Columns

A Good Start: A Conservative Flips a Blue District Red

AP Photo/Matthew Brown

And now for some good news. Disclaimer: I said good news, not great news, but every little bit helps, right?

Ryan Fazio has won a seat in the Connecticut state senate. Big deal, right? Well, it is when you consider the fact that Fazio is a Republican and that 25% of his district’s votes went to Joe Biden in 2020. And the fact that the district itself is a wealthy suburb is noteworthy as is the fact that his opponent, Alexis Gevanter, is an advocate of gun control and state funding of Planned Parenthood. She checked all of the white liberal boxes, so she should have walked away with it. Fazio, on the other hand, focused on public safety and taxes. Voter turnout was low, and Fazio only won with 52% of the vote, so the excited tweet by the RNC saying that the district had been flipped red may be a little premature, as may be the hope of a GOP resurgence.

But then there is the Rasmussen poll showing that many voters are rethinking supporting Joe Biden and that Trump would emerge the victor were the election held today. Ah, regret. The natural byproduct of grain alcohol, social media, and leftist voting, which, when you think about it, complement each other nicely. And while opinions of Biden have certainly headed south due to the horrific withdrawal from Afghanistan (on Monday, only 46% of the respondents to a Reuters poll had a favorable opinion of him), he was already trending at 50% in July. And in a May poll by Punchbowl News, 78% of assorted staff members on Capitol Hill believe that the GOP will retake the House in 2022. But then, many Republicans in office have turned out to be of less use than doorstops. Well, doorstops that collect campaign donations, but doorstops nonetheless. So that may or may not be good news.

But polls, like many elected officials and the legacy media, can be misleading, so you may want to keep the party hats and noisemakers in the closet for now, even if the GOP does prevail. But Fazio’s win, slim as it may have been, was in part accomplished through two things: 1) He stayed close to home. He was able to take a small bite out of a larger pie, which in some districts may be all conservatives can get for the time being, and 2) He concentrated on things even the local well-heeled suburbanites cared about: keeping people safe, saving money, and burdensome regulations. Small bites and common ground.

In a day and age where conservatives have to identify each other through secret handshakes, the ground game may be the smartest tactic. State legislatures, city councils, and school districts will be the places where the battle is won for the present. “Taking the country back” is a long-term proposition, not something that will be done merely by electing Trump or DeSantis. Leftist domination cannot be excised. It has to be treated with antibiotics until the infection clears up. The left has been at this for a long time. In fact, when I look back on junior high, circa 1979-1981, I can identify moments when I was being fed progressive propaganda, even then. The long march through the institutions will in all likelihood need to be walked back with small steps.