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It could be days, even weeks, before we know who will be who rule the parliamentBut there is one thing we already know about this election. It worked great for Democrats, but badly for Republicans.
In the middle years, when it was common for the parties in power to take heavy losses, and voters were horrified by inflation and crime and exhausted by a three-year pandemic, the Democrats effectively swept the federal government. We fought a draw in the election. Significant benefits at the state level.
My home state of Michigan is a better example than any other state. Incumbent Democratic governor. Gretchen WhitmerAttorney General Dana Nessel and secretary of state Jocelyn Benson All won easily. So did ballot measures to keep abortion legal and strengthen voting rights.The Democrats won by a very close margin, winning on several important points. us congressional election And there are plenty of state races too, allowing them to get Full control of the Michigan legislature First time since 1983.
The Democratic victory was very convincing, Except for some places like ArizonaInstead, they went to the accusation stage and argued with each other about who was to blame. did.
For many conservatives, the culprit is clear: Donald Trump continues to focus on his attempt to re-endorse the 2020 election by lobbying the party to nominate an unverified candidate with a frontier view, impacting donations and funding It used force to undermine the activities of official party organizations.
The New Yorker saw a version of this discussion on newsstands Wednesday.Trumpty Dumpty,” and columnist John Podletts wrote, “Toxic Trump is the political equivalent of a can of Raid.”Possibly the most serious vote repellent in modern American history. ”
edit page of wall street journal – yes, other parts of the Murdoch empire – were harsh as well. Since his surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election, he has disparaged Trump’s “total losing record” and called it a “political fiasco” under the headline “Trump is the Republican party’s biggest loser.” accused of causing
Here in Michigan, the Republican Chief of Staff memo (obtained by detroit free press) blaming Trump for the party’s losses – directly because his influence alienated some big donors, and indirectly because he supported the governor That’s because Candidate Dixon turned out to be a terrible candidate, whose Trump influence and extreme views dragged the rest down…of the ticket.
“Independent voters were turned off at the top of the ticket and dripped statewide,” he said. memo Said. “There was no voter turnout issue. Centrist voters just didn’t like what Tudor was selling.”
as someone Michigan campaign coverage As in other states, Dixon’s support for abortion bans has been divided among independents and some Republicans. Even the staff were alienated. Her attempts to stir up anger about LGBTQ-themed books in schools have failed to win them back. For some, it was a total disqualification.
But as a diagnosis of what plagues the Republican Party, I think this focus on Trump’s influence is incomplete — and from these prominent conservatives and influential party leaders Come on, I’m a little lacking in self-awareness.
Yes, Republicans have a Trump problem. But Trump himself didn’t cause the problem.
Remember, Republicans embraced Trump
The Trumpification of the Republican Party happened before our eyes in 2015 and 2016, when Trump was running for president. Conservatives and key figures within the party had the opportunity to reject his candidacy, and some have tried. Because it was the shortest path to their goal of gaining power and carrying out their agenda.
They weren’t exactly wrong about it. But Trump alienated large swaths of the public shortly after taking office with his bullying and hateful attitudes toward immigrants, communities of color and political opponents, and a frontal attack on the Affordable Care Act. . Although his efforts failed, he succeeded in another project: stuffing the judiciary with conservatives.When that This effort led directly to the Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision, a highly unpopular decision that was a major (probably a major) factor in the Republican midterm defeat.
These things didn’t just happen because Trump wanted them to. They happened because they were what the Republican Party and the conservative movement wanted for so long. abolition”obama carewas a perennial crusade.of business Ending abortion rights, and more broadly, filling courts with highly conservative judges and judges, has been underway for decades.
Nor does it appear that the Republican Party or its supporters are reconsidering the party’s stance today. On the morning after the election, the Post’s cover line read, “Defuture,Over photo of Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis – Republican founders and their supporters are rallying around him. But DeSantis may be smarter and less impulsive than Trump , his political stance is not particularly different. He even has same habitthis may or may not be a coincidence.
Trump and DeSantis seem to be headed for a clash over the 2024 presidential nomination, so it’s impossible to say how this will all play out over the next few months and years. Things have to break the Democratic way, and there’s always the chance that something akin to current Republican politics will do better next time in a different overall political environment.
But another lesson from this election is that the Trumpification of the Republican Party is likely to endure political opposition by stimulating voters to elect Democratic officials who could stay in power for some time. It is to create something that looks like
Michigan is again a instructive example. Democrats who were first elected in 2018 and are currently reelected include Whitmer, Benson, Nessel, and Congressman. Elissa Slotkin and a state senator. Mallory McMorrowa floor speech against anti-LGBTQ prejudice earlier this year went viral and became a regular on cable television. It is no coincidence that it is in sync with more open-minded cultural values. Victory on Tuesday.
The influence of these voters grows over time, creating a long-term challenge for the Republican Party. And even if it were possible, it’s not a challenge the party can overcome by simply dumping Trump.
The problem for young voters, and many not-so-young voters, is not that Trump is part of the Republican Party. The problem is he belongs there.