by SAM FADDIS
I am not a supporter of Vivek Ramaswamy for President, but let’s be clear. The man is speaking truth. The Republican Party is on the wrong track. Joe Biden is likely the worst President in American history. The economy is a disaster. The world is on fire. The country is awash in illegal immigrants. Every poll shows Biden and the Democrats are hugely unpopular.
Still, the Republicans find a way to lose.
The conventional wisdom amongst establishment Republicans is that people are rejecting MAGA “extremism.” They see in the election results evidence to support their belief that the only way ahead is to back away from ‘America First’ policies and return to the kind of neo-con principles the party championed in the 90s.
The establishment has it exactly backwards. It is the hostility of the party hierarchy to the MAGA movement that is killing Republicans at the polls.
All of the energy in the Republican Party is at the grassroots level where people are overwhelmingly supporters of Donald Trump and his agenda. In fact, even amongst those people who may find Trump personally not their cup of tea, his platform is still wildly popular. The Republican base wants: terms limits, free and fair elections, an end to endless war abroad, a tough line on China, the reindustrialization of the United States, the end of aggressive woke policies aimed at remaking America in some Marxist image, and secure borders.
Perhaps more than any of that, though, they want people who will fight. The base has no trust in the outcome of elections anymore, and yet they see that none of their elected representatives are doing anything to fix the broken electoral system. The base sees that Biden is hopelessly corrupt and likely compromised by hostile foreign powers and yet they wait in vain for any meaningful effort to remove him from office. The base knows there is no border anymore, that our nation is being invaded, and that it is American citizens who are paying the bill for the unfolding disaster, and yet they can find virtually no one who will take action to end this insanity.
The base is angry, increasingly impoverished, and rapidly losing faith in all of the core institutions of our government and society. They want someone to stand up, speak truth, and throw some punches. Other than Trump they see no one willing to do so.
Instead, the base is told over and over again to get behind establishment candidates who do not share their beliefs and show no inclination to tackle real issues. When MAGA candidates do emerge they are systematically eliminated by an entrenched GOP establishment that cuts them off from funding, refuses to endorse them, and then punishes any party officials who step out of line and get behind a “populist” candidate.
The result is electoral disaster. Establishment candidates like Mehmet Oz are trotted out and the base of the party is effectively ordered to get behind them. The lack of enthusiasm is palpable. People stay home in droves on election day. Many have simply stopped voting entirely.
The GOP establishment continues to believe that it can simply demand that registered Republicans vote for anyone with an “R” next to their name. Those days are long gone. If you cannot show by your actions that you stand with the MAGA movement, you will be ignored and considered as bad or worse than the Democrat running against you.
At a recent GOP luncheon, I sat and listened as probably a dozen Republican candidates for office got up and spoke. For fun, I jotted down a couple of dozen issues that I hear people discuss every time I go to a MAGA event in my state of Pennsylvania. I then waited to see how many of these Republican candidates would discuss any of these issues.
Only one did. He mentioned the border for about ten seconds. No one else took time to discuss any of the things infuriating members of the party. Their speeches all amounted to the same thing. I am a Republican – vote for me.