June 21, 2018
Since the day President Donald J. Trump took office, the media has fantasized about a “blue wave” of Democratic wins in special elections and in midterm elections in November.
The media’s early and overzealous midterm predictions are starting to seem more unlikely by the day, however. This is in large part because the doomsday predictions they made about Trump’s being in the White House never materialized. We’re now more than 500 days into the presidency, and not only were the pundits’ predictions wrong, but Americans are prospering in ways that seemed unimaginable during the Obama presidency.
In less than two years, President Trump has passed the largest tax cuts in more than three decades, consistently appointed conservative judges, executed massive deregulation, brokered new trade negotiations that put America first, and met with North Korea. Americans are seeing the positive effects of the Trump policies and sensing that our country is moving in the right direction.
Of course, no election is guaranteed, and Republicans have a lot of work to do before the midterms. Here are four key points Republican candidates should communicate in order to win in November.
1) We have the lowest unemployment in 18 years.
In the thick of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump asked voters who traditionally don’t vote Republican in large numbers, “What do you have to lose?” In Akron, Ohio, in August 2016, he said, “Our government has totally failed our African-American friends, our Hispanic friends, and the people of our country. Period.”
It was a message that resonated in formerly blue states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. We now have the lowest unemployment in nearly two decades, and African-American unemployment is at its lowest point on record. Republicans can go into the midterms telling the truth about how an economy that encourages business, manufacturing, and growth helps minorities better than any big government Democrat plan ever has. Unemployment is at a historic low because American businesses are hiring. Even the New York Times recently ran a headline declaring, “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are.”
2) Tax cuts were immediate and effective.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017 was a key part of America’s great economic comeback. For the great majority of workers, these tax cuts were an immediate, real, tangible result of the pro-growth policies of President Trump and the Republicans.
Every GOP candidate should know the average take-home-pay increase for the voters in his or her state and district. Candidates should also know and name the companies in their states that gave bonuses after the tax cuts were passed. They should reach out and find people in their states or districts who were affected by the tax cuts and share their stories.
Republicans must drive home what the tax cuts meant to their constituents and how those tax cuts transferred power from government back to the American people. At the same time, candidates can remind voters that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the tax cuts and bonuses “crumbs.”
3) Deregulation means getting government out of your life.
To be the party of economic growth, Republicans must continue to make deregulation a central point of their message — and make sure to talk about deregulation in plain language.
As I wrote in Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback:
Trump’s America, on the other hand, resents an omnipresent government in their lives, micromanaging small business owners with job-killing regulations and trying to impose weird liberal values on ordinary Americans. . . .
Fortunately for Trump’s America, when it comes to repealing regulations and reducing the power of the bureaucracy, the president has delivered “big league,” as he would say.
Deregulation is getting the government out of matters that shouldn’t concern it. The Trump deregulation effort has made it easier and cheaper for people to do business in America — which means small and large companies can hire more people and focus on their work rather than paperwork. Whether it’s forcing people to buy high-cost health care they don’t need or fining children with lemonade stands, Americans are tired of bloated, burdensome government rules.
4) There is more work to be done.
It is important to emphasize that there is still more work we must do. Republicans must make it clear to voters that they will continue to aggressively work to reduce the regulatory state, lower the tax burden, and create an environment that encourages innovation and economic growth.
Additionally, with unemployment already at a historic low, we will also need a workforce that is continually learning and training in order to achieve its full potential. Republicans can and should be the party of education and training.
Finally, Republicans must help one another. Help tell other Republicans’ success stories when you can — and help Republicans win in tough races. If the people in historically blue states, such as California or New York feel left out of the economic gains other states are experiencing, we need to make sure they know about better options – and that the Republicans running in these areas have what they need to win.
If we can be successful at reminding voters of the Republican successes over the last two years and continuing America’s great comeback, the media’s blue wave will never make it to shore.