|Dear Your Czarness,
May I interrupt Your Czarness’s celebrations after the World Series and request that you come back down to terra firma ….’cause you know we’ve got this little matter of an election today.
Since it’s still too early to start drinking, I must turn to music as a consolation:
So with a smile (forced) on my face, let me say that there are aspects of this campaign that leave me profoundly grateful:
Keeping on the sunny side, I remain,
Perhaps it’s just so many lost souls in dire need of consolation, JAB, but a number of good thinkers have been putting out long-form pieces in the news lately along these lines: an awful lot of good is happening that can readily offset the bad news of anyone winning today’s election.
That doesn’t mean they’re wrong: although the Czar will happily point out that all these optimistic souls are on the conservative side because the liberal pundits are positively pooping kittens.
It’s clear that a Donald Trump victory will mean the end of life on earth, just as a Romney, McCain, Bush, Bush, Dole, or Bush victory will clearly imminentize today’s eschaton. But it’s also no secret that a Clinton victory also terrifies liberals.
And our Republic, if we can keep it, will be kept. Republicans are not going to lose the House, and there’s a very good chance they will win the Senate. If so, the Clinton presidency is over before it starts: she won’t get a single thing passed in Congress, and the only bills on her desk will be ones she won’t sign. And Republicans are just starting to learn, after 100 years, that they can, indeed, override vetos.
Liberal democrats are done. If you live outside the big cities—and many of you do—you will have likely noticed that most of your ballots have Republicans running unopposed. They literally cannot find compelling candidates to run except in the most visible positions, and many of those candidates are weak at best. And democrats know this, because of how loud they are shrieking, and we know this because someone was kind enough to share all those hacked emails.
If 2016 teaches us anything of value, it’s this: the Republican party—whether you are pro-Establishment or pro-conservative—needs to realize its biggest threat isn’t the Democrats anymore: its biggest challenge is itself. To whit:
- Messaging. There’s a clear difference between Republican and Democrat candidate commercials: Republican ones tout reform and responsibility, and Democrat ones paint Republicans as evil bastards who will kill you. The Czar doesn’t think Republicans should switch to that approach, but for goodness sake start reducing your arguments down to A) B) C) talking points so that short-attention span people realize there’s sanity out there. Trump figured this out, albeit in a crude, bar room way, but it worked for him: start dismissing the BS and go on the offensive. Point out who Democrats really are. The Czar wages the average Democrat voter believes the KKK is a Republican group, that it was the GOP who opposed civil rights, and that Robert Byrd was a good guy. If the Democrats are the Evil Party, get America to say that as easily as they call the GOP the Stupid Party. The GOP still thinks of politics like a football game; the Democrats view politics as trench warfare. Time to wake up.
- Disenfranchisement. Trump tapped into this easily: most Republicans don’t like voting because they feel left out of culture, of politics, of education, of history. Trump, to his credit, pointed out that telling these angry folks “You’re right” rallied them in a way we haven’t seen since Reagan did the same thing. Start winning people back to the GOP with some smart leadership, sensitive messaging, and reassurance, and you start winning others over.
- Focus. For crying out loud, can we shitcan the purity tests? Here’s a message for a lot of conservatives: your insistence on using the term RINO on people like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, and Evan McMullin is putting Hillary Clinton in the White House in January, because you terrified voters away from very decent, smart, and qualified people. Know who else wasn’t Ronald Reagan? Ronald Reagan. Take a look at his actual 1980 platform, and you’ll see it was way to the Left of any of these guys. But the Reagan maxim worked: support someone who agrees with you 70% of the time, and you defeat the Democrat who agrees with you 0% of the time. It’s time the GOP started realizing its voting base doesn’t understand the party platform any better than the undecideds.
- Modernization. Progress has been made here on the technology front—in fact, the Republicans may have had better software this year than the Democrats. But Millennials are not interested in software: they want a reason to vote Republican. The GOP leadership has done very little to attract Millennials—millions of whom are surprisingly libertarian—into their fold, and done as much as possible to drive them away. But Republicans love to pull out complex charts, detailed balance sheets, and financial statements to entice voters, rather than just giving them a freaking sense of hope. Optimism sells, and the GOP in its tired little heart knows that it has no optimism itself, and hasn’t since 1988.
Once the Republicans solve these internal problems, then it can let the Democrats defeat themselves. If not, it won’t much matter who the candidate is. Probably some RINO.
But stay the course, JAB. The fear isn’t on your side of the aisle.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.