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OPINION

Republicans: There Is Too Much at Stake to Go Back to Square One

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

I came up in politics through the grassroots, where you learn first-hand that the single most important thing you can do in an election is knock on your neighbor’s door and have a conversation. As a suburban mom in Michigan, I got involved with my local party because I wanted to stand up for conservative values in my community. Thousands of conversations and doors knocked later, I was the Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party when President Donald Trump shocked the pundits and won the White House in 2016. No one thought that Michigan would flip to the Republican column in that election, but we delivered the Great Lakes State.

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I still live in Michigan – not Washington, DC – and I have brought the grassroots mindset I learned in my home state to my current role as RNC Chair. Since 2017 I have logged half a million miles travelling this great country to meet with, walk with, and listen to hundreds of thousands of our citizens from coast to coast. Like so many of the patriots who power our party, I have turned out voters at gas stations in Michigan, knocked doors in Georgia, and volunteered alongside Hispanic Americans fed up with the Democrat party in places like California, Texas, and Florida.

I didn’t become Chairwoman of the Republican Party by going on TV and sniping at other Republicans. I became Chairwoman of the Republican Party because I am a grassroots leader who knows how to build a political organization from the ground up. And when it’s time to hit the ground ahead of Election Day, I roll up my sleeves, travel to as many states as possible, and dive in.

The past weeks have been busy as our party re-assesses our midterm performance – which included achieving our main goal of flipping the House and firing Nancy Pelosi — and tries to take away useful lessons to apply to future elections. While many people are rightfully upset about some of the outcomes, it’s helpful to know what exactly the RNC does in each election cycle. Imagine that elections are like sports. To use a metaphor, the RNC builds and maintains the stadium that the game is played in. We don’t sign players – the voters choose their candidates. We don’t call the plays – campaigns decide their own strategies. We provide resources, infrastructure, and support across the ecosystem. Prominent Republicans who tell you otherwise either don’t understand what this organization does or are lying for personal political gain.

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Building infrastructure means transferring more money than ever to all 56 state and territory Republican parties to build a nationwide grassroots infrastructure, which the RNC has done under my leadership. It means providing legal support: in this past midterm cycle, we filed 80 election integrity lawsuits, sued Google for suppressing our emails, and successfully sued to stop the Biden administration’s unlawful vaccine mandate. It means providing infrastructure that candidates can use, which we did by opening 38 community centers to engage with minority voters alongside opening hundreds of other field offices nationwide. We saw a return on that investment as more Black and Hispanic voters shifted to the Republican party, helping secure key victories in states like California, Florida, and Arizona – all where the RNC had community centers on the ground.

We need to build on that progress, not go back to square one. I have a vision for the future of our Party and that starts with continuing our conversations with the grassroots. That’s why I’ve established an advisory committee to continue to find innovative ways to harness the youth vote, grow our small dollar fundraising, and give candidates best practices on how to compete and win. I have also reconvened our Election Integrity Committee to address how our Party can use California and North Carolina as the model for Early Vote and ballot harvesting. Our work with the biased Commission on Presidential Debates is not over, we must find a free and fair platform for our candidates to debate. The work of flipping seats in 2024 and nominating a Republican candidate who will make Joe Biden a one-term President is already underway.

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Thankfully we now have a Republican House full of leaders who will be a firewall against radical Democrat rule and finally hold this administration accountable for its many betrayals of the American people. If we let our party fall into an endless cycle of division and backbiting today, we will be giving up on a massive opportunity tomorrow.

It has been the honor of my life leading this party, and we have more work to do. If we stay united instead of divided – and build on our progress instead of going back to the drawing board – we will secure conservative victories for cycles to come.

Ronna McDaniel is Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee running for reelection at next week's Winter Meeting of the RNC. 

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