May we all resolve to have a better year in 2022. Not only personally, but also politically.
Here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, normalcy is returning to Richmond through the incoming Youngkin administration. After January 15th, our state will start to undo eight years of Democratic ruin.
With no end to COVID in sight nationally, however, red states and other localities can be a bulwark against mandates—mask, vaccine, or otherwise.
Voters will put a check on the Biden administration during the midterm elections. Moreover, conservatives will valiantly fight the culture war. But we can’t neglect some important issues that slip under the radar.
Here are three political resolutions for conservatives to fulfill in 2022.
Fight for Freelancers
Why? Of all the economic sectors, the freelance economy grew last year - with 500,000 additional solopreneurs - as workers left their traditional 9-to-5 jobs. They cited the need for greater flexibility, better work-life balance, and a work environment free of mandates and politics.
Fighting for freelancers comes in two forms. One is opposing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The other is opposing regulatory fiat by the Department of Labor or the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Among its many problematic provisions, the PRO Act would deliberately misclassify independent workers as employees, abolish right-to-work laws, and make union membership compulsory for employment. Moreover, Democrats and their Big Labor allies could get up to $3 billion per election cycle if this law were to pass in Congress.
Biden’s Department of Labor withdrew the Trump administration’s independent contractor rule that protected workers from misclassification as employees. Last month, the NLRB invited groups and parties to “submit briefs addressing whether the Board should reconsider its standard for determining the independent contractor status of workers.”
As I noted in Townhall last February:
Very few freelancers want to be reclassified. In fact, they don’t want to be liberated from flexibility.
Fewer than one in 10 independent contractors support a traditional working environment. A 2019 Contently study similarly found 88 percent of independent contractors oppose worker reclassification laws.
If one purports to care about American workers, they must join the fight to protect freelancers this year. Freelancing is pro-family, pro-freedom, and pro-free market.
Export School Choice Nationally
2021 was the year parents took back control of their kids’ education, as evidenced in the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election. 2022, in turn, can be the year school choice emerges as a top election issue.
As school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis stressed, “Parents are the new education special interest in town, and they aren’t going away any time soon. Politicians from all parties would be wise to take their side. After all, parents are going to fight for the right to educate their children as they see fit harder than anyone else will fight to take that right away from them.”
With threats to shut down schools again looming, giving parents choice in their kids’ educational opportunities must be prioritized.
Given the anticipated engagement by parents in upcoming school board elections, POLITICO claimed conservative and Republican parents will make these elections more partisan.
Republicans across America are pressing local jurisdictions and state lawmakers to make typically sleepy school board races into politicized, partisan elections in an attempt to gain more statewide control and swing them to victory in the 2022 midterms.
Even sensible Democrats like Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D-CO) agree.
“Glenn Youngkin’s message in Virginia was parents should control schools, right?” Polis told National Journal. “We take school choice as a given in Colorado. We have open enrollment within districts and between districts. We have charter schools and magnet schools."
Undoubtedly, school choice has broad appeal. It must be embraced by policymakers, candidates, and activists. Not only that, the issue should be brought front and center.
Advocate for True Conservation
The Right shouldn’t cede this issue to the Left —especially when they, particularly the Biden administration, are pushing for 30x30, the elimination of oil and gas leasing programs on federal lands, and ruinous preservationist policies that harm people and nature.
How can conservatives promote true conservation?
Promoting the Western Conservation Principles agenda is a good first start. Support an all-of-the-above energy policy—especially natural gas, geothermal, and nuclear. Encourage NEPA reform and active forest management. Tout hunting and fishing since we greatly partake in and help fund these activities.
Conservatives need not neglect these three policy areas in 2022.
To make long-term gains—while attracting weary independents and Democrats—focusing here is a good start.