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Want change? Go vote in the primary
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Want change? Go vote in the primary

Instead of lamenting how bad the GOP has become, how the American dream is dead, or how brain-dead geriatrics run the country, people can vote for better and possibly younger candidates. Imagine that!

As a group, conservatives tend to disagree on nearly every issue. One issue that conservatives do agree on is that the GOP stinks. For decades now, Republican politicians have proven themselves to be incompetent, ignorant, and impotent. Although they pledge to restore law and order, encourage prosperity, safeguard freedoms, and have a strong military presence and a secure border, they routinely cave or compromise on all these issues.

This has become ever more apparent in the past year, as the country is beset by several crises and the majority of Americans are pessimistic about the future.

We can change the dynamic this year by finally voting these fools out.

When illegal immigrants cross the southern U.S. border in record numbers, Republican leadership responds by pushing for more funding and less accountability and bungling the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

When federal agencies like the FBI harass conservatives and concoct elaborate hoaxes (e.g., the January 6 pipe bomber, the kidnapping of Gretchen Whitmer, Russian collusion) for political purposes, Republicans reward them by voting for more funding and hosting useless hearings.

When omnibus spending bills result in massive increases in federal debt as well as inflation, Republicans refrain from breaking up these fiscal monstrosities into single-issue spending bills and instead pass continuing resolutions that maintain omnibus spending levels anyway.

In my home state of Texas, a large number of Republican legislators have betrayed their constituents in two major ways: impeaching Ken Paxton, one of the most effective attorneys general in the country, and voting against school choice. Fortunately, the Texas legislature meets every other year, which limits how much damage lawmakers can do.

Could be worse?

Of course, the rejoinder to all this is that they “aren’t as bad as the Democrats.” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) may be a kindly Christian jellyfish, but at least he isn’t Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) may suffer periodic brain freezes and place the security of Ukraine’s borders over our own, but he isn’t Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). The whole host of Republican state congressmen may usher in chaos and poverty, but they aren’t the crazy Marxists who want federal funding for drag queen story hour and critical race theory.

Those are fair points. But we’re setting the bar remarkably low.

And so, the Republican Party manages to win re-elections despite everything, only to occasionally shout “Slow down!” at nihilistic Democrats intent on bankrupting and dissolving the country into nothing. It’s also worth mentioning that something like this happens for old-school Democrats who don’t like voting for leftists but who do so anyway because the alternative is supposedly a “right-wing bigot.”

Perhaps we can change the dynamic this year by finally voting these fools out.

In the coming months, each state will have its own primary election where conservative voters can actually pick alternatives to today’s sorry slate of Republicans. Instead of lamenting how bad the GOP has become, how the country is being invaded, how the American dream is no longer possible, or how brain-dead geriatrics run the country, people can vote for better and possibly younger candidates. Imagine that!

'Moderation' vs. 'extremism'

Naturally, a few objections are bound to come up. The first and main objection is that voters are clueless about the candidates and should just vote for the person with the most name recognition and the most visible campaign. In the internet age, this is no longer true. Voters can and should look up who’s running for what and be informed.

The establishment’s preferred candidates are often the very ones who will sell out their constituents. The ruling elites in both parties depend on voters being in the dark — this is why they regularly oppose free speech and alternative media platforms.

A second objection is that voters need to be told how to vote by party leadership and corporate media or else they might vote for someone who’s “unqualified.” Rather than electing rich political insiders who all earned law degrees from the same schools, they might vote for normal people who reflect their values and way of life. It would be chaos. Or it might just be the most democratic, most productive, and least corrupt government that one could hope for.

A third objection is that voters should pick the moderate, more established nominee in the primary so he or she can win in the general election. If nothing else, Trump’s election in 2016 debunked this myth.

As I’ve argued recently, voters care most about what a candidate offers, not his supposed extremism or lack thereof. This is why Trump and the MAGA movement have been so successful. They promise to do actual things that voters want while their more established Republican opponents only promise that they aren’t Democrats.

Conservatives who deride party politics and ignore the horse races have only themselves to blame when their only choices are more of the same.

Moreover, it’s entirely relative what constitutes “moderate” or “extreme.” In terms of policy, Trump was moderate to a fault. He played by the rules, respected the Constitution, and was reluctant to intervene in either foreign or domestic disputes.

By contrast, Joe Biden is quite extreme. He breaks the rules constantly, ignores the Constitution frequently, and intervenes wherever he can. Nevertheless, corporate media outlets label Biden a “moderate” and Trump an “extremist” because they have a narrative to push. At this point, voters should reject this framing and think for themselves.

Overall, any objection to voting out establishment Republicans (or establishment Democrats) in this year’s primaries is self-serving. The only ones making these arguments are the ones who directly benefit from status quo. Everyone else can see that shake-up is necessary at every level. Otherwise, conservatives who deride party politics and ignore the horse races have only themselves to blame when their choices in November are more of the same.

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Auguste Meyrat

Auguste Meyrat

Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher in the Dallas area. He holds an M.A. in humanities and an M.Ed. in educational leadership. He is the senior editor of the Everyman and has written essays for the Federalist, the American Conservative, and the Imaginative Conservative.