Crushing the GOP, 2022
INTRODUCTION: CALL THEM OUT / VOTE THEM OUT
A Republican take-over of Congress in 2022 or Donald Trump’s election in 2024 would be a turning point in the intensifying conflict in America between Democracy and Autocracy.
With many others, we’ve been alarmed about Trump and Trumpism since his original election and then re-election loss. In Wrecking America in 2020, we wrote that Trump would “likely use the 11 weeks from Election Day to the Inauguration trying to undo the results using some chaotic maneuver or unprecedented misconduct” and, along with Sen. McConnell, “hurriedly nominate and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice within days were there an opening.”
Of course, both happened—the violent Insurrection of January Six and rushed appointment of Amy Coney Barrett was followed by his in-plain-sight coup plans for 2024 and the High Court’s anti-freedom Dobbs decision. A year after Biden’s Inaugural, we urged Americans to see what was an emerging “Fascism 2.0.”
Now it’s worse. The ex-president is threatening to run for president again despite being the subject of five different criminal probes (including sedition and espionage!), surely a record for Western democracies. And with the Commentariet predicting that Republicans could conceivably win either or both chambers in just eight weeks, it’s urgent that all progressive patriots raise their game and energy to defeat the worst GOP in history – serially corrupt, violence-prone, anti-labor as well as compulsively dishonest and authoritarian. How can a party that would’ve disgusted Ike,Taft, and Reagan still even be in the running?
So WinningAmerica.net formed last March to counter the early conventional wisdom that there was no way to stop a red wave in the 2022 due to inflation and the midterms jinx for the presidential party. But, as Norman Cousins once wrote, “No one is smart enough to be a pessimist.”
With that insight, this group of bullish advocates has now produced a worthy initiative on how to swamp the GOP this Fall. It’s based on four core premises:
1. The election must not ultimately be about too-high/world-wide inflation but rather about a party of dangerous extremists stealing our freedom and livelihoods.
2. Due to a stacked Supreme Court and a stymied Senate, the best bet to rescue Democracy this year is aggressive congressional Democrats knowing how to hold and expand their majorities.
3. Democrats need to hear from public advocates and civic leaders who are expert at the intersection of policy and politics yet usually ignored by busy candidates foraging for funds. So we gathered 25 of them initially in a July 23 virtual meeting and now will plug their best suggestions directly into the sockets of campaigns.
4. Our collective through-line comes from the infamous Lee Atwater’s quip, “If you’re explainin’, you’re losin’.” For too long—from Joe McCarthy to Newt Gingrich to Donald Trump—Democrats have failed to adequately punch back allowing unrebutted conspiracy theories and slanderous slogans to frame campaigns.
Unless Democratic nominees tell a story about what 2023 and 2025 would look like if reactionary Republicans return to power—ending Obamacare, urging higher taxes on 75 million people, corporatizing Social Security and Medicare, shredding the social safety net/regulatory protections, jailing girls after abortions, overturning Marriage Equality, spurring more MAGA mobs threatening officials under (again) an outlaw president — the minority party (exploiting various anti-democratic mechanisms) will try to coast to victories by simply blaming Biden, Blackness and Wokeness (whatever that means). Instead, Democrats need to vividly contrast mainstream and extreme to demonstrate how one party cares more about pronouns than policy while the other pursues a better America where people live, work and raise their families.
It’s not too late to recode the 2022 election. One way is to learn from experienced allies and proven communicators about how to make winning arguments and offer memorable messages: Extremism is not Patriotism. Vote to Give Yourself an Overdue Pay Raise. Spend Our Taxes on Us. Parents Want Honesty in History, not Book Bans.
This project then is focused on November 8, 2022 because of our deep belief in the wisdom of publisher Benjamin Franklin, who wrote in 1732, “When Truth and Error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter.”
RN & MG