Previously, I wrote an article analyzing what I felt the Democrats needed to master in order to have a chance at taking the White House in 2020. Now I’m shifting to the Republican side. How does it look for the right wing? Is Trump the problem or the solution? Are we going to see another H.W. Bush-like, one-term president?
The Grand Old Party (GOP) is an interesting case. Here we have a president that goes against most Republican standards: seasoned politician, large state-based constituency, a resume filled with conservative leaning policies, a mass of patronage and merit and a classical persona. Trump isn’t any of that. When Nixon spoke to the “silent majority,” he meant that he was speaking to the “quiet” ones — those who got up every day and went to work, weren’t in the streets protesting, raised their families as their number one priority and were just normal Americans. Trump speaks to a more angry constituency, one that wasn’t happy with the past eight years. He has an interestingly aggressive rhetoric and could be the answer or the antithesis to ensuing Republican victory. Let’s go over what boxes the party needs to check, especially relating to President Trump, in order to have a chance in 2020.
Campaign: Whether you love him or hate him, Trump is a phenomenal campaigner. In the previous election, Trump targeted a large constituency based on economic class, drive, profession, core values, region and anger from the Obama administration. Clinton targeted a constituency based on race, gender, and appeal to Obama. Simply put, Trump had a wider range of persuasion. Even so, Clinton did win the popular vote. In this upcoming election, Trump needs to use his endorsements wisely. He must support people that are, in turn, going to support him in his campaign. Signatures like not taking a salary (now donating it), a business mentality, and paying for an entire campaign independently are going to help Trump. However, internal division will not.
Unify: Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was a massive opponent of Trump during the last election. As a leader among Republicans who opposed Trump, Graham was an outspoken tool of division. Recently, however, he has changed his angle. Especially since the Kavanaugh hearings, Graham has been rock-solid in the pro-Trump, Republican regime. Seeing the upcoming fiasco in 2020, Graham has decided to put the interests of the Republican party over his own. In a federal democracy like America, candidates do not win (per se). Parties do. The purpose of a federal democracy is, ironically, for candidates to win their power instead of parties. However, over the years, parties have grown so strong with the use of delegates and national conventions that they’re more like teams and their candidates are like star players. The idea of a political faction (something George Washington was vehemently against) is a unified institution with a common opinion on a number of relevant ideas and issues. The whole purpose of straight-ticket voters is to push their party into victory. In 2008, a burnt-out Democratic Party found their identity in Obama. Now, in 2020, a divided Republican Party is forced to look toward Trump for its identity.
Pre-2020 Policy: What many Republicans do not realize is that the ball is in their court. They have a chance to prove to the nation what they can do for our economy. There have already been many positives from our current administration, including the decimation of ISIS and containment of their last surviving forces, peace negotiations between North and South Korea (organized by Trump), the lowest unemployment rate among blacks in the history of the country and the lowest unemployment rate among women in over 70 years. Republicans need to stand behind these triumphs. Building the wall is also imperative. A clearly rational solution (to most right wingers) for a border crisis, the wall would also represent promises kept by Trump. In Trump’s threatened declaration of a national emergency in order to build a wall, sixteen states have decided to sue him. Those 16 states all went blue in the previous election. The wall is clearly a partisan issue that the Republicans must win the public over with if they want a chance at obtaining the same voters that they did last time.
The past election was unique. However, it wasn’t special. A perfectly qualified candidate won an election with a perfectly legal campaign on the majority of the perfectly rational Electoral College. Trump has served the right well. Some would say he has even served the country well. However, there is division deep down in the Republican Party and if they want a shot at beating the Democrats, they need to eradicate that division. They already have the edge on the Democrats, but keeping it is a different story. At the end of they day, victory is the goal. Let’s see if Trump can prevail.