Republicans and, in particular, the Trump administration, are approaching a historic decision that will shape America for generations to come.
The endless hostility of the Left, exemplified by violent fascists on college campuses, thugs in the streets, determined disrupters at town hall meetings, and the dishonest elite media are all part of their efforts to defeat the reforms and changes that President Trump was elected to implement.
The constant, anonymous leaks from disgruntled federal bureaucrats aim to provide ammunition for the propaganda news media to press the attack.
The Left’s dance of destruction is stunningly choreographed.
I have been overseas for the last three days, and it has been sickening to see so many foreigners terrified because they unknowingly believe the news media’s false reports and vicious attacks. The only version of President Trump they know is the one portrayed in the 24-hour cesspool of CNN and the daily acrimony of the New York Times. Sadly, our own nation’s news media is doing more to undermine America's image than Al Jazeera or Pravda combined.
As the media continues to serve as a megaphone for the nameless federal employees who have axes to grind, remember that 95 percent of 2016 campaign donations from federal employees went to Hillary Clinton. At the State Department, 99 percent of employees who gave supported Clinton, and that figure is 97 percent at the Department of Justice.
Congressional Republicans are rapidly approaching a crossroads. Some have already surrendered by giving up on town hall meetings. Others have accepted the news media's false narrative as the truth. Republicans must decide if they are going to fight for what they believe in or retreat to the tenuous safety of the beltway bubble.
The Trump White House faces an even greater challenge. Trying to reason with, placate, or even respond to the Washington news media is a losing game. Each day, the opposition media is fiercely committed to either magnifying a supposed problem or inventing a new one.
We are today in a one-sided cultural civil war. The Left has picked the battlefield and defined the terms of engagement. If conservatives respond to this aggressive, sometimes violent hostility from the Left with confusion, uncertainty, and appeasement, we are guaranteed to lose the struggle to drain the swamp and reform Washington.
Further, surrendering will destroy America as we know it. Far from making America great again, we will have yielded our country to left-wing thugs, liars, and intimidators.
Those of us who truly want to make America great again have one choice: Fight. Our situation is similar to President Lincoln’s in 1861. He had to make the choice between fighting until he won or giving up on the idea of the United States. Once again, our country is at stake.
Senate Republicans are well-positioned because there are 10 Democratic senators up for re-election in states President Trump won last November. These Democrats should be made to carry the burden of the collapsing Obamacare system and the pain it is causing in their states. They should be made to own every strand of expensive red tape they vote to keep and every Homeland Security measure they oppose. They should be held accountable for every crime in their states committed by criminal aliens protected by sanctuary city laws.
If Senate Republicans implement an all-out campaign, they could pick up all 10 seats and have the largest GOP majority since the election of 1868.
House Republicans have a more difficult challenge. Political polarization, compounded by a number of incumbents retiring, make it harder for them to expand their majority.
But here are some numbers for perspective:
12 congressional districts carried by President Trump are currently represented by Democrats.
These Democrats won by an average of six percent, or just 19,000 votes.
Four won by less than two points.
On the other hand:
23 Republicans are in districts won by Secretary Clinton.
They won their races by an average of 12 percent, or 37,000 votes.
Only one Republican in a Clinton-won district won by less than 2 points.
Defeating the Left's attacks will require House Republicans to engage in significantly more training and planning than they are used to. Most House Republicans have spent their congressional careers in a safe majority. Very few lived through the disaster of 2006, and only a handful of current members were in the so-called permanent minority before 1994.
This House GOP has never faced an all-out political war like this. House Republicans must dramatically reorganize their thinking and restructure their activities – or resign themselves to accepting Speaker Pelosi and the impeachment effort of 2019 (which will be the Democrats’ first priority, should they gain control of the House).
House Republicans must change now. Fighting to retain a majority is far easier than fighting to reclaim it. Remember, before the Contract with America, House Republicans had been in the minority for 40 years.
The Trump White House, however, faces the biggest decisions. Members of the Trump team have used harsh words but timid tactics when dealing with the unending, dishonest, and vicious assaults by the left-wing media.
The President seems to understand how serious and how bad the situation is. He has said:
“As you know I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth." January 21, 2017
“But there are some terrible, dishonest people, and they do a tremendous disservice to our country and to our people. A tremendous disservice. They are very dishonest people, and they shouldn’t use sources. They should put the name of the person. You will see stories dry up like you’ve never seen before.” February 24, 2017
“The Washington media is part of the problem. Their priorities are not my priorities, and they're not your priorities." April 29, 2017
When your opponents are "among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” “do a tremendous disservice service to the country,” and are “part of the problem," then you need a strategy and system that is built around that analysis.
The next few months will see one of the greatest decisions in American history. Do we fight to make America great again, or do we surrender to those who claim the elitist power to dictate to the rest of us?
There is no middle ground.
Newt Gingrich is a former Republican Speaker of the House.