If you’ve ever been to a Donald Trump rally, you know what I’m talking about. The excitement, the electricity, the palpable energy in the crowd. It’s almost like a much-anticipated music concert, only with political speeches instead of singing. Some might think that would make it less entertaining, but if you agree with what’s being said that’s not the case at all. As speaker after speaker builds momentum and the ultimate headliner comes on to uproarious standing applause, it’s hard not to look around at everyone around you, the tens of thousands of red or blue-clad ordinary Americans, and imagine anyone, anywhere NOT supporting the subject of all this staunch devotion.
Such rallies have taken place hundreds of times all across America since 2015. Trump’s supporters, including myself, would often point to them as proof that the former president’s voters were super-duper motivated to turn out at the polls on election day. While Democrats campaigned from basements and their supporters locked down and hid for years behind their face diapers, conservatives were living life and getting ready to reward their president with a second term.
Except, that’s not what happened at all, even though Trump did win more votes than any other GOP candidate in history. Turns out, perpetually masked Covidians afraid of their own shadows do vote, or at least they can be convinced to turn in their mail-in ballots to Democratic operatives for delivery to the nearest polling place. You can cry cheating, and many, including Trump, did ad nauseam, but you can’t argue with the effectiveness of the strategy. Use Covid as an excuse to send a mail-in ballot to EVERY voter, then make sure as many ballots as possible that are returned survive any challenges and are counted. You don’t need hacked voting machines to ensure victory if you do that, because we know who is most likely to commit shenanigans on those things during the God knows how many points of contact they have before they are actually in official - even honest official - hands.
Dozens of states, including Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, have enacted provisions that allow voters to request mail-in ballots without specifying a reason. At least nine - California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington state - mail ballots to every voter automatically. Arizona, a former swing state that is now hard blue, has gone the mail-in direction for a decade. What could possibly go wrong for Republicans? Everything, obviously.
Last week on TruthSocial, Trump wrote - in ALL CAPS for emphasis, “REMEMBER, YOU CAN NEVER HAVE FAIR & FREE ELECTIONS WITH MAIL-IN BALLOTS - NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. WON’T AND CAN’T HAPPEN!!!”
Well if that’s true, the GOP is dead. Since the 2020 election, Democrats beat Republicans by 9 percentage points when it comes to voting by mail. Trump can whine all he wants, and perhaps some or even much of it is justified, but how are laws going to be changed in these states before they swing all the way blue? Arizona now has a Democratic governor. Nevada just elected a Republican, but the state’s senate is still Democratic. Are Democrats going to give up their golden goose because Republicans whine?
So is all hope lost? As Lee Corso would say, not so fast! It’s time to start at least attempting to beat Democrats at their own game. I know this is hard for some of you to hear, but as it happens, Republicans are quite capable of voting by mail too. And, as has been shown in several key California districts critical to the GOP taking over the House next month, they can also ballot harvest. It just takes a paradigm shift that has been a long time coming.
Attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who should be running the Republican National Committee instead of perpetual losers like Ronna McDaniel, suggested as much during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” last week. “We are not chasing ballots,” she said. “We are not doing what the Democrats do, which is making sure that we hunt down every Republican ballot and get it to the polls and get it in early.”
Just as turnout to a Trump rally didn’t mean diddly-squat about whether or not ultimate victory would be achieved in that state or district, turnout on election day doesn’t matter anymore either, not in an age of early voting and mail-in ballots. In the states where it’s necessary, it’s time to get with the times. To win, Republicans need to match Democratic efforts and get their own ballots turned in, regardless of whether that voter has any intention of showing up on election day. Bank every vote possible for as long and as early as you’re legally allowed, because you’re not guaranteed tomorrow and you’re certainly not guaranteed election day. It takes boots on the ground. It takes effort. It takes a paradigm shift. But if the choice is between that and losing perpetually, the path forward seems abundantly clear.