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HORIST: Republicans cannot seem to maintain a lead

HORIST: Republicans cannot seem to maintain a lead

Barely a decade ago, it appeared that the Republican Party was at the threshold of a GOP sustained era not seen since the 70 years following the Civil War – an era that came crashing down in the Great Depression.

In 2010, Republicans took control of the United States  House of Representatives.  In 2012 – even as President Obama was elected to a second term – Republicans were taking over governorships and state legislatures by record proportions.  In 2014, Republican gained control of the United States Senate.

With that much momentum, the party of Lincoln was virtually certain to win the White House.  Even the controversial and greatly disliked Donald Trump could not crush the momentum – although he came close to doing so.  What should have been a BIG victory was a cliffhanger.

Since then, the GOP has lost significant popularity.  It took a shellacking in the 2018 election in the House.  It gained in the Senate largely due to a peculiar advantage of Democrats having to defend more races – and in states won by Trump.  In 2020, that situation will be reversed with the field advantage belonging to the Democrats.

It now appears that the political winds are at the backs of the Democrats – and even worse, the most left-wing Democrats. So, how did this right-of-center nation shift to the left so far and so quickly? And did it?

The first and most obvious answer is President Trump.  Many wondered whether he would transition from a brash and controversial candidate to a more traditional Republican.  Many hoped he would, and many hoped he would not.

Virtually everyone can agree that Trump is not a traditional President.  For conservatives, much of his untraditional approach was a good thing.  He took government policy away from the so-called establishment that had done more talking than acting on our domestic and international problems.  He actually has done something about economic stagnation, excessive taxes, veterans affairs, inner city poverty, excessive regulation and the overall size of the federal bureaucracy – and beyond our borders has brought ISIS to its knees, created new opportunities in the Middle East quagmire, moved our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, got our NATO allies to pay more to make our mutual defense more mutual and broke the do-nothing policies on North Korean nuclearization.

At the same time, however, Trump has allowed his personality to become an Achilles Heel for both him and Republicans in general.  His pugnaciousness – coupled with provably inaccurate and needlessly controversial statements – has limited his general popularity and, by extension, that of the GOP.

It is irrefutable that Trump has a strong hold on his base.

The loss of political value in the Republican brand is not all at the doorstep of Trump.  The greater Republican Party has historically had a “messaging problem.”  Because it is a party of principles over power, there is – and probably always will be – division within the Party.  It naturally lacks the power-based solidarity of the Democratic Party – which, to greater or lesser degree, represents the authoritarian left-wing side of the political continuum.

It is also true that Republicans and conservatives have a disadvantage in presenting their message because of the biased reporting of the major east coast media.  The very instruments of mass communication are controlled by liberal Democrats.

But even with all that, Republicans have long demonstrated an ineptitude in presenting their side of political issues – especially in terms of immigration, race and free-market economics.  That is partly since too many Republicans tend to be Democrat-lite – embracing to a lesser degree the Democrats big government, Big Brother policies.  They have never understood that voters on the left will take a genuine left-winger over a pseudo-liberal.

If the era of Republican dominance – and right-of-center policies – is over for the foreseeable future, it will be the failure to reach out and sell traditional American economics and the concept of personal freedom to the growing number of so-called minorities.  Through Identity politics, the Democrats have created a political divide between the European whites and all other ethnicities.

Since America will become a minority-majority nation within the next thirty years, a political division based on race, as opposed to issues, will be disastrous for the GOP.  It is important to keep in mind that Democrats see many Caucasians as part of the minority community they claim to serve.  Virtually all Hispanics are Caucasians but are politically incorporated into the black minority.

Same with Asians, who are not part of the black or the Hispanic community, but are, according to Democrats, one of the minorities that they uniquely serve.  The Asian community is significant, because, in a past generation, they leaned to the GOP – as did a large percentage of Hispanics.

Based on issues, Republicans should not have lost the House.  It was a messaging problem by congressional leaders and Trump.  They brought the people of America a significant tax cut and could not effectively defend it.  The economy is booming, and they are not convincing the American public of that fact.  The Democratic Party continues to be the primary vehicle of institutional racism in America, and the GOP cannot even convince blacks who suffer the oppression of de facto racism.

When Republicans and conservatives do get access to the so-called news programs, they generally do a terrible job of getting their points across.  The recent hearings involving presidential attacker Michael Cohen are just another case in point.  Republican members of the Committee on Oversight and Reform wasted a valuable opportunity to push back against any number of the Democrats false narratives – but they did not.

Republicans were poor sales people for a good American product – the policies and benefits of free-market capitalism and personal freedom — when they had the advantage of the majority.  They will now suffer the consequences of operating under a political party that can effectively sell snake oil socialism.

