For those conducting a postmortem on the “red wave” that died before it had a chance to reach shore, one explanation seems to stick out: Donald Trump.
Yes, Trump’s chosen candidates underperformed significantly in several Senate and gubernatorial races. The former president didn’t help matters any by declaring victory anyhow and, without missing a beat, attacking the one Republican who overperformed on Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
However, oversimplifying the GOP’s woes to a showdown between Trump and electoral realities overlooks a more ominous reason for the loss. What if conservatism didn’t prevail because there’s simply not much left to conserve, at least morally, in the United States?
Contrary to what Democrats told us in the waning days of the election season, democracy wasn’t on the ballot this time around. Inflation and the economy were — and those, without question, hurt Democrats.
The balance of the issues, however, were social in nature.
Republicans wanted Roe v. Wade to be kept overturned and for states to choose how to protect the unborn; Democrats not only wanted Roe reinstated as the law of the land, they wanted to go further, often proposing there be no exceptions to abortion on demand before a child is born.
Republicans wanted a safer country, while Democrats didn’t think crime was even an issue.
Republicans campaigned on parental rights in education, while Democrats compared attempts by parents’ groups to keep outright pornography from entering school libraries to “book-burning.”
The GOP wanted to restrict “gender-transitioning” medications and procedures from being used on minors; Democrats called this “transphobic.”
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As columnist Mark Lewis noted at Townhall.com, these issues might not have resonated with voters because America is morally bankrupt and running up more ethical debt by the day.
“The United States has been drifting leftward politically and downward morally since the 1960s. There have been occasional blips in that political slide — Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump come to mind — but they…