Another election, another round of recriminations.
I have ZERO confidence that the Republican Party will heed anything I say here, since they don't listen to the dozens (or hundreds) of other better-known commentators making similar points. But as proof of the triumph of hope over experience, here goes:
No. 1: Ronna McDaniel has to go. How many embarrassing electoral defeats does the party have to endure before this woman is replaced? It was astonishing that McDaniel was reelected in January of this year to a fourth term as Republican National Committee chair on the heels of midterm elections that were, if not disastrous, then inexcusably disappointing for Republicans in what should have been a banner year.
At the January meeting, McDaniel said, "We heard you, grassroots. We know ... [W]ith us united and all of us joining together, the Democrats are going to hear us in 2024."
Oh, I see – just not in 2023?
And as for "hearing the grassroots," on April 15, Scott Presler – who has become the Johnny Appleseed of Republican voter registration in state after state – asked McDaniel the following on X (formerly Twitter):
"I know that President Biden has an 'army of influencers,' who are dedicated to reaching the youth. Is there any plan to have an alternative team for the GOP? I'd also like to make the humble suggestion that you do a Twitter space. Thank you for listening."
Every day since (207 days in a row at this writing), Presler has politely reposted his request for a response.
No. 2: You can't win back in elections what you concede in the culture. Ohioans voted this week to amend the state's constitution to create an unlimited right to abortion. The amendment also effectively removes parental rights over their minor children's sexuality and gender identification, as well as their underage daughters' ability to abort without their parents' knowledge or consent.
In an X post that has received 685,000 views, author Mike Cernovich wrote, "Americans love abortion." Actually, no. Americans don't "love abortion." What they do seem to love, however, is a culture saturated with irresponsible sex.
So many of our country's problems are directly attributable to the "sexual revolution": the breakdown of the family, single motherhood, child poverty and academic underachievement, crime, the explosion of sexually transmitted diseases in American teenagers (not to mention a host of other related emotional and psychological disorders).
It would be better for women, men, children and society at large if we valued human beings and respected sexuality as the precious and powerful gift it is within the context of a committed marriage, and not as mere entertainment, the natural consequences of which (children) are either treated as unwanted and expendable, or for which the biological parents are hopelessly unprepared.
But we are unwilling to engage on that issue. And in a culture where sex is treated as recreation, abortion becomes the inevitable escape valve.
Simple as that.
No. 3: Election integrity matters more than ever. If Republicans want a message to drive home in 2024 and thereafter, this is a big one.
On Tuesday, every single voting machine in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, had to be shut down when voters noticed that the machines were "flipping votes." This, the public was told, was a "coding" error.
How many times do we have to see this movie? If the machines can be "coded" to change votes, that's a problem.
In addition to the ease with which electronic voting can be manipulated, we have the very real prospect of noncitizens voting. Eight million people are believed to have entered the U.S. illegally since Biden took office. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia require no photo identification to vote. Add to that the recent proliferation of mail-in voting and ballot harvesting, and you have the very real prospect of people who have no right to vote casting ballots in U.S. elections.
What we need is mandatory voter identification, a return to paper ballots, in-person voting, and to make Election Day an annual national holiday.
No. 4: Trump is a symptom, not a cause. Gleeful Democrats, irascible Never-Trumpers and recent converts to the Anybody-But-Trump faction are all pointing to former President Donald Trump as the primary reason for the GOP losing what should be winnable elections. Trump's endorsements aren't pulling his candidates over the finish line, the story goes, and he alienates centrists, moderates and independents. Trump is fracturing the Republican Party, they say.
The fractures are there, alright, but Trump didn't create them. After years – nay, decades – of mouthing conservative platitudes only to capitulate to the Left when elected, the "grassroots" no longer believes anyone from the Republican "establishment," and words like "bipartisanship" are signals for "we'll back down at the first sign of pressure."
If you really want Trump out and someone else in, find a candidate who is unafraid to oppose the hardcore Left, infuriate Democrats, thumb his (or her) nose at the media and stand up for ordinary Americans against the weaponized apparatus of the Deep State.
No. 5: The GOP needs to unite behind a candidate. Spend some time on social media and you'll see that Never-Trumpers can't stand the MAGA movement; DeSantis fans relentlessly mock Trump supporters, and Trump supporters accuse Ron DeSantis of being a globalist shill. Vivek Ramaswamy says the right things, but he was once nominated to be a World Economic Forum "Young Global Leader," so he must be one of Klaus Schwab's budding little environazis. Nikki Haley is viewed by the Trump base as a sellout.
As weak as Joe Biden is, if Republicans are divided, he (or his heir apparent) gets a cake walk back into the White House. And that is a consequence no one on the Right wants.