What Should Republicans Do?

What Should Republicans Do?

The thirst among Republican voters isn't even for policy. It's for seeing the politicians they elected join the fray.
Ben Domenech
By

I’ve been hammering away at conservatives and Republicans for failing to defend the symbols of national pride the woke leftist mob has been tearing at in recent weeks. Yesterday on the “Brian Kilmeade Show,” I admitted to letting my anger get the best of me a bit. Brian said I was speaking not as a publisher but as an American — and that’s fair. But part of my frustration is that this is such an obvious challenge that anti-American leftists and their enablers in the Democratic Party are offering, and Republicans seem loath to meet it.

The questions I had from multiple politicians and their offices yesterday were all some version of: What would you have us do? Well, there are several things you can do. First, stop thinking your Tweets and statements matter. They don’t. The thirst among Republican voters isn’t even for policy. It’s for seeing the politicians they elected join the fray. As of today, Tucker Carlson is so popular because he seems to be the only prominent figure pushing back against the arguments allowed to stand alone in the public square. Voters need visuals, and they need them now.

Every single elected Republican should go to a historical monument of significance in their district or state — whether a soldier, founder, hero, Texas Ranger, take your pick — and make a video in front of it where they talk about what it means to them and why they love it, and then say that it’s never coming down and if you try to take it down you’ll go to jail. Warn the mob you’re ready to fight back. Do not just leave the defense of our American heritage to a bunch of Italian guys in South Philly — you need to be right there with them.

Hold a press conference or rally with local law enforcement organizations in your districts to show solidarity with them. Present it as an expression of thanks to the law enforcement community for their brave service in difficult times. Pledge that you will do everything in your power to stop efforts to defund or abolish the police.

Give loud, public support to all levels of law enforcement to do their jobs to quell riots and prevent vandalism. There are innumerable cops out there that would love to protect these monuments and businesses, but are legitimately concerned that with just one questionable interaction with an activist, they’ll be thrown under the bus by the powers that be.

They also need to be publicly defending their constituents who go viral for saying true but objectionable things. These are our teachers, business owners, students, and more. The blue-collar worker whose statue-defending Facebook post gets attacked by the woke mob needs defense, too, and ordinary people don’t have comms directors. They need to know somebody with clout has their back when the mob comes for them.

Don’t let the left pretend this isn’t happening. Emblazon it on them. The New York Times is calling for closing Mount Rushmore this week — patriotic politicians should fully embrace it. Nancy Pelosi reacted with irritation to a mere question about the destruction of the Junipero Serra statue on his feast day yesterday from Kevin McCarthy. They aren’t getting asked questions about this by an eagerly compliant media, so force the issue.

Finally, work with state and local officials to organize massive Independence Day celebrations. Celebrations of the Fourth are just as important and justifiable as protests. Lean into it. Fireworks are socially distanced outdoor activities in a normal year, and this should be no different. Wave Betsy Ross 13-star American flags, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with law enforcement and people who love this country.

Republicans shouldn’t be running from this or avoiding the issue or playing at half measures. If the Democratic Party that had Jefferson and Jackson dinners for nearly a century wants to eliminate them from their history, Republicans should accept them with open arms. Be the party of the Founding. Wrap yourself in the flag. Go to Mount Rushmore and pump your fist while the fireworks go off. Wear red white and blue. Be proud.

Many Democrats seem to want this election to be a choice between a party that loves this country and one that views its history with disgust, as racist and irredeemable. If you have any questions about which side of that argument you want to be on, you have no business being in politics.

Emily Jashinsky has more. “I don’t know the demographic nuances of the so-called ‘silent majority’ of people currently fretting over riots and statue destruction and #DefundThePolice. I think more people than conservatives realize are genuinely drifting away with the cultural leftist tide. Those people will not — they will not — be persuaded to vote Republican because Mike Braun introduced a milquetoast bill on qualified immunity, or because the GOP ‘led the charge’ on swapping Columbus Day for Juneteenth.

“They may be persuaded by a blend of righteous indignation and strong argumentation, by a party that plays offense and not defense, by politicians capable of authentically channeling their own anger and disbelief at what’s unraveling before our eyes —lockdowns, riots, iconoclasm. Despite the left’s insistence otherwise, most Republicans sweat at the prospect of wading into the culture war. Trump’s surprise surge changed some minds on the right on approaching these issues. Clearly some still haven’t gotten the message.”

Ben Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist. Sign up for a free trial of his daily newsletter, The Transom.

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