The Republican Party is on the Verge of Extinction. The Solution is Right in Front of Our Faces.

By Gavin Wood l November 21, 2023

The optimism was high. After less than two years of Joe Biden in the Oval Office (or
really his Delaware beach home), Republicans—and seemingly the majority of
Americans—were tired. They were exhausted by skyrocketing inflation, the invasion at our
southern border, and foreign policy weaknesses in Afghanistan and a proxy war with Russia that
seemed to have no end. The people were burned out, and the polls reflected that. In fact,
according to FiveThirtyEight, Americans favored a Republican Congress over a Democratic one
starting in late 2021, less than a year after the President took office. Over the course of the 2022
midterm cycle, Republicans in Congress had about a two-point advantage over their Democrat
counterparts in the generic ballot polling. When you looked at Senate polls, the conditions were
even better for the GOP. Republicans looked to unseat Sen. Raphael Warnock, keep their
Pennsylvania seat with Dr. Mehmet Oz as the nominee, and also defeat Sen. Catherine
Cortez-Masto of Nevada. There was also national attention in the Arizona and Pennsylvania
gubernatorial races.

The environment was great for Republican candidates nationwide. Because of economic
and foreign policy woes, some even predicted a “1994-style Red Tsunami” to sweep across the
U.S. However, on election night, many of us—myself included—were highly disappointed. It
turned out that even though the majority of Americans were highly frustrated, moderate voters
hated Donald Trump’s candidates (and even the former president himself). Look at the Arizona
governor’s race, for example. Former T.V. news anchor Kari Lake, an outspoken Trump loyalist
and 2020 election denier, faced off against then-Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Trump
and Lake’s criticisms of the late Senator John McCain, a public servant and war hero who represented the Grand Canyon State in Congress for thirty-five years, turned off the moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats that Lake needed to win. At a rally, she told so-called “McCain Republicans” to “get the h*** out.” The former president and Lake’s disrespect of McCain lost the GOP the state in 2020 and 2022, and we are on track to lose it again in 2024. Another example of Trump’s failures is apparent in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race. We now have the sweatpants-wearing and sadly mentally-unfit John Fetterman representing the Keystone State in the upper chamber of Congress. Many argue that if David McCormick had been the Republican nominee, he would be the one representing the Commonwealth in the Senate today.


Not only does Donald Trump choose bad candidates, but he also constantly flip-flops. In
the present day, Trump and his army of Twitter goons are hammering Florida Governor Ron
DeSantis for being “disloyal” with his primary challenge against him for the Republican
nomination for president. First of all, a public official’s loyalties lie only with the people and the
Constitution. Secondly, I find the loyalty narrative amusing because I can’t count on two hands
the number of people Trump has betrayed in the past seven years. Take former Senator and
Attorney General Jeff Sessions of my home state of Alabama, for example. I was only in
elementary school, but I remember how NO ONE took Trump’s campaign seriously. NO ONE.
Celebrities and TV personalities claimed that it was some sort of publicity stunt, and that Donald
Trump would never be the president. Then-Senator Sessions, who at the time was a long-serving
and well-respected member of the body, stuck his neck out for Trump and became the first
senator to endorse him. He supported him because he was campaigning on the issues that
Sessions had been a champion of for decades. Without his endorsement, Trump would possibly
have never even gotten the nomination. Sessions became the top foreign policy advisor to the
Trump 2016 campaign. After being nominated—and confirmed—as the Attorney General,

Sessions recused himself from the DOJ’s investigation into collusion allegations between the
campaign and Russia. Sessions knew these claims were false, but because of his integrity and
respect for the law, he refused to oversee the investigation that he himself was involved in.
Trump later asked for his letter of resignation. When Sessions ran for his old Senate seat in 2020,
Trump viciously attacked him and labeled him as a traitor. Another example of Trump’s
backstabbing is the downfall of former Representative Mo Brooks. Over the course of the Trump
administration, Brooks became an ally to the former president. When former Senator Richard
Shelby announced his retirement, Brooks entered the race. Because of his strong support of
Trump on January 6, Brooks received his support. But as the race went on, Brooks became
stagnant in the polls. To avoid a catastrophically embarrassing loss in deep-red Alabama, Trump
pulled his endorsement and threw his support behind now-Senator Katie Britt.

Even though the Republican Party has underperformed in 2018, 2020, and 2022, it
doesn’t have to be this way. Conservatism is not dead; we have an image problem. Donald
Trump is so polarizing that independents and even moderate members of his own party would
rather cast their ballot for a decrepit, dementia-ridden Joe Biden. We can promote—and
implement—a truly America First, conservative agenda with Governor Ron DeSantis as our
forty-seventh president. Governor DeSantis is a true conservative winner who doesn’t apologize
for standing up for the right to life, and is someone who has actually delivered promises on
dealing with illegal immigrants. You can’t say that about the former president. DeSantis supports
and rallies behind other successful Republican governors, like Kim Reynolds of Iowa and Kevin
Stitt of Oklahoma. The future of the Republican Party and the country are on the ballot this
election cycle. If we nominate Donald Trump again in 2024, we won’t have a Republican Party
anymore. We will deserve what is to come if we continue down this path.

This Article is reprinted with permission from the Author.

Gavin Wood is a political science student and former United States Senate Page. He is currently
a volunteer for the Ron DeSantis campaign and serves as the chairman of Students for DeSantis
at Troy University.