AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
After an unexpectedly disappointing night for Republicans on Tuesday, we are now witnessing the inevitable period of finger-pointing, fault-finding, and “soul-searching” within the GOP. From condemning Donald Trump to implicating the Dobbs decision and criticizing Republican congressional leadership, the blame game is well underway.
But conservatives are, yet again, likely missing the forest for the trees. While abortion, Mitch McConnell, “candidate quality,” and countless other proximate causes almost certainly played a significant role in the disappointing results, these pale in comparison to the factors few are willing to face. The GOP is now operating in an environment in which it has a growing set of gargantuan structural disadvantages—now seen for two elections in a row.
Between a national press that’s more rigidly partisan than state-run media in some authoritarian countries, widespread censorship by Big Tech, persecution and harassment by the Deep State, mass mail-in voting systems that only the Democrats exploit, shady practices surrounding large-scale ballot harvesting, and every social and cultural institution aligned against conservatives, it’s a miracle that Republicans can win any election
It is now clear that until Republicans get serious about finding a way to compete in a political environment that is militantly arrayed against them, they will continue to lose every single national election—no matter how imminent a red wave might seem.
It is not yet quite true, but at times almost seems so, that conservatives are not really allowed to win.
Given the circumstances, it is almost comical to talk about whether Republicans lost because Dr. Oz was a “flawed candidate.” That’s like saying the Titanic sunk because it didn’t have good enough bilge pumps.
Despite what the Washington consulting class likes to tell itself (and its donors), conservatives are simply not fighting on a level playing field. They aren’t even fighting on anything close to a level playing field—and in many cases, they are playing a game entirely of their own.
The news media successfully buries stories that are in any way damaging to progressives or beneficial to conservatives. Federal departments like the DOJ and FBI now openly target Republicans and persecute the Biden administration’s political enemies. Every major Silicon Valley tech giant actively censors conservative content.
And what happens if by chance a conservative does win? Well, look what happened to Donald Trump. The entire system spent four straight years trying to evict him from office through hoaxes, propaganda, and lies.
Meanwhile, in 2022, the entire media conspired successfully to conceal John Fetterman’s disqualifying health challenges. The full extent of Fetterman’s disability did not become clear until the sole debate, which took place after a majority of ballots in Pennsylvania had already been cast. When a reporter from NBC tried to reveal the secret, the entire media didn’t attack Fetterman for lying about his health—they attacked the reporter for telling the truth.
The sunshiny naivete of GOP consultants who fail to grapple with the full implications of these facts remains a massive obstacle to the party’s future electoral prospects.
The Republican establishment’s response to the disappointments of 2022 mirror almost exactly their response to 2020: blame Donald Trump, and learn nothing. One might think that the 2020 election—in which several swing states illegally changed their election laws to favor Democrats (including Pennsylvania, which violated its own state constitution), Big Tech colluded with the FBI to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, and the media did everything in its power to ensure a Trump defeat—would have served as a wakeup call for establishment Republicans to change course in future elections. They probably assured themselves that the new rules were only deployed against Trump. Last week, they learned differently.
Two full years after Republicans received a rude awakening about the dangers of permitting widespread mail-in ballots, drop boxes, and ballot harvesting, the national party and many state parties were once again unprepared.
By every historic precedent, Republicans should have won Tuesday’s midterms in a seismic landslide. Every condition for a red wave was in place. The American economy is teetering on the edge of ruin, with lingering threats of recession and inflation at its highest point in four decades. The southern border is in a shambles, and virtually every border security measure has been thrown by the wayside. Democrats are openly campaigning on providing sex change surgery and hormone blockers to healthy minor children, indoctrinating them with perverse racial and sexual inanities, and killing fully formed babies in the womb up until the moment of birth. The incumbent president is facing historically low approval ratings and is incapable of making a public appearance without making gaffes that, in a different age, would have been utterly disqualifying. Two years ago, Democrats incentivized months of rioting and burning of cities to promote a false narrative of systemic racism and police brutality.
All of this raises an interesting question: was Tuesday’s performance not the worst Republicans can do in this lopsided environment—but instead, closer to the best the GOP can hope for, if it is not willing or able to address the larger structural issues?
The fact that Republicans didn’t defeat Democrats in an electoral bloodbath on Tuesday is yet another sign that the Republican establishment must finally come to terms with the landscape they face. Instead of squabbling over minor factors, all their energy should be directed toward confronting what might be called the Big Rig: the media, the tech giants, the Deep State, and state election authorities all colluding to ensure Republicans never win another election again.
What would actually grappling with these problems look like? Well, to start with, conservative donors and media figures could begin devising a way to quietly create or take over media empires that—unlike entities like Fox News or Newsmax—do not openly brand themselves as conservative propaganda. Rather than paying lip service to election integrity, Republicans need to end ballot harvesting where they can and figure out how to legally match it where they can’t. And most importantly, when GOP leaders do win control of Congress or the White House, they should under no circumstances hesitate to wield the levers of power in the same ways Democrats do.
These are just a handful of steps the Republican Party needs to take—and the conservative movement must now take time to think seriously about other ways to reverse its deep-rooted disadvantages.
If we do not, and we simply give into the lazy establishment excuse of blaming Donald Trump, it is all but certain this will happen again.
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