The Democrats believe that 2018 will be for them what 2010 was for Republicans.
In 2010, two years after the election of President Barack Obama, conservatives were angry, and this anger propelled Republicans to historic gains. Curbing Obama’s power and replacing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi became the rallying cry for conservatives across the country, leading Republicans to pick up six U.S. Senate seats, six governorships, and an amazing 63 U.S. House seats.
That same anger was also felt at the state level. In Minnesota, Republicans were able to capture both the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate. Republican Tom Emmer came within .4 percent of giving Republicans the Governor’s office.
In 2018, Republicans in Minnesota get the chance to finish the job and achieve the state government trifecta–conservatives in full control of the state senate, state house, and the governorship.
However, there is one big difference between 2018 and 2010: Obama is no longer President, and Pelosi is not Speaker of the House. The unifying factors that were in play in 2010 are now gone.
This is where Democrats see a chance. The Left’s strategy is to unite Democrat coalitions while Republicans are divided on the struggle between the new Trump Republicans and traditional Republicans like Mitch McConnell.
During the 2016 election, several prominent traditional conservatives chose not to support then-candidate Trump. On the national level that included many over at National Review, rising conservative star Ben Shapiro, numerous sitting senators, George Will, and more.
In Minnesota, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt called for Trump to exit the race, and Rep. Erik Paulsen wrote in Marco Rubio instead of voting for Trump. In the end, despite all this, Trump became President and came very close to winning in Minnesota.
If Trump Republicans choose not to vote in the midterms since Trump is not on the ballot, and “Never Trump” Republicans choose to vote Democrat because they don’t like Trump, we are in trouble.
Dennis Prager, in his great wisdom, gave some excellent advice to Republicans who struggled to vote for Trump.
“In the 2016 presidential race, I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeating the Left and its party, the Democratic Party. The notion (expressed by virtually every #NeverTrump advocate) that we can live with another four years of a Democratic president is, forgive me, mind-boggling. To that end, with at least one, and probably multiple, additional leftists on the Supreme Court, a Republican presidential victory in 2020 would mean little. All the Left needs is the judicial branch, especially the Supreme Court. Left-wing judges pass so many left-wing laws that they render those who control Congress, and even the White House, almost irrelevant.”
Republicans would be wise to not focus on payback for previous rivalries. Instead, rally around what possible in Minnesota for conservative policy, and pick the candidate who can best implement it. As William Buckley said, “pick the most conservative Republican that can win.”
Some policy items a Republican governor could accomplish in Minnesota include:
– Increasing the quality and affordability of healthcare by fixing disastrous Democratic policies like MNsure
– Fixing the state’s absurd and outdated tax policies that are currently driving away Fortune 500 companies and job creators
– Stopping the corruption in public sector unions that force hardworking taxpayers to fund liberal political campaigns as a requirement to hold a job
– Allowing parents to hold public education accountable by giving them the opportunity to send their kids to the schools that are best for them – that includes private schools
– Protecting the First and Second Amendment which are continuously under attack by Minnesota Democrats
– Ending the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood
All of these things and more are only possible if Minnesotans keep another Democrat from becoming governor. Current Democrat Gubernatorial candidates Tim Walz, Rebecca Otto, and Erin Murphy are all on record doing the opposite of the above goals.
In order to win, Republicans need to be united like they were in 2010. This does not mean there won’t be disagreements–Republicans should have a vigorous debate on the right candidate. Debate is healthy and brings excitement to the political process. However, in the end, even if your preferred Republican gubernatorial candidate is not is not on the ballot, I urge you to follow Dennis Prager’s final advice from 2016:
“I just don’t understand how anyone who understands the threat the left and the Democrats pose on America will refuse to vote for the only person who can stop them.”
Alex Kharam is the Executive Director of Freedom Club