From “Julius Caesar” comes one of Shakespeare’s most poignant lines:
“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”
Well, thanks to the reprobate factions of the Republican Party, we missed one big tide.
Over the past two years, conservatives (and libertarians) could have solidified excellence for a country wanting it. The chains forged by disdainful leftists could have been broken. Republicans could have re-branded themselves with the wave of American greatness. They could have ascended as they had under Reagan, but this time for decades. Alas, this first tide has come and gone without that happening.
Had the GOP only listened. Had they only observed. Had they only learned the lessons they were given in 2016. Had they heeded the call for renewal and realignment, great things would have come. Instead, they didn’t see what was in front of them. Instead of joining the tide of American renewal, they remained a party stuck on stupid. They remained the party of shell-shocked, Stockholm syndrome insiders. They remained conservative in the wrong way, meaning overly cautious and frozen in place. They didn’t recognize the tide, choosing poorly.
Trump rode the wave of a genuine sea change of America. He harnessed the long-suppressed American desire to greatness. He espoused the issues and ideas the American people wanted: immigration, economic renewal, and national pride. Rejecting leftist elitism of both parties, rejecting failed socialism, rejecting globalism, rejecting failed leftist media/Hollywood values were all part of the upheaval. Trump opened up the possibility of greatness because he saw these things clearly; he demonstrated how to fight. Trump demonstrated you could beat the left by standing firm.
He did it daily during the campaign of 2016, proving you could tell the unvarnished truth to the American people and survive. He showed you could beat the PC of the Democrats, turning it against them. When he won, you would think the GOP would have rejoiced.
But they didn’t.
When he won, they acted bewildered. Rather than go with the tide of realignment, they stayed pat. They preferred stasis, being useful pawns of the angry leftist wave that reacted to November 2016. Instead of realigning with Trump, the majority simply went back to listening to the consultants that had failed them so miserably in the past.
Instead of enthusiastically joining what they had witnessed, they simply preferred the stench of the Washington swamp. It’s difficult to rouse enough about how badly they failed their own voting base and the rest of sleepwalking America.
The rage of entitlement on the left began Nov. 8, 2016. Network anchors were shocked, and many voters on the left allowed their inner spoiled toddler to come shrieking out. From the leaders on down, Democrats were in total disarray, with nothing but anger and confusion to guide them. Hillary Clinton couldn’t accept her loss. Barack Obama couldn’t come to grips that he, too, was rejected. Then they unleashed their unhinged minions on us.
The GOP leadership (oxymoron?) could have risen up in one voice and chided the Democrats/media for being such degenerate juveniles, but they said virtually nothing—no push-back at all. The wheels of the Clinton/Obama/Democratic machine were off, the engine was seized up. They were incapable of any self-reflection and rationality concerning their radical leftism. All the left had was rage—fury at their own powerlessness.
Trump moved toward consolidation. He knew what needed to be done. But while Trump focused on our economic engine, the Democratic/media machine chose a path of destruction, of retribution, of mean-spirited, spiteful payback. And the GOP? They had the #nevertrumpers nipping at Trump’s heels, in a pathetic response to a miraculous win.
They had the painful reticence of Paul Ryan and the establishment elite. There was absurd back-stabbing by Flake, McCain, Corker, Sasse, and others in the Senate. They had the entrenched money of the Chamber of Commerce waiting to purchase back the failures they had brought to the country for the past decades. And most GOPers took it.
As the Democrats sustained their scorched-earth campaign, the Republicans froze. As the leftist/Democrat/media complex continued their attempted juvenile take-down of the Republican standard-bearer, elected Republicans simply balked, and looked the other way. Two years later, as wounds are licked at losing the House in 2018, it’s time to excoriate the befuddled GOP.
When Trump won, the GOP needed to undergo deep change. I wrote of their fecklessness here.
At the time, I hoped they could still join the Trump train, perhaps learning leadership. Instead, they continued to unenthusiastically meander.
Let me digress and praise the few good things they did: McConnell actually did a marvelous job with judges. And they passed a few good things, while helping to unwind some of the burdensome regulations from the Obama era and before. The tax cuts were fine, helping to right our economic engines. But consider how much more should have been accomplished. It was the lack of enthusiastic pressing for the remainder of the Trump/American agenda where they failed miserably.
Digression over. The big failure was not joining the very visible “movement of realignment.” Rather than joining Trump to make America great again, they allowed the jackals of the left to define narratives that weren’t worth spit. They allowed the stupidity of the “Russia stole the election” narrative, the “Trump is dangerous” narrative, the “Trump is incompetent” narrative, the “Trump is stupid” narrative, and the “Trump is racist” narrative.
They literally allowed a bunch of spoiled toddlers (also known as the left) to entirely split America. The center-right did that by not saying a word as the absurdity of those leftist media narratives engulfed us. If they had risen up and countered the left in unison, had they purposefully fought the leftist insanity, the entire country could have moved forward. That means independents and Democrats, as well.
For not doing so, the members of the GOP need to hide their heads in shame. It was a show of cowardice rarely seen. They should have mounted a full-scale assault against those narratives, and against the entitled brats who spawned them. If they had done so, the country would have never allowed 92 percent negative coverage in a time of 92 percent positive news. For what they didn’t do, I’m nominating the GOP for a chapter in a book called Profiles in Cowardice.
It’s pretty clear they wouldn’t have lost the House in 2018 if they had joined the Trump win. Their distraction by the left’s insane barrage was despicable. Had they instead pushed hard for Trump’s agenda of making America great again, all of the United States would be better off. Plus, most of the ones who lost would still have their congressional jobs. We might have had a half-dozen more decent right-leaning senators. We might have accomplished so many more great things.
That first tide has come and gone. It was, as Shakespeare wrote, not taken.
I have the following to say to the GOP elites, senators, and congresscritters who are still there: Learn your lesson! Now! We have no time to repeat this past folly. So, stand up enthusiastically for conservative/American principles; if you have none, get some. Realign enthusiastically with the Trump/American agenda. If you just want the payday, please resign to allow another to take your place. The country can’t afford for you to sit on your hands anymore. To do so would cede our country to the ugly, infantile left.
We are in a cold civil war that is getting hotter. Leftist American leaders hate America and all it stands for. It’s not Trump they want to defeat, it’s us—it’s America. If they win, this country will be destroyed and left free-falling toward an amalgamation of degenerate Europe and Venezuela. Trump was elected because enough of us saw that.
We face many new challenges concerning American renewal. A tide was missed, but with Trump still president, more tides will come. To the GOP: Consolidate with him and seize upon the next tide offered.
There may not be another.
David Prentice is a writer and novelist from the Midwest.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.