Unless the Republican Party can get its act together, they will again descend into the ranks of irrelevancy – and this time there may be no recovery.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Robert Rosser

    The problem is that the Republican party has become the party of inaction, the American people were told in the 2012 elections that they fully intended to overturn the many add ons to the ACA and the overturn the law itself, however, after many seats were gained good old Mich McConnell, said they would not being taking action on overturning the ACA mandates or the law itself, effectively making the Republican party look like boldfaced liars. While the Democratic party walks in lockstep many Republicans either do not take their counterparts to task or vote right along with them. The truth is, our government is largely controlled by the globalization movement which is neither by the people nor for the people of the United States if America.

  2. Shawn

    Thank you for your insight, so whats the answer to saving our country? Trump is a great president, he just doesnt have the best delivery for all to understand. He is good for our country. There are too many RINO’s in the Republican party that have bad intentions. Immigration is killing our country because no one is assimilating to what this great country was founded on. They all want to change us to where they came from which obviously wasnt working or they would have stayed. If the socialist democrats take control of America it will never survive. I think Trump called them out sooner than they were ready for and thats why they seem so awkward in their message. 2020 will be the deciding turning point for America and our future. Immigration must be controlled and regulated. Our laws must be upheld by all states as intended or we are doomed as a country! Keep sending the message! God Bless America

  3. Thomas Chambers

    Mr.Horist you hit the nail on the head. I thank you for your service for the minority groups. This article shows both the left-wing agenda to cause division. and the weakness and hypocrisy of the Republican leader’s . I don’t always like President Trump’s methods. But he is delivering on his promises.

  4. Ardvark

    Because they act like the Democratic Party lite, the party always seems to be full of democrats! They rarely ever attempt to stop anything the Dems do, especially with people like McConnell and Ryan running things! The. Country needs a third party that actually functions for the people, but that will never happen and the spineless Republicans will ensure the country has a Democratic Kommisar in 2020!

  5. Donna Miller

    This is early in the 2020 campaign. ALL THE HATE AND DECEIT IS AIMED AT TRUMP. He will
    survive and beat the hateful DEMS AT THEIR OWN GAMES. TOO MANY EL-STUPID DEMS
    LIKE THE OCA bug eyed idiot who says something more stupid every single day…every day
    brings something just as nutcase as the day before. She hasn’t been weaned yet…she is

    • Denise

      Boom! You hit the nail on the head!

  6. Fred Voegtli

    The only republican presedential candidate that could secure huge blocks of democrat votes was Donald Trump…I live in a democrat stronghold and personally witnessed my buddies on election day at our coffee meet up spot…chanting loudly…we are on The Trump Train!…the only republican that could have converted these great patriots…this is true…

  7. Gary Epperson

    Typical right wing propaganda.. 97% of people got very little tax relief- only the wealthy really benefitted. American companies have been ripe with cash since 2010, but they sat on it rather than invest in the economy under Obama. Why? Don’t want a black liberal democrat getting any credit for an economic boon. Bill Clinton balanced the budget and paid down the deficit for 5 straight years. What did Republicans do? Try to take credit as their economic policies under W sent us into a recession and later almost a depression. Republicans are not interested in the Republic- only how much wealth the system can help them generate for their greedy selves.

  8. Richard Hennessy

    It’s not just a selling problem. The real reason that Republicans can’t maintain a lead is that, when they get one, they don’t do what they told the voters that they would do. They get that lead by promising conservative policies; then, led by the RINOs, they turn “moderates” (closet liberals) because they refuse to rock the boat. They promised to reduce domestic spending; then, they agreed with Democrats on budget-busting spending to avoid letting Democrats shut the government down to try to get the higher spending approvals. They even talked about how they didn’t want to shut the government down, when it clearly would have been the Democrats that would have been responsible, if the Democrats had refused to vote for the lower spending levels. They promised to repeal Obamacare; then, they didn’t because they didn’t want to rock the boat. Republicans will never hold a lead so long as they remain just Democrat-light, that is, just a little less liberal than the Democrats. Boehner and Ryan were perfect examples of Democrat-light as Speakers of the House.

  9. Denise Pfahl

    There is only ONE party in the political swamp…the Uniparty of corruption!… from the hypocrisy of the liberal left dems to the “gutless old party (GOP). President Trump is the only one on the Hill fighting for the patriots of this country…let Trump BE Trump; he is not to blame here. The GOP never got behind him from the beginning and it had nothing to do with Trump…get real!…the swamp is the establishment, and they are in each other’s pockets catering one to the other, paying each other off and getting rich in the process. They all hate Trump for exposing their corruption and bursting their corrupt bubble of power and greed!
    “Show me a politician who gets rich in Washington, and I’ll show you a crook!
    The patriots of this nation will win once again, with our president at the helm. Trump 2020!

  10. Mark Hay

    Having had a diverse career, here’s how I describe why Republicans tend to lose this battle. Republicans are, politically, “engineers.” Democrats are, politically, “salesmen.” Republicans know how things actually work, and what needs to happen to make things work, and think that knowledge should be self-explanatory in giving their ideas the win. Dems believe in an “ideal,” don’t have a great understanding of how, why, or if that ideal will be functional, but have an implicit faith that it will that gives them a passion to “sell” it.