Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Trump Impeachment | gop | republican party | south carolina | america first

SC's GOP Chair: Where Does the Republican Party Go From Here?

mckissick wearing a suit, light blue dress shirt, and yellow tie
Drew McKissick (Photo provided by Drew McKissick)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 January 2021 06:17 AM

Quite frankly, I'm sick of the question — for lots of reasons. Primarily because it's usually asked by two types of people: those who don't like the direction in which the Republican Party has been going and people who can't do arithmetic.

Neither group is worth listening to.

Over the course of the past four years the GOP has experienced its greatest growth since the era of former President Ronald Reagan and assembled its most demographically diverse national coalition since 1960.

Here in South Carolina, Republicans defeated Democrats on straight-ticket voting for the first time in 2016 by 2.5%. That grew to eight points in 2018, then an amazing 17 points in 2020, despite over $150 million dollars in spending by the Democrats.

Last year saw GOP victories in 34 out of 46 South Carolina counties, the largest legislative majorities, and the most elected Republicans at the state and local levels in more than 140 years.

As the late Republican National Chairman (and South Carolinian) Lee Atwater used to say, "Issues win campaigns."

In 2016, Donald Trump connected with voters on issues and it was the rocket fuel he used to leap over 16 Republican challengers. While Trump is no longer the president, the issues that fueled his rise are still there, and those people are still looking to be heard.

What's more is these voters were incredibly enthusiastic. Political experience teaches that enthusiasm is the magic ingredient that leads not only to more engagement, but the type of unprecedented organic activity we saw on behalf of Trump.

Do they agree on everything? No. Do they agree broadly enough to form a winning political coalition that has more room to grow? Absolutely.

Who thinks that any of these people will be enthused to see a return to the "old GOP" that ignores the issues that animate them? To change direction now would be political seppuku.

So why the implied suggestion that we should change direction? The answer usually lies in who asks the question. Some among us didn't (and still don't) want to win with "those voters" and/or "those issues."

Such people need to be kept as far away from any leadership positions as possible. We need to remember that politics is all about math, and successful politics is about addition and multiplication.

If we truly want to keep growing and winning, then we will keep connecting on those same issues.

In addition to standing strong on an "America First" agenda, we clearly need to address our election laws.

We need a push to mandate a return to more secure, in-person voting methods. That means more sustained efforts in legislatures and in courtrooms across the country against the Democrats' constant efforts to make fraud easier.

And we need to stop the incessant whining when Democrats and the media will say bad things about us. Welcome to the GOP.

In addition to issues, there's how we communicate our message.

More Republicans need to understand that we don't have to hide under a desk when liberals call us names. Don't apologize for what you believe. Say it louder. Voters will respond.

I don't know what Trump's plans are, but I know that the $200 million plus that he has raised since Election Day can buy a lot of jet fuel. I hope he uses it to travel the country, continue to speak out on those issues, and support other Republicans who do the same.

Of course, it should go without saying that joining or approving of efforts to impeach Trump is hurtful to building our party. This also goes for the Republicans who say bad things about other Republicans in order to get a place in the media spotlight.

We don't need a "new" voice, a "new" way, or a "new" party. We need to communicate winning conservative ideas more boldly and broadly. If you can't do that and promote yourself at the same time, please step aside.

Democrats are going to do what they always do: overreach and promote cultural insanity. Republicans should oppose them every step of the way and not work with them, period. Their notion of "working together" is one in which Republicans surrender.

In the meantime, we need to find and promote candidates who understand the issues that helped us grow and who can authentically represent them and aren't timid about it.

If we do, we will not only have a great 2022, but we will lay a solid foundation for the candidate who can rally those voters to take back the White House in four years.

So, where do we go from here? The same way we have been going, but with renewed commitment. If we do that, we'll continue to grow as a party. And if we continue to grow, we win.

Lead, follow or get out of the way.

Drew McKissick is Republican State Chairman of South Carolina

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Quite frankly, I'm sick of the question - for lots of reasons. Primarily because it's usually asked by two types of people: those who don't like the direction in which the Republican Party has been going and people who can't do arithmetic. Neither group is worth listening...
gop, republican party, south carolina, america first
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 06:17 AM
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