Election 2018: conservatism in America

RYAN LAVIN | OPINION COLUMNIST | rplavin@butler.edu

The state of conservatism in America is strong. Ever since the election of Trump in 2016, Republicans have passed tax cuts through Congress, lifted restrictions on businesses to foster economic growth and have confirmed 84 judges to federal courts. These actions have been commended by conservatives nationwide and have helped the Senate Republicans gain an early advantage in forecasts for the November election.

According to fivethirtyeight.com, Republicans have a 5 in 6 chance of keeping control of the U.S. Senate in the upcoming midterm election, and there are multiple reasons for it. I see particular strength in Republican arguments on immigration and “fake news” that can help their case moving into election week.

In recent months, many conservatives have disapproved of the Democratic party’s rhetoric regarding immigration, Democratic socialists gaining renown in America and the recent firestorm over Justice Brett Kavanaugh; all of these factors are influencing the outcome of the midterm elections in favor of Republicans.

Top operatives in both political parties concede that Democrats’ narrow path to the Senate majority has essentially disappeared, a casualty of surging Republican enthusiasm across GOP strongholds,” read an article in the Associated Press. “At the same time, leading Democrats now fear the battle for the House majority will be decided by just a handful of seats.”

Also responsible for helping Democrats lose their advantage are Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who continue to push for social justice initiatives, regulations on free markets and socialist policies like universal health care and free college tuition on the federal level.

By advocating for big federal initiatives, Democratic socialists will only continue to stoke an equal pushback from the right. Conservatives care about having a small federal government in fiscal and public policy, so the push from Democratic socialists for such large government programs will continue to cause conflict between the two groups and draw more and more Republicans into the fight for the small federal government.  

After Trump’s election, it has been a priority for many conservatives to have conservative and constitutionalist judges placed into Federal courts and the Supreme Court, mainly for judging favorably on issues regarding the 2nd Amendment and abortion. The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh will be the deciding factor that helped Republicans to gain an advantage in the Senate race.

Conservative columnist and editor-in-chief of the ‘Daily Wire’ Ben Shapiro recently said, “All of this should motivate you to get out and vote. If Democrats win the House and Senate in 2018, conservatives should be prepared for an all-out assault on their values — and an assault on President Trump from the media that makes the last two years look like child’s play.”

I agree with Shapiro on this. Republicans will find it incredibly hard to pass any legislation through Congress if Democrats win control of a chamber, so it is incredibly important for conservatives to vote on Nov. 6 to preserve the Republican majority in Congress.

Personally, I will be relieved when the election cycle is over, but until then, Republicans are in a strong position to keep control of the Senate for the next two years.


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