In 1980, Ronald Reagan won in a landslide against Jimmy Carter and did it again in 1984 against Walter Mondale, winning 49 of 50 states. Conservatives thought they had won the political war. Happy days were here again. Not quite.
We had won a few battles. Unfortunately, too many conservatives sat on these victories and let the other side retake hard-won political ground against the Democrats who were less radical than today’s Democrats. Bush 41 caved on “no new taxes.” Bush 43 plunged us into a multi-trillion-dollar immoral and unconstitutional war.
The special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district shows once again that victories must be maintained. Everyone knew the Democrats would be energized.
The continued trashing of Trump has not helped, trashing that’s still coming from the Republican Establishment. Trump is by no means the perfect candidate, but he’s a great deal better than anyone the Democrats have. Tony Perkins makes an important point about why the trashing of Evangelicals who support Trump is continuing to take place:
Although the liberal media won’t admit it, there’s a deliberate effort to try to discourage evangelicals from voting and being involved. That’s why we’re seeing an almost daily rehashing of Trump’s past. Americans can’t make it through a half-hour of cable news without hearing about the president’s behavior back in 2006. They can’t open a newspaper without another columnist shaming Christians for supporting Trump. That’s by design. Liberals know that if they can shame evangelicals for supporting this president, they can suppress their enthusiasm. Their aim is to translate that into a decline of our record participation in 2016. If that decline happens — even a little bit — they can retake Congress. And they understand as well as we do that if Republicans lose either chamber, the president’s conservative agenda is as good as dead.
By my count, Trump has done more favorable things for Christians than any past Republican President, including Reagan. Again, this does not mean that we should discount his sins and shortcomings regarding proposals we disagree with. At this point in time, the alternative is far worse.
The Democrats put up a candidate in Pennsylvania who sounded like a conservative. Conor Lamb is a 33-year-old Marine vet who trashed Nancy Pelosi and supports the Second Amendment. I’m sure a lot of people voted for him because they thought he was a conservative and he looked good. Salena Zito from the Washington Examiner made these points about Lamb and his campaign strategy before the election:
The young, charming Democratic candidate Conor Lamb is running like a Republican on matters from guns to getting rid of Nancy Pelosi. When your message is simply I am for new leadership and cleaning up Washington, and you look like you just walked out of an Orvis catalog, you are going to connect with voters on both sides of the aisle.
Second, Lamb never slams President Trump; why would he? Trump won this district by double digits…
Third, none of Lamb’s campaign signs say he is a Democrat. He is not part of the resistance, he does not call himself progressive, he doesn’t try to divide voters into different special interest groups.
And fourth, the establishment Republicans have embarrassed themselves with public hissy fits about Lamb’s challenger, Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone — his lack of fundraising polish and his panache. You have to wonder if their bitterness towards this Western Pennsylvania candidate — whose military and diplomatic experience are impressive on paper and manifest in person — is deeply rooted in their persistent resentment of Trumpism.
What do the people who voted for Lamb think he will do when he gets to Washington? Do they believe that any conservative vote Lamb might make will make any difference? The Democrat leadership might even let him vote with the Republicans periodically so he can keep his seat when he runs again in November. (Tuesday’s vote was a special election to fill a vacant seat.) Our constitutional system is a numbers game. The Party with the most votes wins. If Republicans lose the majority, the Democrats can stall all legislation.
It didn’t help that the Republicans put up a (purposely?) weakened candidate that even the GOP and Trump considered a less than viable. It also didn’t help that a third-party candidate siphoned off one percent of the vote.
Trump and the GOP need to get their act together. Trump should spend almost all his time on the road reigniting the base, explaining how crucial the midterm elections are, raising money, and developing a consistent message beginning with “If the Democrats get back in power, they will raise your taxes, wreck the economy, and take away your remaining liberties.”
The Democrats will stop every investigation that is going on that is exposing the corruption that was taking place during Obama’s eight years in office.
Hillary Clinton, who just denigrated millions of women voters, will get away with serious crimes. Hillary believed that she could get away with her crimes because she believed that there was no way that Donald Trump could win. Surprise! The same is true of Obama’s dirty dealings.
We are in a war. Christians and conservatives need to understand this. It’s a war that will have consequences far and wide.