The GOP Is Dead
The Grand Old Party doesn’t really exist anymore. Orange County in suburban California, what was a bastion of Reaganism for years, is now completely controlled by Democrats–progressive ones too. Moderate Republicans in New Jersey such as Leonard Lance were swept out of office. Republicans representing suburban districts in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Iowa, lost their seats. One of the GOP’s only Hispanic members of Congress–well I think you get the point–is gone as well.
So, who’s really left in the Republican Caucus in the House? Few moderates, and many more conservatives. The whirlwind that was election night is now only slowing down. Since November 6, Democrats have ousted more Republicans in previously too-close-to-call races. Republicans Mimi Walters and Dana Rohrabacher of California are gone. So is Carlos Curbelo of Florida. In Virginia, Scott Taylor, Dave Brat, and Barbara Comstock were defeated in one fell swoop.
But who are the Democrats replacing these outgoing representatives? Women. People of color. People of the LGBTQ+ community. Muslims. Native Americans. Moms. College Professors. Activists. Veterans, and many more. This group of incoming House Democrats aligns more with the American populous than the GOP ever will.
Sure, you can argue that Republicans did well in the Senate. The “Blue Wave” was more House and Governor focused, so it’s not really a surprise that Democrats were unseated in ruby red states such as Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota. More noteworthy were the Arizona and Nevada Senate races. In these two states, Democrats managed to offset 2 Republican pickups. The Senate, after the results of the Mississippi Senate runoff, will have a composition of 53-47, with Republicans control. For Democrats, that’s actually a tad better compared to the 2015-2016 session.
But while the Senate remains under GOP control, things continue to look better for House Democrats, who are now in the majority. Folks, the Blue Wave was real. Democrats gained more seats in one election year since after the Watergate Scandal. Currently, they’ve gained 36 seats, bringing their membership to a comfortable 231 members. Several races still haven’t been called, and some of them are leaning in the Democratic candidate’s favor.
California is a great example to show the decline of GOP influence and the rising Democratic representation. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger–two former prominent Republicans from this state. Reagan died years ago, and Schwarzenegger, since the end of his Governorship, has been critical of the GOP. You’ve probably never heard of Kevin McCarthy, but he’s one of eight Republicans –out of 53 Representatives total (!)– left in California. That’s right, just eight. And while these eight members represent some pretty big districts, they only represent approximately 8,000,000 Californians–out of nearly 40,000,000.
Let’s look at Virginia. This state was in the heart of Bush territory 14-18 years ago. Ever since, Obama won Virginia twice and Hillary Clinton also carried it. In the 2017 Election, Democrats dramatically increased their representation in the State Legislature, held onto to the Governorship, Lieutenant Governorship, and the Office of the state Attorney General. This year, Democrats ousted 3 Republicans here.
What about Nevada? What has been considered a swing state for the last decade or so is trending more and more Democratic. Obama and Clinton won this state in their respective races. In 2016, now Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto held onto the retiring Harry Reid’s seat for the Democrats. Nearly two weeks ago, Democrats picked up the Governorship here, maintained a majority in both state legislative chambers, and ousted incumbent Republican Dean Heller from his Senate seat. Nevada now has two female Senators, something which doesn’t happen very often in any state.
You might be asking, “well where is the GOP doing well?” The answer lies in typically rural parts of the country, including the South and parts of the Midwest. So “Blue” states keeping getting bluer, and “Red” states keep getting redder. But in this Election, a majority of 2016 swing states, including Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Iowa, favored the Democrats. Republicans just recently held onto the Georgia Governorship, and will likely retain their Governorship in Florida, but those “holds” won’t overcome what Democrats gained just two weeks ago.
I may be a liberal, and go ahead, call me crazy, but Donald Trump has destroyed the GOP. He’s helped them in rural counties and states, but not in blue and swing states with Republican representatives, because damn, a lot of them will not be in office once Congress convenes for their next session in January. Moderatism and Reaganism just don’t exist in the GOP anymore.
Trump destroyed the moderate wing of the Republican Party. It simply doesn’t exist anymore. Lindsey Graham, a Republican Senator from South Carolina, used to be a critic of Trump’s actions and legislative policies. Now, he is one of his fiercest defenders. Guess what? Graham is up for re-election in 2020, and Trump would surely endorse a challenger in that race if Graham did not agree with him most of the time. It’s called sucking-up. It’s what Graham’s doing. It’s called politics–it’s all about being re-elected. So much for actually representing people and doing something for the common good. Why do you think so many moderate Republicans opted out of running for re-election this year? Because they knew Trump would endorse someone who was more of a kiss-ass than them, and they would have lost their primary.
Some of the most economically-depressed states and counties have been represented by the GOP for years, and the Republicans have obviously done nothing to change the economic statuses of these areas. But go ahead, keep voting Republican, so you can complain more and more about how your life sucks when you could easily advocate for a better life for yourself at the ballot box by voting for Democrats.
Trump is not solely to blame for the GOP’s downfall, but he’s certainly a huge part of it. His actions will hurt the GOP for years to come. And in the districts that Democrats flipped two weeks ago–suburban, partly rural, while relatively small–well, you can expect them to remain in the Democratic column.