Will conservatives sleep through yet another primary cycle?

We are rapidly approaching the most important primaries of our lifetime. Sure, the presidential primary — the one we all slept through — might be behind us, but most states still have not held their primaries for down-the-ballot state and federal offices. Will the unprecedented betrayals of the past few months finally catalyze change among Republican voters and activists? Or will we continue to reflexively nominate every incumbent and the most well-known politician with an “R” next to his name, ensuring we perpetuate dystopian uni-party governance?

The reality is, despite the shocking betrayals, not a single House or Senate Republican has gone down in a primary this year. If we don’t step up our game, the bad guys will pitch a shutout.

Thanks to state freedom caucuses, we now have an established brand challenging the uni-party across the country.

Nine of the 50 states have held primaries so far, including Texas. Dozens of Republicans who have voted for Ukraine funding and omnibus bills have sailed to renomination before our eyes. Even the few who voted properly will likely revert to their natural disposition once they’ve secured the nomination. Several of the worst senators, such as Mississippi’s Roger Wicker, won Donald Trump’s endorsement even while he was opposing us on every major issue.

What we are doing is not working.

Sorry, but Trump backs RINOs

We have slept through the primaries ever since the Tea Party era, intoxicated by the personality of one man as if that one man alone would fix everything wrong with the party. Sadly, Trump has come full circle. Over the course of the four election cycles that he’s dominated the party, he has endorsed nearly every lukewarm Republican incumbent. He only opposes RINOs when they slight him personally. The newer crop of Republicans has gotten smarter and learned to ingratiate themselves to the man at the top even as they repudiate the values of his base.

This has created a dynamic where the Chamber of Commerce Republicans we were beginning to defeat during the Tea Party era are more secure now than ever before. Very few conservative rising stars in state legislatures will challenge incumbent members of the House or Senate when they know Trump will likely pull the rug out from under them. This is why we have not drained the GOP swamp since Trump took the party by storm in 2016.

A whopping 24 of the 31 GOP senators who voted for the Ukraine grift have been endorsed by Trump — not just during the general election but in the primary — at some point over the past six years. Two of them — Wicker and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota — are up for reelection this year but had Trump’s endorsement early on, despite their globalist voting records on nearly every important issue.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We learned from the Texas legislative primaries that when Trump and the party leadership unite behind principle, we reap immediate dividends. More than a dozen incumbents were either defeated or drawn into runoffs, including state House Speaker Dade Phelan. Imagine if Trump would endorse against incumbents in other states?

Building a bench in the states

Thanks to state freedom caucuses, we now have an established brand challenging the uni-party across the country. These are the most important elections of our lifetime because they will decide whether we have authentic red state alternatives in which to seek shelter when the federal system becomes even more insufferable than today, especially if Biden wins re-election.

In Wyoming, for example, 13 RINOs face challenges in the House and several others in the Senate. In Idaho, another state with a liberal Republican governor, the freedom caucus has challengers against 19 sitting House members and seven senators who are allies of Gov. Brad Little.

If the freedom caucuses succeed in these states, they will gain a majority in some chambers and will be the last thing standing between us and complete dystopia. In that sense, red state primaries are our insurance policy against federal malevolence.

The importance of the freedom caucus legislative elections will also resonate for years as we build a bench of candidates to run for higher office.

It’s already happening. In Missouri, state Sen. Bill Eigel is running for governor and Denny Hoskins is running for secretary of state. They were both kicked off their committees by leadership for forcing votes on bills that the uni-party hates. State Rep. Bob Onder, a member of the Missouri House Freedom Caucus, is running against incumbent Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer in the Show Me State’s 3rd Congressional District.

The South Carolina Freedom Caucus has landed challengers to 33 incumbents in the June 11 primaries and is defending many of its existing stars. State Rep. Adam Morgan is challenging William Timmons in the Spartanburg-based 4th Congressional District. Trump has endorsed Timmons, but Morgan might be our only chance to knock off an incumbent this year. Stewart Jones, another freedom caucus warrior, is running in the other upstate district, an open seat.

In 2026, the South Carolina Freedom Caucus will likely have the clout to field a candidate for governor next cycle. But that would necessitate the right to pressure Trump away from endorsing Tim Scott, who might seek the governorship. He also needs to be dissuaded from endorsing Lindsey Graham for re-election.

This is just a small sampling of what is at stake in the upcoming congressional primaries. There are several open red seats as well as perfidious incumbents standing for renomination. Our future success every day between the election hinges upon these primaries that we all too often snooze through the process.

We should make it clear early on that we will not support any candidate who does not commit to joining a freedom caucus so that we finally break this cycle of apathetically choosing the first big-name Republican that pops out on the ballot. Of course, 90% of the biggest names are the biggest troublemakers bought out by the industries.

Much of what happens in the presidential election is out of our hands. But it is emphatically within our power to influence the remaining red state primaries. If we continue to renominate these clowns, it won’t be the result of some phantom voter fraud in red states (unlike the blue states). If we are stuck with the same crop of uni-party Republicans this time next year, it will all be the result of our intractable laziness.

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