in the primaries
Fight the culture war
On the last point, it’s worth considering that politicians tend to be the worst that society will allow. What is needed is a cultural landscape that prohibits the belief that placating the left is the easy answer. As things stand, politicians only expect loud condemnation and hassle when they offend left-wing sensibilities, so it’s easier for them to lean in that direction. A change in the energy of those on the right could help to correct this offset.
We can achieve social change faster on a much smaller level. Remember the campaign in Jamestown Township, Michigan, wherein the townsfolk defunded the library due to the highly sexual pro-gay and pro-transgender books in the young adult section. Likewise recall the effects of parents fighting back against pro-trans indoctrination in schools, beginning in Arizona and spreading throughout the country.
When parents started getting involved in the schools, the left was so horrified by an activism they had never been on the receiving end of, that they tried to label those parents as terrorists. They were afraid. We get things done by focusing on the small fights that we can win, then using social media and internet media outlets to share the victories, that they might inspire others. This is how we change the collective dialog and the rules of acceptability.
Further, some of our messaging is not clear. The left is making moral arguments that are going unanswered, especially on issues like abortion. We need to go on the offensive and stop acting like our position is in some way shameful. We should amplify the voices of those who have survived their abortions, along with people who regret their time in that industry. The magnification of what really goes on therewithin serves to shine a light of truth into an injustice that can only continue in darkness. Let us be clear: They are advocating killing children in the womb and mutilating their genitals as teenagers if they survive. It shouldn’t be difficult to discern the moral high ground.
Let us not listen to the voices of the media and within milquetoast Republicanism, who argue that a shift towards the left is needed to succeed. That’s failure rebranded as success; a surrender that condemns our children to grow in a nation with neither culture nor values.