America is at war. Not with a particular country, in spite of our endless entanglements in the Middle East. Instead the war is against a more nebulous enemy. One that goes by many names. The status quo. The deep state. The establishment. The elites.
The enemy is everywhere. Media, entertainment, sports, academia, and among the ruling class in Washington, DC. A ruthless enemy, barbarians, willing to keep fighting despite setbacks and defeat. Singleminded in focus, the enemy wants to “fundamentally transform America”, creating a “new world order,” to borrow phrases from both sides of the political aisle.
Who are the opponents? Who is pushing back? One might think the Republican Party is the resistance to the progressive enemy. A slide toward socialism, communism, fascism, or any other “ism” leaving the anointed ones in power deciding for the masses what is best, how they should live, what they should think, how they should behave.
Yet the GOP is not pushing back, instead its members acquiescing or cowering in fear of being called mean names by the prominent newspapers and television networks. Acting like wimps. Not willing to fight, to teach, to explain -- the only way to win this war.
The pushback is instead coming from one man, his assembled team, and 65 million citizen supporters. It's such a shame that so much of this man’s political party has not joined him in the fight, content to sit on the sidelines at best, or at worst actively working to thwart his efforts.
As Thomas Sowell said, “If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win.”
Which elected members of Congress are leading the fight, acting as President Trump’s wingmen? Republicans should be delighted to have a like-minded occupant in the White House. Trump favors most of the issues that Republicans traditionally campaign on. Lower taxes, less government spending, repealing ObamaCare, strengthening our borders, conservative judges.
Then why aren’t these things happening? Now nine months into the Trump presidency, ObamaCare is still in place, so are high taxes. The border wall isn’t funded. There is little Congressional support for Trump blowing up the Iran nuke deal and the Paris climate accords. For cutting regulations. Cleaning out the swamp creatures of the deep state. Expeditiously confirming conservative judges, Neil Gorsuch aside.
This is a recipe for disaster. A big league electoral loss. The GOP, it would seem, prefers to lose rather than fight. A recent Fox News poll, a generic congressional ballot for the 2018 midterm elections, illustrates this quite clearly. Democrat candidates lead Republicans by 15 points. Granted, this is over a year ahead of the midterms, but still a bad omen for Republican members of Congress. Wimps or fighters?
Are Americans favoring congressional Democrats because Republican voters are tired of the Trump agenda and accomplishments thus far? Or are voters weary of GOP ineptitude, lack of an agenda, squandering a once-in-a-lifetime electoral majority? Fighting Trump rather than joining him in advancing an agenda they all, at one time or another, campaigned on.
Who are the heirs to Trump’s likely eight years in the White House? Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, to name a few. Those who participated, albeit unsuccessfully, in the 2015-16 GOP primaries. Where are the fighters? Why are Cruz and Rubio not leading the charge for advancing Trump’s agenda through Congress?
That’s what winners do. Losers remain quiet or else fuss and pout like spurned schoolgirls. Cruz, to his credit, finally broke his silence on a talk radio show a few days ago, telling his GOP colleagues to “shut up and do your job.” What a concept. Do your job.
"The job" being what Republicans were elected to do, what they promised voters they would do if elected and given Congressional majorities and the White House. But where is the fight?
Democrats are sure fighting. Turn on the news and there’s Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, and other Democrats fighting for their agenda.
The only fighters on the Republican side are the #NeverTrumpers. McCain, Flake, and Corker. Jeff Flake giving an impassioned speech against the “indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership.” If only he fought as hard against the corrupt FBI, IRS, DOJ and other Obama agencies, Benghazi, the Iran nuke deal, or the incessant Trump-Russia collusion hoax which has been nothing but a huge distraction to the new Trump administration.
Flake is fighting, but for the wrong team. Giving the impression that he would rather lose his Senate seat than fight. His approval rating in his home state of Arizona reflects this, hovering below 20 percent. He has no chance of being reelected, so he is quitting. He lost.
Bob Corker reached the same conclusion, preferring to lose, or retire, rather than fight. If McCain didn’t have health issues and was up for reelection next year he would likely be in a similar spot.
Where is the fight? ObamaCare repeal has been kicked down the road til next year. Tax cuts are questionable. Same for funding the wall, one of the President’s signature campaign issues.
If Republicans joined Trump in the fight, they would win, remaking the political and electoral landscape for a generation, maintaining electoral majorities for decades. Instead they choose not to be barbarians, but wimps. And in the battle for civilization, and reelection, they will lose.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.