Countering the “Blue Wave”


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Many in the media have talked about a rising Blue Wave in response to President Trump. They speculate that this wave will carry Democrats to control of the House, and even allow them to compete for control of the US Senate despite facing a seemingly unfavorable map. Considering the Democrats have led the generic ballot for months, it might seem like the media’s narrative is all but guaranteed. Republicans must come up with a solution to break through in the polls to maintain control of Congress.

If Republicans want to appeal to the greatest number of potential supporters, they must embrace the liberty movement. The election of Donald Trump revealed the dissatisfaction of voters with the established system. Americans tired of being lied to by mainstream politicians took action and voted for a candidate who ran on shaking up the system. Since being elected, President Trump has done things considered outside of the mainstream, such as moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

However, many members of Congress still represent the Establishment that limits President Trump’s ability to fulfill all his promises, especially when it comes to the budget. There are few Republicans in Congress willing to vote for balanced budgets, as evidenced by the Senate’s recent vote on Rand Paul’s Penny Plan bill. This especially angers conservatives who vote for Republicans to fix the ever-increasing debt problem.

Liberty candidates in the mold of Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie can appeal to this anger toward insiders. They are Republicans concerned with keeping promises, fiscal responsibility, reducing the role of government in economics and many social issues, protecting the Constitution from overreach by both parties, preventing the US from engaging in foreign conflicts against American interests, and fighting for American sovereignty.  The message this type of candidate runs on is strongly against the status quo and in favor of shaking up the Washington Swamp. This message will help motivate those who would otherwise stay at home if forced to choose between two establishment candidates.

However, the ability to appeal to the forgotten voting base is only one of the liberty movement’s strengths. In the last few decades, the Republican Party has held both fiscally and socially conservative positions. During this time, it has worked, but American politics has a history of change.

The American public is moving toward the liberal position on some social issues, such as marijuana and gay marriage. A Fox News poll from January shows that 59% of the US supports legalizing marijuana. This number grows to 71% when just looking at support among people 40 and under. A recent Gallup poll showed support for legal gay marriage at 67%. Even 47% of Republicans support it. Civil liberties, an important issue for constitutionalists and younger voters, is another area where Liberty Republicans differ from traditional Republicans. Sen. Paul has fought against the NSA from the Senate floor on several occasions. If Republicans want to appeal to voters, especially among the younger demographics, they must read the writing on the wall.

Liberty candidates fit more into the libertarian category on many social issues, which can attract voters who might be put off by traditional Republican positions. Younger voters get a reputation for being far to the left of the political spectrum, but there is huge potential for liberty candidates to appeal to this demographic. If Republicans can pick up a significant chunk of the younger voters, it would go a long way in ensuring continued Republican control of Congress.

Finally, we must look at what the Republican Party stands for. Republicans are supposed to be small government conservatives. Many mainstream Republicans end up supporting bills that increase the role of government in people’s lives and go against the principles of conservatism. Liberty Republicans actually hold to values central to the Republican Party and conservatism. They seek to reduce the role of government in both the economic and social aspects of people’s lives. Liberty Republicans are immune to being labeled hypocrites on policy votes, because they remain in favor of limited government even if they don’t agree with an individual’s lifestyle choice. By electing such candidates, the Republican Party would show that principles matter, and the party truly cares about getting the government to leave people alone.

Republicans need an answer to the tough challenge that Democrats are prepared to throw at them in the midterms. In order to counter this rising wave, Republicans must angle their message to voters that are not traditionally under the Republican blanket. Liberty candidates need to be nominated who can appeal to shifting public opinion and attract the votes of younger demographics and those who feel left behind by the Washington establishment.

In order to successfully counter the rising “Blue Wave,” Republicans must use a wave of their own: the “Liberty Wave.” Only then will Republicans prove that their message of small government can adapt to changing times and continue to win elections.

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About Jesse Green

Asbury University

Jesse Green is a political science and history double major at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky where he helped found a Young Americans for Freedom chapter. One day Jesse hopes to hold the seat in the US Senate currently held by his modern-day political hero Dr. Rand Paul. Outside of politics, he enjoys watching sports, playing Xbox, and leading a middle school life group at church.

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