In 2009, Republicans seemed to be ascendant. Republican Chris Christie won his bid to be governor of the very blue state of New Jersey. Opposition to Obama was fomenting in the organic Tea Party movement. At the time, 2010 clearly confirmed that with dominant Republican victories in the House of Representatives, several governor’s mansions, state houses, and dog catchers, the conservative movement that began in 1994 was getting its second wind, or so it seemed. In the end, with the likes of Paul Ryan at the helm, those victories had little to show for them.

Obama was easily re-elected in 2012. Weak establishment and compromising Republicans would serve as leaders of the party which, at best, stymied Democrats but accomplished little. Promises of repealing Obamacare never came to pass. The surprise election of Trump was a much-needed third wind for the conservative movement, but he was fought by his own party and unable to get wide enough popular support to carry the conservative mantle as far as it needed to go. And obviously, all of those local state victories did not prepare the Republican Party for, well, let’s call them “irregularities” in the 2020 election.

To see whether 2009 began a tectonic shift in this country’s politics, let’s consider what our country has looked like since then.

*Obamacare is here to stay.

*The national debt has jumped from about $12 trillion when Christie was elected to almost $30 trillion today.

*The ticking time-bomb of unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) have gone unaddressed.

*The LGBT agenda is now ubiquitous and has its own Supreme Court victory, it is firmly entrenchment in public schools, and now has trans athlete “victories” to boast about.

*Racial divides are still promulgated - even after the election of Obama – especially in public schools which now reaches all the way down into preschools.

*The aforementioned election irregularities of the 2020 election in Republican-controlled states - Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania – who did little or nothing to prevent them.

What Have Conservatives Really Won

I’d like to cite some conservative victories, but they are few are far between. Perhaps Roe v. Wade is closer to a reckoning than it ever has been, but Kavanaugh and Barrett seem unlikely to overturn it, and even heartbeat and 15-week bills out of Texas and Mississippi still do not protect all of the unborn or make pharmaceutical abortions illegal. There is definitely a movement to uncover what happened in 2020’s election, but establishment Republicans are either doing nothing or dragging their feet, themselves seemingly with something to hide (Brian Kemp?) Our failing and indoctrinating public schools have been exposed, but many school boards continue to enforce mask mandates even though the governors in those states have forbidden them, as in Texas.

There is some “good” news in that the disconnect that average Americans felt in 2016 that pushed Trump across the finish line has only grown since then. More Americans (thank you quarantine school experiment!) know what is being taught in their children’s schools and do not like what they are seeing. Republicans were involved at the grassroots level on Election Day in a big way in Virginia, so these are all good signs for the future.

What happened in Virginia should be celebrated, but only as the first step in a process that has already had three attempted start-ups that crashed when the initial funding ran out (’94, ’10, ’16). So, what must the conservative movement demand this go around to actually “save this country?” Here are six suggestions. And since this may be our last shot, I suggest that from the precinct committee chairmen to the Presidential candidate, these are unwavering commitments.

1. Do not Settle for Moderate Candidates.

Following the Gingrich revolt in the 90's, Republicans nominated Bob Dole. He lost badly. Following the 2010 Tea Party movement, Republicans nominated Mitt Romney. He also lost badly. If 2022 is shaping up to be another watershed election, then the energy from conservative victories should not be wasted on a candidate that does not excite the Republican Party in 2024. It is a losing strategy. Youngkin may have won Virginia, but someone like him may not win nationally. And, as crass as this sounds, he got lucky while two fathers suffered. The story of the trans boy raping two girls broke and, frankly, that was a political gift to Youngkin he could never have dreamed up. The exposure and battle over CRT helped as well. Youngkin was a great candidate, but sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good.

So no, Youngkin’s win does not prove that the country should abandon Trump, as, say, Matt Drudge would have us believe. It is true that Trump would not win as governor of Virginia, but his base surely played a huge role in Youngkin’s win, and there is a good chance that Youngkin would not win the states that Trump would. The frustration among ordinary Americans that gave rise to Trump was not just with slimy Democrats; it was equally a defunct and weak Republican Party that fed them meat in the primaries but slop when they went to Washington. Even if it is not Trump, the future of the Republican Party will be led by an America First, economic populist candidate.

2. Embrace these Two Words: Balanced Budget.

I refuse to believe that Americans, who must live within their means, are not at least subconsciously uneasy with the financial insanity going on in Washington. Trump justified it by saying that the debts would even out with projected growth, and, for his part he was correct in that, unlike Biden, his economy did grow and inflation was kept at bay. But the spending was still out of control, and there is always a price to pay. We are facing decades of lost growth and an increased tax burden on our kids who will be stuck servicing the national debt, if our nation's political will is not brought to bear on this problem. I cannot believe that a balanced budget platform would not be a popular platform.

3. Lift up the Family.

Wow, after 50 years of failed welfare programs, failed public schools, and massive crime as the direct result of homes without fathers, there is a hunger to celebrate the family once again. You saw it in Virginia as engaged parents who voted for Biden were sickened by what they heard from their socialist overlords. We should look to the tax benefits of Hungary's Viktor Orban has promised to woman who have more children, and try to come up with something similar that would make it possible for single-earning families to thrive again. Heck, no less than Elizabeth Warren championed it at one point in the past. It is a winning issue and it is time to turn the tide. And hey, it has the added benefit of fitting tongue-in-groove with a smaller government actually operating on a balanced budget.

4. Begin to Address the Tech Takeover.

It is time to not only talk about the monopoly of big tech, but the dangers of a hastened merger of human and machine. I realize this is an esoteric and difficult-to-summarize issue for stump speeches, but we are in the midst of a technological shift no smaller than steam or the automobile. Whoever proposes common sense restrictions on tech in our daily lives will win over those who feel more and more isolated and out of touch with “real life.” Data harvesting, content suppression, censorship, and even just your kids spending more time on screens or headsets instead of interacting with real human beings are all serious issues. Time to break up big tech and restrict the meta verse.

5. Getting Real with Covid.

Okay, we should all be past the “the vaccine will fix everything” phase. Stop pushing a “vax only” policy and embrace a diverse range of solutions so we can get back to life much as it was, you know, in 2019. Make therapeutics available in addition to the vaccine and its infinite round of boosters. Let people choose so there should be no excuses for lockdowns and masks anymore. We will all have access to the medicine we believe works based on the research we have done as free people. This is especially important for Trump as he wants credit for the vaccine’s production while it is now a political liability among his base. Just say yes to these drugs…all of them, so we can kick Covid’s ass already.

6. Call out the Trans Insanity for What it Is.

During a town hall, Biden said 8-year-olds should be able to get surgery to transition. We had the transgender bathroom debate and were told that if we disagreed with the LGBT position, it was because we were just bad people. Then two girls in Virginia got raped in a high school bathroom, and it cost McAuliffe the election. A lot of parents are done being nice and trying to understand (i.e. tolerate or accept) this issue. It’s time to protect girls in the bathrooms and girls on the sports fields. Reject the insanity and let’s get back to, you know, old-fashioned boys and girls.

So yes, last week’s wins were great for the Republican Party. But unless they are followed up by substantial policy changes, they will be squandered as the previous movement elections were. Time to not only win, but actually rescue America from the invasion of foreign ideas.

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