5 Reasons to Vote Republican in the Midterms
On Tuesday, the American people will elect a new House of Representatives and send dozens of new people into the U.S. Senate. President Donald Trump is not on the ballot, but this election will determine whether or not he will be able to carry out his agenda or help conservatives shrink the size and scope of government.
Conservatives may be tempted to think their votes may not matter, and moderates may be tempted to think Trump's negatives outweigh the positives. This article addresses both of those issues, encouraging conservatives to get out and vote and encouraging moderates to give Trump a chance to keep up his good work.
This article also aims to correct the deluge of negative media coverage, to explain the good Trump's presidency has achieved and why it needs to be allowed to continue.
One final caveat: each race is different, and there may be some Republicans who are beyond the pale, just as I believe there are many Democrats who fit that description. For good or ill, this midterm election has become a referendum on the president.
For that reason, this article focuses on Trump, making the case for supporting Republicans to support the president. This article should not be seen as an endorsement of every Republican, nor should it be taken as a statement that Congress should matter less than the president. Sadly, the current system works that way, and Congress needs to return to the founders' vision, which is rather different.
Without further ado, here are 5 reasons to turn out and vote Republican on Tuesday.
1. Promises kept
Donald Trump is an unusual president, to say the least. His aggressive and personal rhetoric has stoked America's ugly partisanship. His sordid past has brought the porn star Stormy Daniels and unscrupulous lawyer Michael Avenatti some ugly publicity. His tariffs have, as of yet, failed to help American farmers and manufacturers.
Despite these negatives, Trump has achieved a great deal and racked up an impressive track record of promises kept.
Full disclosure: I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016, mainly because I thought he would not keep his promises. A former Democrat with a reputation for sliminess, Trump seemed more con man than Constitutionalist. I am more than happy to admit I was wrong.
During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump promised many things. He promised 4 percent GDP growth. He promised to increase jobs and reduced regulations. He promised to repeal Obamacare. He promised (like three presidents before him) to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He promised to cut taxes, to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran deal and the Paris accords, and more.
Many politicians campaign on a platform, but when they make it into office, they don't even try to fulfill all their promises. Trump has fulfilled so many of these promises, and even when he failed to do so, he worked tirelessly to achieve the promise.
Under President Trump, the economy is booming. Jobs created in October far exceeded expectations, continuing a streak of impressively low unemployment (3.7 percent, a 49-year low). African-American unemployment fell to the lowest rate in 17 years last year, but it actually reached the lowest rate ever recorded in May of this year, at 5.9 percent. Trump rightly celebrated this achievement. Last month, Hispanic unemployment also hit a record low, at 4.4 percent.
On the campaign trail, Trump didn't just promise jobs, he promised 4 percent economic growth. His campaign advisers told him not to promise this — it seemed far too rosy, even for a candidate campaigning on jobs and economic growth. Trump did it anyway, and in the second quarter of 2018, sure enough, GDP growth ticked above 4 percent.
Trump promised to cut regulations. Promise kept.
Trump promised to support life and oppose abortion, and he reinstated the Mexico City Policy, banning federal funding for non-profits that promote abortion overseas.
Trump promised to pull out of the Paris climate accords. Promise kept.
Trump promised to crack down on illegal immigration, upholding the rule of law. Promise kept (although immigration reform — not amnesty — is still necessary).
Like Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama, Trump campaigned on moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Unlike them, he kept his promise.
Trump promised to allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Promise kept, and hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day are flowing into the U.S. as a result.
Trump promised to support religious freedom. Under Barack Obama, religious nonprofits faced tremendous hurdles to serving people, from the Obamacare contraception mandate to restrictive policies meant to support LGBT people. Trump's religious freedom order has enabled once embattled charities to provide aid for 13.7 million people.
In foreign policy, Trump has pulled out of the disastrous Iran deal (reimposing sanctions on Monday), helped to defeat ISIS, and pressured Kim Jong-un to reform his dictatorship in North Korea. A great deal remains to be done, but these steps are historic.
