Evidently, the Republican Party has a voter turnout and motivation problem. In these past mid term elections, Democrats did not turn out in record numbers, but rather, Republicans failed to drive out their base, and failed to convince independents to vote for them.
Republican often ran on nothing more than generic campaign talking points and headlines that quickly sounded like white noise to already exhausted likely voters.
Many have looked to Florida or New York for best practice, or how their Republican tickets united to win groundbreaking races across their respective states. But in terms of solid, national conservative policy that voters had the confidence to vote on and support, no state has a better record (or reliability) than Tennessee.
In 2022, Tennessee Republicans increased their margins across the board in terms of share of the vote. Governor Bill Lee; Tennessee’s Republican congressional delegation; and constitutional amendments prioritizing GOP issues dominated the headlines statewide.
About two decades ago, Tennessee was more like Kentucky, often supporting Democrats in state government positions while voting for Republicans in presidential and federal elections. That changed in 2010 when the GOP took over the state house, state senate, and the governorship during the midterm elections. They haven’t given it back since.
Why? Because under this leadership and representation, Tennesseans have witnessed real economy prosperity. More businesses strive to create jobs and give back revenue to the state than at any time in history; the income tax has been done away with since 2014; and citizens are thriving with laws such as the “Right To Work” Amendment passing during this past midterm.
Republicans in state government also worked, after the COVID-19 pandemic, to work on legislation to cut down on bureaucratic authority overriding local and municipal decision-making. In both a constitutional amendment ballot measure in 2022 and a law Governor Bill Lee signed in 2021, the state legislature ensured that the oppressive power that Tennessee’s bureaucracy wielded had during the pandemic was never able to harm Tennessee families again.
The state’s economic and small government approaches aren’t the only reasons for inspiration when motivating Republican voters. The primary purpose is that the state legislature has the audacity to not bow to the mob regarding their passion for enacting national and socially conservative policy.
In the past five years, Tennessee has stood for social conservatism more than many states in the nation. The legislature enacted laws to ban abortion in all cases besides the mother’s life; allowing constitutional carry statewide; and allowing private adoption agencies to decide if families meet their religious criteria before agreeing to an adoption.
Without the fear of public backlash or cancel culture, many in the GOP legislature have refused to back down regarding policies or positions they feel impact Tennessee families. When state house leadership learned about Tennessee’s marquee hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center promoting and enacting genital mutilation surgeries for those with transgender orientations, they spoke out – and took action – in droves.
Many participated in an event organized by conservative commentator Matt Walsh called the ‘Rally to End Child Mutilation.‘ The gathering was headlined by various conservative activists and legislators who pledged to do anything they could to protect children from ‘groomers’ and ‘gender ideologues.’
More recently, a prominent member of state house leadership spoke out against the clothing brand Balenciaga in response to the brand’s ad campaign that promoted grotesque sexual imagery of children. House GOP Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison stated on Twitter that he would do his part “to keep these creeps from obtaining a business license” and called the company groomers themselves.
Even though I’m on the libertarian side of political leanings, & I always want more businesses to come to our great state, I desire to protect children first.
— Rep. Jeremy Faison (@JeremyFaison4TN) November 29, 2022
This brand of fearlessness is precisely what so many conservative leaders across the country lack.
Tennessee is now an example of how Republicans should govern. Instead of running on generic and uninspiring talking points, Republicans should model themselves after Volunteer State conservatives: fighting the culture war, and passing legislation that defeats the cultural Marxism everyday families openly reject.