This column is a sequel to one I had a week ago, which was picked up and bandied about a bit, but as I said then the first installment was not a complete list of the things Republicans need to do to fix themselves.
You might have seen something about a letter several Republican donors fired off in support of Harmeet Dhillon’s bid to unseat Ronna McDaniel as RNC chair. It was a scathing rebuke of the party’s current leadership, and it did a solid job of describing where the party is:
We cannot continue on our current trajectory as a Republican Party. We must change, in order to fulfill our promise to Republican voters to win elections. After three consecutive losing election cycles and decades of a handful of consultants plundering Party resources, many members of the RNC seem content to double down on the incumbent leadership that is presently failing us. The once great Party of Lincoln is on the verge of permanent irrelevance if we fail to come together to correct course.
The Republican Party currently faces the most organized, radical, and weaponized Democrat Party the nation has ever seen. Despite this clear and present threat to our freedom, the highest levels of the Republican National Committee appear to be more focused on blaming others for their lack of leadership and lining the pockets of cherry-picked consultants than on winning elections.
No kidding to that.
But how to correct course? Well, the first seven New Year’s resolutions offered in the last column would certainly help, but most of what needs to be done are movement-wide activities, not just something the party itself could be responsible for. And this list is similar, though we’ll begin with a couple of things that do center around the GOP and RNC in particular.
I was talking with one state GOP chair a few days ago who noted that it had been years — before McDaniel became RNC chair, in fact — since his organization had received any money from the national party. That’s unacceptable. State Republican parties are becoming a joke largely because most of them don’t have any money, and because they don’t have money they don’t have as much organization and professionalism as they should have.
Beating the Democrats means beating a series of massive, well-funded urban political machines; they’ve built those in every big city in America over a long period of time with lots of money. While it seems like the Dems are a hive mind and a top-down organization in which everybody is in lockstep, that isn’t really true with respect to political organization. Those machines win locally because they’re run by fairly sharp, experienced political pros who’ve been getting big investments for quite a while.
So build up state parties. Infuse them with money and resources and see what happens with the talent that money attracts.
In a post-election column last year disparaging the reflexive media spotlight placed on the 2024 presidential race as the next item on the political calendar, I noted that it doesn’t matter who the GOP’s nominee is if the party doesn’t do something about election integrity in the states where it’s clearly absent, like Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and the others you already know about.
In every state, the GOP or some allied organization needs to build up a permanent office charged with furthering election integrity. There are citizens’ groups and volunteer organizations and even some advocacy outfits out there working on the issue, and without a doubt those guys deserve kudos for their efforts, but it’s Republican candidates who are directly getting crushed by some of the irregularities with this new system the Democrats are trying to impose on us in which collecting ballots is more important than winning votes, and it’s Republican voters being effectively disenfranchised by the cheating we all know is going on.
There needs to be hundreds of millions of dollars spent on professionalizing the election integrity effort. Voter rolls must be updated in real time. Ballot harvesting needs to be eliminated — or, in places where it can’t be, then Republicans need to explicitly and aggressively turn churches into ballot-harvesting centers and make Democrats try to punish them for it; we’ll see then whether eliminating that greasy practice will turn into a bipartisan initiative.
One of the most notable changes to American politics over the past 20 years has been the creation of the Democracy Alliance, the George Soros–led cabal of leftist foundations and pressure groups showering the Democrats with billions of dollars in advocacy money for all kinds of radical actions.
That money has created the organized, radical, and weaponized Democrat Party the letter referenced above talks about. It has no corresponding opponent on the Republican side, and this is a major problem. It’s why you have the Soros DAs who are crushing law and order in the cities, and it’s why you have the creeping woke radicalism in the schools and government and corporate offices. And lots of other things.
We’re not organized, and our money isn’t focused on the things it needs to be. Not anymore. We used to have that kind of organization, but it’s gone now. That has to change. And this will be tough to do, because the money on the left is radical, but the money on the right tends to be not just moderate but cowardly.
A “Republic Alliance” would have to take on the project of reforming the Republican donor class and making it understand just how big the fight is and, more importantly, how crucial it is to go on offense. This won’t happen without some key leaders taking on the project.
I’ve talked about this before, but it’s time for conservatives, and particularly the Republican Party’s leadership, to embrace a “radical” position on education. Education savings accounts, or more generally education funding policies that amount to the dollars following the child and not being tied to schools or school systems, are the future, and it can’t come soon enough.
You get the same pushback from the teachers unions on money-follows-the-child as you got when you were spending your time trying to start voucher programs in failing big-city school districts, but the return on investment is a whole lot better. With the former, you had suburban moms falling off the Republican Party because they couldn’t understand why their tax dollars were being spent giving free private education to poor Democrat kids. With this, you’re literally buying their votes by subsidizing private schools, homeschooling, learning pods, microschools, and the like.
