Conservatives Are Winning Soul of GOP

Conservatives Are Winning Soul of GOP

The Republican establishment doesn’t know it yet, but last weekend was a watershed moment for their party.

On April 20, House Republican leadership facilitated passage of a foreign-aid package that sends roughly $60 billion to Ukraine, $26 billion to Israel and Gaza, $8 billion to Taiwan, and exactly zero dollars to the southern border. The bill has since passed the Democrat-led Senate and was signed by President Joe Biden.

The vote will be remembered for the choice Republican leadership made to brazenly reject its own voters in favor of the “uniparty” in Washington, D.C.

In a move that can only be described as “McConnell-esque,” House Republican leadership teamed up with Democrats to overrule the position of their own conference, their voters, and the will of the American people.

Democrats on the House Rules Committee made an unprecedented move by crossing the party line and overruling Republican opposition in committee, signaling an end to the typically Democrat versus Republican battle and the beginning of the conservative versus “uniparty” war.

The disconnect between “the Swamp” and small-town America could not be more profound. How can a political party be so tone-deaf to the plight of the everyday Americans suffering under inflation, crime, and societal rot?

How can a Republican-led House prioritize the borders of another country over our own border, even as American citizens are killed by illegal immigrants?

How can so-called fiscally responsible Republicans sign off on what is now $174 billion in direct Ukraine aid with a national debt of $34 trillion—more than $250,000 for every American household?

And how can House Speaker Mike Johnson, who had pledged repeatedly that no foreign-aid legislation would advance without first securing the border, so quickly be steamrolled by the Establishment?

In their desire to send billions of dollars to a conflict that our commander-in-chief has still, to this day, offered no plan for winning, the GOP’s leadership not only spurned their party’s own supporters but overlooked an opportunity to appeal to independent Americans frustrated by both political parties.

According to recent polling that The Heritage Foundation conducted with RMG Research, an overwhelming three out of four swing voters opposed sending any additional aid to Ukraine without also allocating funds for our own border. A majority (56%) of swing voters in key battleground states thought that the $113 billion the United States had already committed to Ukraine was too much.

The entire Heritage enterprise fought for over a year and a half on this issue. Heritage Action for America engaged our millions of grassroots members to voice their concerns to their representatives. Scholars at The Heritage Foundation presented a national security alternative package that included limited military aid to Ukraine but made border security the central focus. In an unprecedented move, we even issued a “key vote” on our legislative scorecard against Speaker Johnson’s convoluted rule, which was a gimmick that lowered the threshold to a simple majority (not a supermajority under suspension) and provided political cover for members to vote against individual pieces without jeopardizing the package.

Powerful interests were aligned against us, however, and we lost on the day. Though we lost this battle, all signs indicate that we are winning the war for the soul of the GOP. A majority of Republicans (112) voted against Ukraine aid on April 20. Younger and newer members are particularly fed up with leadership’s conciliatory approach and manipulative tactics that have led us to this point. The average age of the Senate Republicans who voted “nay” is 59, while the average age of those who voted “yea” is 66. The average “nay” vote has been in office since just 2016, while the average “yea” vote has been in Washington since 2010. The same dynamic was true with the recent $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill.

This generational shift can be ignored by the “uniparty,” but it’s not going away. Newer, younger representatives want a choice, not an echo; and increasingly, they’re adopting a populist form of conservatism that champions “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” above all else.

In other words, they want a GOP that puts America first, something a government in any healthy republic would do. They want a GOP that acknowledges the reality that America is a nation in decline but is not yet too late to save.

As Ronald Reagan said in his 1980 address accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention, “For those who have abandoned hope, we’ll restore hope and we’ll welcome them into a great national crusade to make America great again!”

And that brings us to the importance of this year’s election.

In 2016, despite staunch opposition from the GOP leadership, Donald Trump rejected the Washington consensus and initiated a generational realignment in American politics. If the conservative movement leans into the politics and policies President Donald Trump made successful, the American people will again have the opportunity this fall to accelerate a new consensus in Washington, D.C. This is why I remain optimistic about the future of our great nation.

The GOP establishment’s actions this past week portend the end of the GOP establishment, not its survival. Conservatives will win the soul of the GOP, and with it, the hearts of the American people.

Reprinted with permission from The Epoch Times.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., crowed about the passage of a $95 billion foreign aid package even though it didn’t include any border security measures. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.