Trump promised to lower taxes. Promise kept, and thousands of Americans have benefitted.
Perhaps most importantly, Trump promised to repeal Obamacare. Even the Republican Congress could not achieve this, but in the historic tax reform bill in 2017, Congress repealed the Obamacare individual mandate, and Trump signed that repeal into law.
2. Trump needs to complete his agenda
The failure of Republican attempts to fully gut and replace Obamacare only underscored the importance of Congress in enabling Trump to keep his promises. The president has achieved a great deal, but much remains to be done.
Health care remains a major issue for millions of Americans, and Republicans need to be able to pass a reform that does not push America down the road to socialism, like Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) "Medicare for All."
If Republicans keep the House of Representatives and the Senate, they can craft a better health care bill to repeal Obamacare and create a more free market system that would enable health care costs to drop. Since 2010, Republicans have been winning elections by running against Obamacare. It's time to finish the job.
Furthermore, America can barely afford the Medicare it already has. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hinted at entitlement reform, which is extremely necessary. Trump has cut taxes and regulations, but in order to address the real reason America is so deeply in debt, he has to reform the entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
The safety net is important, and Trump has promised to protect it. Unfortunately, the safety net is also unsustainable. In order to protect it, Trump must reform it. In order to preserve the benefits for the people who most need them, Republicans need to streamline the programs to cut costs. Americans also need to return to the civic spirit in which they care for one another, without putting the needs of the community on the shoulders of government.
As of yet, no wall stands on the southern border. Trump won the 2016 election on an immigration platform. Democrats have proven themselves utterly unwilling to compromise on immigration, and if Republicans can keep their hold on Congress, they will be able to finally craft a bill to reform the sorry state of America's immigration system.
Only a Republican Congress can help Trump continue to fulfill his promises and achieve the change America desperately needs.
3. The Supreme Court
Trump has also more than fulfilled his promises when it comes to federal judges. He promised to nominate originalist judges to the federal bench, in order to restore the rule of law and the original intent of the Constitution.
This has been extremely important, following decades of judges effectively reading their policy preferences into the Constitution. Both Roe v. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the decision that legalized same-sex marriage, involved the Court reinterpreting the Constitution to say something it does not plainly say and the founders didn't intend it to say.
Trump has achieved a textualist majority on the Supreme Court, with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The president has changed the makeup of lower courts as well. He has nominated 29 confirmed judges at the appeals court level, and 53 confirmed judges in the district courts. Under Trump, the judicial system is returning to normalcy and the plain text of the Constitution.
This sea change may alter court rulings on hot-button issues, but the greatest impact is more profound and less sexy. Thanks to this president, the Constitution is again becoming the law of the land, superseding the wishes of activist judges.
Republicans need to hold on to the Senate to enable this return to law and order to continue. Democrats have called for various schemes — such as packing the Supreme Court, "abolishing" the Supreme Court, or disposing of the idea of judicial objectivity — that show just how little they regard the Constitution if it gets in their way.
Republicans have the edge in the Senate this year, but that will not always be the case. Big Republican gains this year can enable the GOP to hold on to the Senate and continue to confirm Trump's judges after 2020 and 2022. I hate to be partisan about this issue, but it seems only Republicans care for returning to the plain text and the original intent of the Constitution.
4. Democrats move toward socialism, away from religious freedom
Bernie Sanders was just the beginning. Members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and candidates endorsed by Bernie Sanders have been winning Democratic primaries across the country. The Democrats most likely to run for the presidency in 2020 have endorsed Sanders' "Medicare for All."
Americans still support capitalism over socialism when the systems are explained without those terms, but an increasing segment of America is embracing big government and viewing socialism in an increasingly positive light. The Democratic Party is becoming the representative arm of this cultural push, and this is extremely dangerous.
Democrats are also leading the fight against religious freedom. In 1993, almost every single Democrat voted for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This year, 40 Democrats in the House of Representatives sponsored a bill to explicitly gut the protections on religious freedom in that bill.
