December 9th, 2023


Compromising what what you don't have

Cal Thomas

By Cal Thomas

Published Nov. 8, 2022

Compromising what what you don't have

Assuming the polls are right — and history has shown that is sometimes a risky assumption — Republicans will take over the House of Representatives by a large margin following Tuesday‘s election and possibly even the Senate by enough seats to send a message to Democrats and the media.

The message to Democrats is that large numbers of voters see their tax-and-spend policies with accompanying inflation, their failure to secure the border and an indifference to violent crime and unsafe streets in New York and other major cities as the fault of their party. The message to the media is that no matter how biased they are in favor of Democrats it hasn't worked this time. This news should embolden Republicans to ignore what surely will be the inevitable loud whining from the left and claim a mandate to accomplish what voters have elected them to do.

Too many times in the past, Republicans have won congressional majorities and failed to deliver. Partly this seems due to the constant media harping about getting along and compromising with Democrats (notice that line is never used when Democrats are in the majority), and partly due to media coverage that claims any spending Republicans want to cut will harm children, women and minorities.

This time, things could be different. A younger crop of Republicans with no experience in government (a good thing considering what the experienced have given us) seems dedicated to shaking things up. Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance was on Fox News last week. If Republicans win a Senate majority, he thinks Democrats will compromise, especially on crime and the border. If not, he suggested, Republicans will move ahead with their agenda.

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It will be difficult to override any vetoes by President Biden, who will likely oppose attempts to change the status quo, but if Democrats lose big, he may become a lame duck earlier than perhaps any modern president. With seasoned Democratic pollsters and party leaders already quietly talking about replacing Biden on the 2024 ticket (but who could they pick that won't offend their extreme liberal base?), Biden could quickly become irrelevant.

A major flaw in Republican thinking over the years is their desire to be liked and to appease the major media. Being liked is overrated. Discipline is needed. A disciplined party that can demonstrate success on what voters care most about will succeed and success is the best antidote to the policy and rhetorical poison cranked out by the left.

If Republicans need encouragement, they should consult the latest Gallup poll about the media: "At 34%, Americans' trust in the mass media to report the news ‘fully, accurately and fairly' is essentially unchanged from last year and just two points higher than the lowest that Gallup has recorded, in 2016 during the presidential campaign. Just 7% of Americans have ‘a great deal' of trust and confidence in the media, and 27% have ‘a fair amount.' Meanwhile, 28% of U.S. adults say they do not have very much confidence and 38% have none at all in newspapers (ouch), TV and radio. Notably, this is the first time that the percentage of Americans with no trust at all in the media is higher than the percentage with a great deal or a fair amount combined."

Advice to Republicans: ignore the media and do what you are being elected to do. The result will be better for your party and more importantly better for the country.


Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.