It’s Politics 101. Make policies that create constituencies, and build your majority by actually giving your people something from the government that they want. The fact that you’ll replace a Democrat-dominated, Soviet-style, obsolete public education system, which clearly doesn’t work, with a marketplace that more than likely will means you aren’t just doing crass interest-group politics; you’re making people’s lives better.
It’s a big fight. So what? We’re talking about America’s future. If you’re not interested in fighting for that, why are you in politics?
There are states, like West Virginia, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana among others, where GOP officials have engaged this fight. Good for them. The entire Republican Party needs to go after the financial institutions engaging in this “environmental, social, and governance” fascist scam. They’re trying to use ESG as a means of controlling the public, and it’s going to get worse and worse the more it takes hold. Before it’s over, you’re literally going to be stuck with a Chinese-style social credit score in which tweets or Facebook posts you make that your overlords don’t like will make you ineligible to fly first class or rent an Airbnb or get an Uber or take out a mortgage. You might even one day find that your corporate landlord controls your thermostat and bakes your apartment in the summertime because they’ve decided your carbon footprint is too high.
This dystopian reality is not fantasy. In fact, it isn’t all that far away. It’s time to stick it to the arrogant bastards who think they have the right to try to impose it. How to fight ESG? A whole slew of legislation at the state level blocking the imposition of the ESG agenda and imposing onerous consequences on corporate overreaches is the most obvious thing. State banking laws need some upgrading. Congressional remedies are harder, as the GOP only has the House, but in spots leverage can be used to attack ESG.
And there’s always lawfare. We’re long past the point when Republicans should have dropped this aversion to trial lawyers as universally leftist. That isn’t true. Most of them are small businessmen, after all. Find ways to mobilize them against obnoxious woke corporate ESG practitioners in the same way the Left is weaponizing them against Christian cake bakers and florists.
With Obama and Biden, who is really Obama Redux, we’ve had trillion-dollar “infrastructure” packages, which have only made things worse. It’s no secret why; what modern Democrats think of as infrastructure isn’t real infrastructure but just swag they can feed to their sleazeball urban machine friends. It’s no surprise Biden’s Transportation Secretary came into office talking about racist roads and now can’t even run an FAA that can keep planes in the air. Wednesday we had the first national ground stop since 9/11, and it was caused by a … software malfunction.
We need a Republican fix for this infrastructure grift, and it starts with a recognition that infrastructure is a real issue. The water systems are crumbling, the streets are in lousy shape, the bridges are in disrepair. It all needs to be put back together.
But the thing is, you can’t just dump money on those same urban political machines and call it infrastructure spending. What would be a lot better idea is to start chartering infrastructure companies, perhaps with capital loaned to them by an infrastructure bank of some kind, and start moving “public” infrastructure into the private sector.
Because a privately owned water system doesn’t look like the utter failures of Jackson and Flint, and when those systems and assets are moved to the private sector there’s less money for the urban machine sleazeballs to steal.
Some of this is related to No. 6 above, yes, because when you know the Democrats who run the city will steal the pothole money rather than filling the potholes, the only way to remedy that — since because of Weaponized Governmental Failure (you already know what that is if you’re a regular reader of this column, but if not you can brush up on it here), you can’t stop the Democrats from running the city — is to take pothole maintenance away from them.
This is something the House GOP can lead on, because they’ve got the power of the purse if they’re willing to use it.
If we really are going back to regular order on the budget and instead of last-minute continuing resolutions and garbage omnibus bills passed with nobody reading them we’ll have 12 appropriations bills going through committee markups, then it’s time to go through those bills with fine-toothed combs and scrub out every dime spent on woke indoctrination, grants for leftist pressure groups, and sinecures for neocommunist wreckers and the like.
And, more to the point, those Community Development Block Grants and other swag-bags that go to cities to make up for the tax base they’ve run off by chasing out middle-class voters. Those monies should go to the states, not the cities; that way state legislatures run by Republicans more often than not can put strings on them to impoverish the machines and either save the money or spend it so it generates some kind of a return.
That’s how you go on offense. Stop just accepting that the Democrats will have the upper hand because they control the ruins of Detroit and St. Louis and Philadelphia. Take up for the suburban folks whose lives are negatively affected by the machine pols in the cities even though they’ve escaped their jurisdictions. Do that, and you’ll actually recapture their votes again.
Yes, there will be another installment of these resolutions. I’m not done yet. You’re welcome to suggest more in the comments — or at least some of you are.