• Brian M. Lewis

The Future of Conservatism: Who Is Lauren Witzke?

Looking ahead into the future, it’s not clear exactly what right wing politics will look like in ten years, twenty or even thirty. There’s several visions, one is the vision laid out by the Gen Z GOP, which is one of capitulation on social issues, issues of national identity, race, and everything. This is what most people will think of if you ask them what the GOP will look like in the future, because it continues the trends of the past that saw the GOP go from Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower to John McCain, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. There’s the perpetuation of Trumpism and the continued focus on nationalistic foreign policy, but as you know, this will eventually be rendered unfeasible, sooner than later - and is probably the least likely to translate to electoral success 20 years in the future. The third is building on Trumpism, transforming it into something that does have the longevity to form a right wing movement that will be solvent for decades to come even in the face of a diversifying electorate. For this, we have to have principles to form the basis of that movement, ones which we are unwilling to compromise on, and ones that are popular enough for us to ultimately win the day. In order to figure out what these may be, we have to take a number of factors into consideration, most notably, their popularity, especially in states that we’ll have to aim at turning red in order to counterbalance the demographic shift going on in others, as well as their practicality, both in effect and in principle.


Implicit in the notion of building off of Trumpism is taking a stand on social issues, rather than giving up on them. To do this, tactics have to be changed, and rather than merely talking about the importance of family and traditional life, we should seek to lay out the infrastructure necessary to support families and traditional lifestyles through the use of the government. After all, if we’re unwilling to use government power to support something as fundamentally conservative and basic to our society as the family, how conservative are we really? If we’re going to win on an issue like abortion, rather than merely talking about how the child is alive, and the inherent flaws behind any argument the left has ever made to the contrary, the platform that we run on should be representative of our desire to support the unborn after they are out of the womb. This would manifest itself in the implementation of pro-family policy and the diversion of current welfare programs to supporting families that remain whole, rather than maintain the current policies which aid the left’s crusade to break apart the nuclear family. This is the piece of the puzzle that Republicans continue to miss on this issue through their proclivity to tie themselves to the post of inaction due to their tendency to fixate on things like small government.


Also implicit is leaning into the notion of the Republican Party as the party of the white man, something that most people will instinctively recognize. This means ditching Kushner and his First Step Act and incessant pandering to blacks, and delivering actual, tangible results for the white working class. Less Kushner, and more Trump. Trump won 57% of the white vote, 29% of the Latino vote, 8% of the black vote, and 27% of the Asian vote. Whites (being 71% of the electorate) are the only reason Donald Trump is in the White House. The fact that Republicans haven’t decided that they should attempt to appeal to whites directly like they do to all other minority groups is perplexing, even from an entirely unbiased perspective. It should be clear to them that targeting a group that is 71% of the electorate is significantly more electorally worthwhile than a group that is 11% or 12% or even 4%. Yet, they persist in their failed crusade, and as a result we’ve won the popular vote once since 1988. Now, that’s not to state that the popular vote is relevant to electoral victory, thank god - or hope would already be lost. But, the failures to win over a majority of the population is indicative of the failures of the strategy of appealing to small sectors of the electorate while neglecting the lion’s share.


Now, that’s nice to say - but what would that appeal look like? Well, I believe the answer to lie in something similar to the ideology of Christian Democracy that is present throughout Europe and Latin America. Rather than the traditional process of moderating a right wing movement and compromising our beliefs on social issues, we go to the left on economic ones, that means being pro-union, pro-tariff (Trump is already there) and pro-worker. This won’t win us all white people, but it will win us enough to stave off the electoral winter. Furthermore, I think that this would help us with hispanic voters too in the long term, since a lot of them are social conservatives and fiscal liberals. Texas, Florida and Arizona would be salvageable, and keeping those states should be our top priorities, along with flipping the Rust Belt, Cascadia, and certain areas of the northeast - which are some of the whitest areas of the country, and thus on the table if we were to directly reach out to the white voters there. It’ll take a lot, but the electorate is always shifting.


As the electorate shifts more and more, you will see candidates pop up that are...unique, but not unusual. They’re symptoms of the ongoing electoral shift. Donald Trump was one, he captured the appetite of the Republican voter base for something beyond the typical conservatism that they were used to voting in. However, he is merely a transition to what the Republican party can be.


This year, there have been a number of different people who fit this mold running for office, but all of them, James Tulp, Jarome Bell, Pete D’Abrosca, went down one way or another. Except...for one. Lauren Witzke is a candidate for the U.S Senate in Delaware, she’s a former sales representative at a Wilmington pharmaceutical company who became depressed and eventually developed an addiction to pain pills. From there, she says it spiralled into a full blown heroin addiction which caused her to lose everything, including her job. She went to a treatment program in Tennessee, where she unknowingly started working for the daughter of the drug lord of a Mexican Cartel family. She sold pot, then heroin and methamphetamine, and eventually her addiction flared back up. She was able to go to a year long rehab program in Virginia where she finally got clean, and became the program’s director. She later worked for Trump Victory in Iowa, where he won such a tremendous victory in 2016, later returning to Delaware and describing that “all” of her friends there had died of overdoses, before finally deciding to run against Senator Chris Coons this election cycle.


In Witzke’s Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey, she outlines the top three key messages of her campaign, which are restoring the family, restricting immigration, and addressing America’s opioid crisis. These three points are perfect, and they’re exactly how we will win the future.


To restore the family, Witzke believes we should implement natalist policies like the ones that have been implemented by Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party - characterized most notably by their practice of offering 33,000€ loans to newly married couples that will be forgiven entirely if the couple taking the loan has three children. I’m sure if Witzke heard my plan to give $1200/month to unemployed, married mothers whose husbands are employed in some fashion, she would be absolutely in favor of that, and that’s something I can’t really say for any other Republican politician.


To restrict immigration, Witzke believes in the institution of a ten year immigration moratorium in which the amount of immigrants who enter our country in any given year will be limited to the amount of people who leave the country in that same year. Also known as net zero migration, again, something outside the bounds of right wing ideas in the present, even outside of the corporate Republican establishment that believes in open borders. You even have the President occasionally paying lip service to open borders talking about how we need record amounts of legal immigrants, not with Witzke however.


In regards to the opioid crisis, I haven't found any specific policy prescriptions, but she has said in the past that the issues of immigration and the opioid crisis are tied together intimately, and that's true. Most of the meth and cocaine in our country comes from Mexico and Colombia, and are a direct result of having an unsecured border. Close the borders, and the flow of these drugs is cut off. (Yes, obviously meth is manufactured here as well but not at the same qualities or quantities).


You can’t hear Witzke’s story and argue that she doesn’t understand the opioid crisis in this country on a deeply personal level, you can’t hear her story and argue that she doesn’t understand just how little regard that the people we bring into this country have for us. Perhaps you can gather that Witzke’s platform is not the only thing about her that is emblematic of where the GOP will ultimately end up, but the story as well. Witzke is an everyday person, someone who I’m sure never would have dreamed of running for office while she was working at her cushy pharmaceutical job - but her circumstances changed, and the rot that is tearing at the fabric of our nation got to her, just like it has gotten to so many of us. The future Republican Party will consist of everyday people who had their lives upturned by the very system we are fighting against, and that is how we will maintain our authenticity, and our electability moving forward.

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