My father was one of four children, all Republicans. By the time I was old enough to pay attention to the political debates around the Thanksgiving table, they ranged from moderates to conservatives (for context, this is the early 1990s and the Republican Party was very different then).
I distinctly remember my uncle, the most conservative of my brothers, calling the Republican Party the “stupid party.” His laments were not about the party’s intellectual capacity or suitability for ideals. That’s because whenever the GOP found itself in a position of relative power, it squandered opportunities, didn’t serve conservatism, and fell down a rabbit hole that voters ultimately didn’t care about.
This month’s election has upended conventional wisdom, historical trends, and many people’s predictions. It should have been a red wave. Here in Pennsylvania, the red waves seem to occur during low tide. Gubernatorial and Senate vacancies moved to Democrats, Pennsylvania sent more Democrats to the House than Republicans, and the state legislature flipped blue.
There are plenty of people writing premature autopsies for the Republican Party, blaming election denial and Donald Trump. Now that Donald Trump has officially announced that he will be running again, countless words will be said about how this will hinder the Republican Party. I might write a couple of them… brace yourself… two years.)
But what I want to say now is this: Dear Democrats, don’t be a stupid party.
Biden’s first two years in office, with Democrats in control of Congress, have yielded some major achievements. For example, the American Rescue Plan, the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan Safe Communities Act, and the careful crafting of the White House. Multinational aid to Ukraine. All of these have the approval of the majority of Americans.
Voters rejected the politics of electoral denial and dissatisfaction, giving back most of those involved in realizing the past two years’ achievements. But the hard work isn’t over, and it would be a mistake to settle for two years of back-and-forth with Trump.
The economy, and especially inflation, was what voters cited as a major issue in the 2022 elections. Inflation is a matter of supply and demand, so the party should use the tools available to increase productivity. Increased availability of child care centers increases worker productivity. More investment in American industry will streamline the supply chain and make it less dependent on imports from countries whose regimes are not reliable long-term partners.
What’s more, the U.S. unemployment rate is only 3.7%, but minority unemployment is much higher, with blacks and African Americans at 8.6%. There are several ways to close this gap, including enforcing existing anti-discrimination laws and increasing support for unions.
Another major driving force in the election was the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, in which only 13% of Americans agreed. Without control of the U.S. House of Representatives or the Pennsylvania Senate, Democrats would find it difficult to enact abortion rights legislation, but wherever they have power, they will use that power. We need to enact a pure law to codify this right and recruit all incumbents to the record of where they stand.
Crime also weighed heavily on voters’ minds. Crime has increased similarly in urban, suburban and rural areas, and the increase is about the same in both ‘blue’ and ‘red’ areas. Some of the increase in crime is related to the effects of the ongoing opioid epidemic, some of it is related to the pandemic, and some of it could be curbed by improved gun control. , is a highly complex issue that affects different parts of the country and different people within each community in different ways.
But we all know, and research confirms, that increased opportunities lead to less crime. This is the perfect opportunity to show that underserved communities (both rural and urban) matter during the election cycle.
Remember, those who voted for you weren’t looking for marriage, they were looking for someone to walk their own path. As long as you remain the candidate that brings them closest to their destination, you don’t have to worry about being a stupid party.
Will Wood is a small business owner, veteran and so-so runner. He lives, works and writes in West Chester.
https://www.dailylocal.com/2022/11/18/will-wood-dont-be-the-stupid-party/ don’t be a stupid party