After President Biden won the state of Virginia by ten points in 2020, I had little hope that Virginia’s gubernatorial election would go the Republicans’ way. Indeed, in August the polling showed Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe leading Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin by 8 points. Yet Youngkin ran an amazing campaign and upset McAuliffe, causing Republicans’ 2022 electoral aspirations to skyrocket.
Conservatives should certainly take a moment to bask in the victory and enjoy their share of the leftist tears that are flooding the streets. Few things are more enjoyable than watching Democrats claim that Republicans are white supremacists when the party of the current governor who either wore blackface or dressed as a klansman lost and GOP candidate Winsome Sears won and became the state’s first black and female lieutenant governor.
But we mustn’t forget to examine the long-term ramifications of this victory. With the midterms just around the corner, such a stunning victory illuminates the GOP’s path forward to become the majority party for decades to come.
Not to ruin the fun, but conservatives cannot let themselves be too happy over this victory. Youngkin did a good job. But he didn’t win so much as the Democrats lost.
The leader of the Democratic Party is a senile old man who just lost a war, wrecked the economy, and is being more radical than Obama ever was. Virginia schools were covering up rape. McAuliffe thought it wise to tell parents that they have no say in their child’s education and that if any of them dared to question the wisdom of Democrats and school boards, they were racists and domestic terrorists. A victory in those circumstances should be expected.
With that said, the victory proved many things. Most obviously, the GOP should be running on the culture war. In the past, Republicans claimed the culture war was political suicide, that we must focus solely on taxes, free trade, and those other subjects that the Democrats will only occasionally label you a racist or a Nazi for speaking about. We tried that in 2012, and it didn’t go very well.
Youngkin ran on the culture war. He ran on education; on the truth that those who didn’t want their little girl sharing a bathroom with a boy or coming home asking if she was evil because she is white were justified in their concerns. For far too long, Republicans have confused surrender for civility. No more. Embrace the culture war, fight for what’s morally right, and the voters will support our agenda.
However, I must warn conservatives that while we should lead with the culture war, we cannot abandon a responsible fiscal policy. It’s nerdy and boring, but as our debt approaches $30 trillion, we need it more than ever.
Additionally, the election proved Trump and Trumpism have to go. Big Tech shouldn’t have de-platformed Trump, but his absence has been a blessing for GOP candidates. Youngkin wisely distanced himself from Trump, and the results speak for themselves.
According to Ben Shapiro, 50% of white women in Virginia voted for Biden while 49% voted for Trump. 57% of white women voted for Youngkin while 43% voted for McAuliffe. Whatever good Trump did for the party during his presidency, we do better when he’s not on the ballot. Trump alienated women and encouraged Republicans not to vote. Youngkin persuaded women and energized Republicans. It’s clear who is an asset and who is a liability.
Lastly, we must continue to invest in and build a conservative media infrastructure that isn’t just an alternative to the mainstream, but that becomes the mainstream. The Daily Wire and their investigative reporting exposed the Loudoun County scandal and made this a winnable race. As wonderful as that was, it begs the question, how many Loudoun Counties have we missed because of our dependence on left-leaning investigative reporting? We were able to change the course of an election by exposing one scandal. Imagine how many of the Left’s radical policies we could expose and defeat if we match liberal media’s resources and infrastructure.
Usually when a conservative says, “Why don’t you just build your own platform?” it’s intended to show the ridiculousness of thinking we should build alternatives to Big Tech and the mainstream media rather than regulating them. This election proves that conservatives shouldn’t be using “build your own platform” as a retort. They should be looking at it as a challenge. Invest the time, money, and manpower, build the infrastructure, and go defeat the liberal agenda and advance the conservative agenda.
Conservatives have a lot of work to do, but the path forward is bright. Learn from this victory, fight the culture war, and there will be more victories to come.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.