The Republican Party just had its first of many rude awakenings.
On November 8, 2016, the voters of the United States completely repudiated the Presidency of Barack Obama with a victory for Donald Trump. In fact, after this election, the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, Senate, White House, and therefore, control over the next Supreme Court pick. This came at the Democratic Party’s expense of 1,030 governmental positions, ranging from Governors’ mansions to state houses from Obama’s first election in 2008.
After the past eight, long years, the Republicans finally feel empowered by having control of the federal government. However, it is important to realize how we got here, and why this majority is on dangerously thin ice.
Over the past eight years the voters of the United States have been deeply worried about the future of the country.
However, with the passage of Obamacare in 2010, Democrats earned an approval rating of just 40%, and the Republicans took back the House on the promise of a repeal. With an even lower approval rating in 2014, the Republicans took back the Senate with the similar promise of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Finally, Donald Trump consistently promised on the campaign trail for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and convinced enough skeptical conservatives to vote him into office.
With full control of the federal government, the Republicans nevertheless offered up a half-baked restructure and redressing of Obamacare that proceeded to die within the first three weeks of its proposal. This has already spelled disaster for down-ballot Republicans.
Despite what many hopeful conservatives believe, this switch in party control was not because of principled conservative candidates, but rather a rejection of the failed leftist policies of the Obama Administration. This is evidenced by the stagnant support of the Obama agenda by Independents and Republicans alike. As a result of all of this, the Fourth District of Kansas, with a Cook PVI score of R +15 just witnessed its GOP candidate to replace CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Ron Estes, win by just seven points, an incredibly slim margin for a usual Republican stronghold.
This will spell doom for other House Republicans, including a special election in the moderate Georgia 6th that is being held later this month. The control of the House looks as if it will switch hands with the current level of Republican voter enthusiasm.
Republicans’ actions, or lack thereof, is going to be their downfall. It is obvious the Republicans are in office because of their promise to repeal Obamacare. Additionally, the promise of much-needed tax reform was appealing to many middle-class families.
Republicans need to act on their agenda, the one they campaigned and won on. Legislators need to host town halls and face their constituents. They need to explain to their voters why we need free market healthcare, tax reform, smaller government, and to defund Planned Parenthood.
True conservatives can improve their brand by showing their constituents that there is a way to enhance liberty and remove government from everyone’s lives. This is not easy, but if this is not done in the name of protecting Donald Trump, Republicans will have a rude awakening in 2018, then in 2020, and will be wondering why a quasi-socialist is being sworn in with a fully Democrat-controlled Congress.