The country is in crisis. The economy is turgid. The world is teetering on the precipice of a third world war. Americans are more divided than ever. Many of America’s problems today are self-inflicted. They are the result of poor leadership and faulty worldviews. Specifically, America’s woes are the result of a political class that is increasingly disconnected both from the people they purport to govern as well as reality itself.
In 2020, when Joe Biden became president, inflation reached record highs. In response, interest rates went stratospheric (where they remain), hurting every American, regardless of their age, race, gender, or political preference.
Meanwhile, wars and rumors of war proliferate around the globe. For the first time in decades, nuclear war seems like a very real possibility in the near term. Basically, since Biden took office, everything that could go wrong in America has gone wrong.
Joe Biden is a product of the country’s failed political class. He is a long-time member in good standing of that broken, disconnected elite. While there is no easy cure for the country, removing the leaders that infected America with its current ailments would help.
With an election so near, the Republicans should have no problems replacing Biden and the Democrats in power.
At least this was the assumption by most Republican leaders in 2022. During that Midterm election cycle, everyone—from Fox News to MSNBC—assumed that the Republicans were readying to sweep Congress as they did in 2010.
A natural curb on Biden’s awful policies would be imposed by an American electorate tired of the Biden Administration’s string of failures. But that’s not what happened.
The much-ballyhooed “Red Wave” was barely a pinkish trickle. When all was said and done, the Republicans got a slim majority in the United States House of Representatives (a body in which they have since proven totally unable to govern) and they failed to achieve dominance in the United States Senate.
The Blame Game
The blame game began immediately due to these unrealized expectations.
The non-Trump-supporting Republicans, along with the mainstream media, offered their assessments and blamed former President Donald J. Trump for the loss.
The Trump wing of the GOP defended themselves by blaming the Pro-Life voters of the Republican Party.
It was a bizarre circumstance. The last Republican president who, in the wake of the GOP’s defeat in 2022, announced he was running for re-election in 2024, was blaming pro-life voters, who had long been a foundational voting bloc for the Republicans. Opposition to abortion was the defining feature of Republican Party politics. This voting bloc was also a major source of financial and activist support for various GOP candidates throughout the decades since Roe v. Wade was passed.
Former President Trump himself had made headlines when he was in office for being the first sitting president to attend a March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.
Trump nominated three unapologetically Pro-Life justices to the United States Supreme Court (where those justices helped to overturn the vile law that was Roe v. Wade, kicking abortion back to individual states).
It was always assumed, because of his actions as president, that Trump was a friend of the pro-life movement.
But Trump became convinced that the reason the GOP lost 2022 was because of the pro-life movement’s commitment to not only imposing curbs on abortion rights in the United States, but on banning it entirely.
Yet again, this pattern is playing out in the wake of the 2023 special elections in which Republicans have lost bigly. Trump is again repeating his line that the GOP lost because of its extreme (in his view) commitment to ending abortion.
This is false. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, his son, George W. Bush, and even Donald Trump himself all won their elections because they were opposed to abortion.
Trump says that he supports limitations on abortion but that his primary rival, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis is too extreme with his Heartbeat Bill that passed the Florida Legislature. Exit polls in key states, such as Ohio, indicate that overwhelming numbers of voters—regardless of party—side more with the Democrats on abortion than they do Republicans.
Trump is Not in the Clear
Clearly, the Democrats are going to make abortion and women’s issues a key aspect of their 2024 Presidential campaign—especially considering how weak President Biden is without such social issues.
Trump is likely right in one aspect: the country has shifted to the left on abortion rights.
The question, of course, is how far to the left have they moved and is it impossible for the right kind of Republican candidate to move that needle back to the right?
Where Trump is wrong is that he holds no responsibility for the Republican Party’s seemingly endless string of electoral defeats. Trump has not won an election either for himself or the GOP since 2016. His handpicked candidates were shellacked in 2018. Trump himself lost in 2020.
As noted earlier, Republicans were trounced in 2022. Again, a year later, Republicans lost.
Sure, abortion rights were on the ballot. They always are. But another issue that was on the ballot was Donald Trump. Both 2022 and 2023 were a referendum on Donald Trump and his chosen candidates. They’ve not fared well.
Should Trump become the GOP nominee, as it increasingly appears he will be, Trump just might suffer the same fate in 2024…even against “Sleepy” Joe Biden (or whoever the Democrats decide is the best person to challenge Trump).
It’s time for a new candidate to lead the Republicans in 2024.
Will GOP voters heed the call?
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (Republic Book Publishers). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon. This opinion piece is an expression of the author’s own ideas.