Many media outlets have taken to putting religious freedom in scare-quotes, suggesting that "religious freedom" is merely a tool to discriminate against LGBT people. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As illustrated by cases like that of Jack Phillips — whose case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, made it to the Supreme Court — religious small business owners gladly serve LGBT people, but they object to having to provide special service for same-sex marriages or in other situations where such service would constitute expression that contradicts their religious beliefs.
Democrats are pushing a kind of soft bigotry that redefines religious freedom as discrimination against LGBT people. Using this definition, they would undermine religious freedom in law, compelling people to speak against their sincerely held religious beliefs.
5. The Resistance is rabid
If it were not enough that Democrats and the Resistance supporting them would prevent Trump from keeping his promises, fight to undermine the Constitution, push big government and even socialism, and undermine religious freedom, the ever-increasing insanity of the mob should encourage conservatives and moderates alike to turn out and vote Republican.
Trump has stoked violence against political enemies: encouraging supporters to beat up protesters at his rallies in 2016, and praising Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for beating up a reporter. Americans should condemn Trump for these statements.
That said, Democrats have responded in kind, and gone even further.
Shane Mekeland, a Republican candidate for Minnesota's state House, blamed Democrats for inspiring the incivility that led a man to punch him out of nowhere, leaving him with a concussion and the inability to campaign outside without getting a headache.
"They're constantly driving this narrative of 'It's okay to be violent,'" Mekeland said. How do they drive this narrative? Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called on activists to harass members of the Trump administration in public places like gas stations and restaurants. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) encouraged activists to "get up in the face" of Republican candidates and office-holders. Hillary Clinton said Democrats "cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for." Eric Holder declared, "When they go low, we kick them."
Cesar Sayoc, the alleged "MAGA bomber," referenced Holder's remark shortly before his attempted bombings, suggesting that this liberal anger helped stoke a violent response.
Trump needs to stop inciting violence, and it seems he has not condoned violence against protesters since the 2016 election. Thankfully, he unequivocally condemned both the MAGA bomber and the evil anti-Semite who murdered 11 people in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
Even in these cases, Trump derangement syndrome reared its ugly head. While the president may bear some blame for the MAGA bomber, liberals rushed to tie him to the synagogue shooting — despite the fact that Trump has Jewish family members, has been a strong supporter of the state of Israel, and proudly celebrated Hanukkah last year.
The Resistance reached a fever pitch in the confirmation battle for Brett Kavanaugh. Although each sexual assault claim against the judge had serious flaws, protesters declared that they "believe women" and stormed the Hart Senate Office Building. Police arrested 567 protesters in the last three days of the confirmation battle.
Even before that, protesters warned that Kavanaugh would bring about the "Handmaid's Tale," and 212 protesters (many of them paid by the Women's March) got arrested after shouting down the first Kavanaugh hearings.
Peaceful protests like the Women's March — as self-abasing as "vagina hats" were — and the wrong-headed March for Science were lawful expressions of opposition to Trump, but disruptions to the Senate are illegal, and protesters have increasingly turned into a mob.
Americans should also remember that liberal "comedian" Kathy Griffin held a replica of Trump's severed head. Trump's head also appeared in an Aztec mural in California. Liberals have bandied about the word "traitor" like it's going out of style, and both Linda Sarsour and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) have accused Trump of "jihad."
There are many legitimate reasons to complain about Trump — his inciting comments in 2016 and praise for Gianforte prominent among them — but liberals are acting as though the sitting president is bringing about the end of the world.
Unfortunately, activists have been aided in this effort by negative mainstream media coverage (92 percent!). The booming Trump economy is being pushed aside by liberal media outlets that focus on each new Trump outrage.
This president is not destroying America and the rabid anger of the Resistance should disqualify many leading Democrats in the eyes of both conservatives and moderates.
America needs both a return to civility and a return to normalcy. While Trump is far from the poster-boy for civility, his vision has achieved concrete results and the Left has gone off the deep end.
Americans need to give Trump another chance to keep fulfilling his promises, and they need to prevent the increasingly rabid Left from pushing socialism, abolishing religious freedom, and overturning the rule of law.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.