It’s no secret the vast majority of Republicans want to vote President Joe Biden out of office in the 2024 election. And who could blame them? With skyrocketing inflation, banks collapsing, a wide-open southern border, politically weaponized federal law enforcement agencies, ideological grooming of children, unchecked Chinese surveillance, federal interference in U.S. elections, and more, it’s completely understandable for millions of Americans to be on the lookout for potential candidates who could get the country on the right track.
While important, the 2024 GOP presidential primary — which has already attracted the attention of prominent conservative figures — doesn’t begin for several months. In the meantime, there are significant vehicles American restorationists could use to defeat leftist radicalism. Chief among them is state legislatures, but conservatives are squandering the opportunity to advance their legislative agenda while blue state lawmakers are successfully implanting radical new legislation that’s having a major impact on the cultural and political landscape of the country.
As of March 2023, Republicans have 22 state trifectas, in which they control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature. These GOP-led states have the ability to advance conservative legislation without fear of Democrats blocking it.
The most notable Republican to use this as a mechanism of advancing conservative priorities is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Since taking office, DeSantis has employed every tool at his disposal to wage war on the left’s institutional and cultural jihad by enacting strong, conservative policies. From election integrity and Covid to combatting leftist ideology in education and protecting children from inappropriate drag shows, the Florida governor has utilized his platform and government powers to protect the basic rights of his constituents.
Red States Gone Blue
Not every Republican-led state is using its power to fight leftists’ cultural revolution like Florida, however. In some instances, several so-called “red states” are even helping Democrats advance their radical agenda.
At a time when Biden’s lax immigration policies have led to a record number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, for example, Idaho and Oklahoma Republicans apparently felt it necessary to further incentivize such lawbreaking by introducing legislation granting illegal aliens modified driver’s licenses. The Oklahoma bill — while introduced by a Republican — was reportedly “authored by Democrat immigration attorney Michael Brooks-Jimene, who is also on the board of a group supporting amnesty.” Meanwhile, the Idaho legislation (SB 1081) is so left-wing that it’s earned the support of the state’s ACLU chapter.
But it’s not just immigration where state Republicans are advancing Democrat priorities. As The Blaze’s Daniel Horowitz reported, GOP governors in states such as South Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Ohio have all helped further Democrats’ “green energy” scam. While Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has used “taxpayer funding to build up the impractical scale of electric vehicle infrastructure needed to phase out gas-powered cars,” Ohio Gov. DeWine recently bragged about his state being an “emerging force in electric vehicle and EV parts manufacturing.” DeWine’s position on electric vehicles isn’t that different from Biden’s, whose administration has regularly hyped the use of these expensive automobiles while simultaneously declaring war on the fossil fuel industry.
Even more shocking is the surrender of Republican strongholds’ when it comes to protecting children from radical “trans the kids” activists. Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled West Virginia legislature passed a bill banning sex change surgeries, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers for minors. Prior to the bill’s passage, however, Senate GOP leadership caved to outside pressure, adding a last-minute amendment allowing exceptions for gender dysphoric children deemed “at significant risk of suicide.”
Claims that barring these surgeries for minors will lead them to commit suicide is a faux talking point espoused by leftist adults seeking to impose their ideology on children.
Wyoming GOP Gov. Mark Gordon displayed similar cowardice earlier this week when he declined to sign legislation preventing boys from competing in girls’ sports. While Gordon said he’ll allow the bill to become law, he claimed it “sends a harmful message” that gender dysphoric individuals “do not deserve the same opportunities as others.”
“I reiterate my belief that hate and discrimination have no place in Wyoming,” he said. “As we move forward over the next couple of years, I urge the legislature to carefully consider policies that promote inclusion and equality for all individuals.”
Blue States Plow Ahead
Contrast such GOP fecklessness with blue states, where Democrats are advancing their party’s radical agenda without remorse. Since taking trifecta control of the state government in the 2022 midterms, for instance, Minnesota Democrats have wasted no time in passing every leftist bill imaginable before the end of this year’s legislative session.
Earlier this month, Democrat Gov. Tim Walz signed into law HF 28, which will allow convicted felons to vote once released from prison but prior to parole or probation. An estimated 55,000 formerly incarcerated criminals will now be able to register to vote under the new law. (Prior analyses have shown most convicts register as Democrats rather than Republicans).
In addition to overhauling Minnesota election law to benefit their party in elections, state Democrats have also eradicated legal protections for unborn children and babies that survive botched abortions. Signed into law in January, the wrongly-named Protect Reproductive Options Act lifts prohibitions on taxpayer-funded abortions and nullifies provisions in Minnesota law requiring parents or guardians to be notified if their underage daughter got an abortion. According to one legal expert, the law goes “far beyond any interpretation of the Minnesota Supreme Court case Doe v. Gomez,” the state’s version of Roe v. Wade.
Michigan Democrats, who also won trifecta control of their state government in November, are taking advantage of their majorities to advance extreme, leftist policies. Following voters’ passage of a 2022 ballot amendment that enshrines unlimited access to abortion and so-called “gender affirming care” into the state constitution, Michigan Democrats recently passed legislation aimed at repealing a now-moot law that prohibited most abortions.
Led by Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Democrats are also in the process of repealing a decade-old right-to-work law that “prohibits public and private unions from requiring that nonunion employees pay union dues even if the union bargains on their behalf.” Leftist legislators have furthermore used the tragic shooting at Michigan State University to move forward several gun control measures, including unconstitutional red flag laws.
Predictably, none of these bills would have prevented the shooting or addressed the soft-on-crime policies pursued by leftist prosecutors — one of whom dismissed the shooter’s prior felony firearm charges.
The Solution Is Us
The difference between Democrat and Republican legislative priorities could not be starker. While conservatives are justifiably outraged at the GOP’s weakness, it ultimately falls upon us to hold these incompetent politicos accountable.
As documented in this article, some of the most important cultural issues of our time are being debated in states throughout the country. Rather than worrying about a presidential primary that won’t take place for several months, American restorationists should direct their energy inward toward state legislatures and pressure elected Republicans to enact policies that stymie Biden’s radical agenda.
Despite all the media hype, there will be plenty of time between now and next year to decide who should be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee. In the meantime, it’s paramount that conservatives everywhere keep our eye on the ball and use our federalist system to make red states great again.