This article was originally published on WesternJournal.com
Within 24 hours, Democrats managed to gain control of the Senate and an incursion at the Capitol by far-right extremists took the nation by shock last week. As our heads are beginning to clear after the nauseating news cycle, Republicans should be thinking critically about the future after President Donald Trump.
Whether people like it or not, Joe Biden will become president on Jan. 20. He’ll be working alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer as Majority leader and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be the tie-breaking vote on occasion.
Thankfully, the thin majority in both houses will force Democrats to work with Republicans on some legislation, but many items on the progressives agenda will still be achievable for them.
Everything from the unconstitutional Washington D.C. statehood power grab to radical anti-free enterprise climate action can all be accomplished with a simple majority vote in Congress and a presidential signature. Who knows what other nightmares Democrats could get away with in the coming years? Republicans need to get prepared to win in 2022 and 2024.
Of course, the tough question is how?
Unfortunately, the madness that occurred at the Capitol might have scared away voters from the Republican Party for a long time. These agitators are certainly not representative of the entire conservative movement, but perception is reality for some. With that in mind, Republicans need to focus on winning back moderates in the suburbs, which they experienced a mix of wins and losses in recently.
Ideologically, the party needs to continue with some aspects of Trump’s right-wing populism, but strongly steer away from others. Fiscal conservatism that cuts back government regulation while stopping the outsourcing of American jobs is why he won in 2016. However, his overzealous nationalism and brash attitude that fiercely divided America ultimately cost him 2020.
It’s simple: the American middle class wants to keep more of what they earn and otherwise be left alone.
Additionally, Republicans need to make it clear that a weak foreign policy on China, which a President Joe Biden is destined to execute, is not sufficient. China continues to have a foothold in the United States and global economy despite its communist leadership being currently responsible for human rights atrocities. Biden will likely enable American adversaries by not holding institutions like the United Nations accountable, and that passiveness will not cut it.
Although the future of the United States may seem dark right now, there is an optimistic way forward for the conservative movement as a whole after the Trump era. Solving complex issues with public-private partnerships, allowing room for economic growth and peace through diplomacy and military strength are winning ideas that resonate with many Americans. However, Republican victories will boil down to strategic messaging and hard work.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley articulated the vision for the future of the party perfectly while speaking with the Republican National Committee last Thursday, understanding the importance of unity with principled conviction in this critical moment.
“This Republican Party is a home for anyone, because we stand for the principles that matter to everyone. This is not the time to abandon those principles. It is the time to proclaim them, proudly, from the suburbs to the cities to the farms all across the country,” Haley said.
She is correct — the Republican Party and the conservative movement are much larger than one president, so we must keeping trekking forward.