I end with this observation – all the elements are there for a revival for Republicans in California. We are charged to keep the faith and keep up the work, just as Isaiah was charged by God to speak up and encourage the remnant.
You respond – how can the elements be there? We just got bludgeoned in the recall. Our Arrogant, Lazy Authoritarian in Charge (ALAIC) Gavin Newsom just beat the recall by the same margin as he won the Governorship (and was therefore allowed to crown himself “Il Duce de California”). Two things: (1) He had to completely change directions (at least for a short time) to avoid the recall, he actually became concerned about the will of the voters for a time, and now he has to worry about next year’s election, which will act as some kind of brake on his authoritarian tendencies; and (2) ALAIC Newsom and his allies had to outspend the recall about 50 to 1 just to stay even. They were losing 30 days out, ALAIC Newsom was losing it when he spoke to his supporters, and there was genuine fear he might lose in the campaign. The various leftist organizations that fund his regime were required to dump millions into protecting their behinds. That was a big deal all by itself.
But even in that, there is hope. I point to the 2020 election. Did you know that, for the first time since 1988, the Republican nominee for President in 2020 actually received more votes for President than there were registered Republicans in California? That is a big deal. After four years of incessant, anti-Trump propaganda from the California media and with absolutely no Republican campaign to speak of in California in 2020, Trump actually pulled 5% more votes than there were Republicans in the state.
Think about that. In the 1980s, when Reagan ran for President (and then the elder Bush ran), the Republican nominee for President usually pulled 20% above Republican registration (in 1984, for instance, there were 3.9 million registered Republicans, and Reagan got 5.1 million votes. In the years following, from 1996 through 2016, the Republican nominee for President pulled usually 20% below registration (even in 2016, there were 5.3 million registered Republican, Trump got 4.5 million votes). In 2020, however, there were 5.3 million registered Republicans and Trump received 6 million votes, with no campaign here. That is our base vote.
In addition, 2020 showed that where the name “Republican” isn’t attached to an issue in California, but the issue is consistent with the Republican principles, those principles still can command a majority of the votes. In that election, the Republican side of Propositions 15 (the anti-Prop 13 effort), 16 (restoring racial preferences), 21 (increasing rent control on landlords), 22 (the initiative to reverse the anti-Uber legislation), and 23 (an attempt to increase regulations on medical devices) won by at least 55-45 landslides. That is a big deal. It shows that our issues resonate with voters.
In addition, Republicans picked up 4 Congressional seats they lost in 2018, even though the Republicans lost the White House. That is a very rare occurrence.
The problem for Republicans in California is not our position of the issues. In election after election, we find a large majority of voters agree with us. Our problem is branding. People don’t like the Republican brand. Most of that is because we leave the question of the Republican brand up to the mainstream media, and that media spends months and years attacking us. We don’t get out of the house, and attempt to brand ourselves. We don’t need to change our position on the issues, we just need to get out in the public and get our message out. It won’t be through the mainstream media, they don’t like us. They are the propaganda machine for the left wing of the Democrat party. We need to do it ourselves. We need to get out into our neighborhoods, talk with our neighbors, and talk about what Republicans actually stand for.
We need to stop taking the easy path and expecting victory. Fighting among ourselves is too easy. To the donors I say, it is not that we are too conservative. In fact, if Trump proved anything, it was that the conservative path increased voter support for Republicans across the state. To the activists I say, we are on the same team as the donors. Attacking them only hurts our cause in the long run. Instead of internecine strife in the party, we need to get out, articulate our message to the community, find our allies, and grow our ranks. We win by addition, not subtraction.
And it can be done. 2020 proved it. The elements are there. We just need to follow Isaiah’s path. Be faithful, be confident in the message, and not worry about short term losses or gains. Just keep up the fight. Revival is near, and will occur if we are present and faithful.