Kurt Schlichter, If you are a California conservative, you are probably pretty based. In fact, you are probably heads-on-spikes based. I go speak to these people and these nice Republican ladies show you their “RINO Hunter” tatts and talk about how Jeb! is a … well, they are very graphic. California is blue, deep blue, and we Golden State patriots are a besieged minority, yet you look at the GOP base and if they were any more to the right they would nominate Attila the Hun for Senate. Of course, Attila’s innovative policy prescriptions regarding driving his enemies before him and provoking the lamentations of the women and so forth are worth exploring.
But then you go to some of these deep red states where you would think they were based and you have to wonder what the hell they are thinking. Look at South Dakota under Chamber of Commerce Cowgirl Kristi Noem. It took her years and the realization that running interference for the squishes by refusing to sign on to a bill protecting kids from gender freaks was destroying her chance of ever being president before she finally signed something. In places like North Dakota and Idaho, which should be on the cutting edge of medieval conservatism, they regularly elect Buick Republicans who think we should use our inside voices. What gives?
Take at South Carolina. Please. Red, red, red. Except it has given us Nikki Haley, who makes Jeb! look like…well, her with lower heels. And it has Tim Scott, a nice guy but someone who would never, ever choose to leave a heap of his enemies skulls on the field of battle as a warning to those who might challenge us. Look, if you are not into skull-stacking in 2023, you are out of step with the strategic needs of the movement. And then there’s their other senator, Lindsey Graham, the guy who is all in on Ukraine, confirming Dem judges, and amnesty. Sure, Trump digs him – because Trump never learns – but the guy is a fossil locked in a time capsule that says “Don’t Open until 2006 Happens Again.”
How does a state as gloriously scarlet as Lower Carolina breed such throwback Republicans? Is there something in the water? Did Pete Buttigieg let another weird chemical tanker train derail there?
I have a theory.
I think that red state Republicans have it easy and can afford to be soft. Or at least they think they can. And so they often are.
I think that in the blue states, we Republicans have to fight. I can literally go days not talking to anyone who thinks like us who is not a super-hot Cuban woman. We are surrounded by the left, facing off with them all the time, and constantly on alert. We can never let our guard down. It is who we are. Recently, a person in a line of work where most everyone is a pinko took me aside, out of earshot, and expressed joy in meeting others of a like mind. We are the underground, a real resistance, not some sissy MSNBC posing. In the red states, you know normal people in great numbers. For us, it’s a treat to meet one. We could literally hold a meet-up of every conservative in LA in a Denny’s with room for few pinkos to be getting their grand slam breakfasts too.
In the big red states, everyone who is wants to get elected to anything joins the GOP. So, naturally, a lot of people who, in a non-red state, would probably be Democrats, join the GOP. It’s the only game in town. Can you tell the difference between Arkansas’s Asa Hutchinson and a Democrat?
But these people dilute the hardcoreness of the party. You get them in office and they do not evolve into something cool. Rather, they devolve into squishes and undercut those who actually are based. Look at Texas. You would think Texas would be positively neanderthal. Nope. The only reason it is as based as it is right now, with rumblings about fighting CRT and the rest of that commie crap, is because Ron DeSantis is over in Florida shaming Governor Greg Abbott into doing something. Governor DeSantis is shaming a lot of folks into moving right; they would be spinning their wheels in moderation (which is synonymous with decline) if he was not embarrassing them by his transcendent basedness.
Florida proves my theory. It was purple. Democrats often won elections. We all remember 2000 – well, you Gen Z people don’t, but you can consult an elder for tales of hanging chads – and the state came within a battalion of voters of going for Al Gore. Florida is red now, but it took work. It took a struggle. It took fighting. No wonder DeSantis is rock hard. He had to be. And not he and the FLGOP win.
So no wonder the red state parties are soft. They can be. But not forever. You know what other state was deep red? The one that gave us Ronald Reagan. California was ultra-mega GOP right up until it wasn’t. Our GOP got soft. It took its dominance for granted. And it nearly got exterminated.
What’s left of the Republicans base in Cali is hard again, and that’s great, but the rest of you red states better watch yourselves. Never, ever, take your red for granted, or the next thing you know you’ll have a socialist human hairstyle for a Democrat governor too.
Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People’s Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.