How Republicans can move forward from their midterm disaster

Mac Connors, Crier Staff

The citizens of the United States turned out to vote in the midterm elections on Tuesday November 8, 2022, as they do every four years. The midterms typically favor the opposition party, sweeping the opposition party into power, with an average of 28 seats gained in the House and 4 seats gained in the Senate. While many analysts and prognosticators predicted a “red wave,” for Republicans, this midterm election was anything but that. Though Republicans lost all around the country, there is a path forward for the party, if it makes an exodus from crazy town and enters the world of normality once again.

The paramount reason the Republicans lost all around the nation was their obsessive focus on the “fraud” in the 2020 election. The Republicans just have to face the fact that they lost in 2020 and the rest of the nation has moved on from that bygone era. Today’s Republican party has become a conglomeration of deniers and quacks. This idea of a mandate from heaven that Republicans must win every time or malicious fraud is involved is superfluous and reeks of a conspiratorial odor. 

While many Republican politicians are responsible for perpetuating these lies, the clear elephant in the room (no pun intended) is Donald Trump. Trump has dictated that all Republicans must swear fealty to him and this has cost the party dearly. First, he targeted all the Republicans who supported his impeachment and then some others whom he deemed insufficiently loyal, culminating in the loss of good primary candidates and the retirement of others who could have prevailed in the general election. To fill the void of those who lost or retired, a brigade of MAGA loyalists stepped up to run the elections and party into the ground. Some losing primary candidates include Peter Meijer (Michigan) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington) in the House, and Chuck Morse (New Hampshire) and David McCormick (Pennsylvania) in the Senate. In the general election, Trump harshly criticized even those sensible candidates who prevailed in the primary, such as Colorado Senate candidate Joe O’Dea; they also faced questions of their allegiance to the Republican party. This is not a party, but a cult, which puts Trump on a pedestal for worship and offers ritual sacrifices to him by murdering the political careers of those he deems traitors. 

The candidate quality also hurt Republicans in the election. Aside from their fettish with the 2020 election, Republicans across the country ran weak campaigns that were plagued by personal cover-ups. Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker is perhaps the most notable of these candidates. Several women accused Walker throughout the campaign of fathering children and even paying some of his mistresses to abort their children. Another weak candidate was Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Pennsylvania. First of all, Oz was not a resident of Pennsylvania, but, rather, New Jersey, while his opponent John Fetterman has been a Pennsylvania resident his whole life. Oz also showed he lacked any empathy to connect with the average voter and their concerns. Viral videos of him making “crudite” and other gaffes did not endear him to the hearts of Pennsylvania voters. Not to mention, Oz was very unclear about his stances on many issues including abortion, climate change, and the 2020 election “fraud,” which hurt his campaign as well. If the Republicans want to win in the future, they must begin nominating solid candidates who can win races, not those with a million skeletons in the closet. 

While this election was a disappointment for many Republicans who were hoping for a “red wave,” it serves to show that Republicans must pivot from the insanity of the Trump era and focus on the issues voters care about. The Republicans must put Trump on a cargo ship and send him to St. Helena, like Napoleon of old. They must also begin nominating decent candidates, who connect with voters and do not have personal secrets that would make Bill Clinton look like a saint. In summary, Republicans should take a lesson from President Warren G. Harding and just campaign on a “return to normalcy.”