Why Are So Many Republicans Silent
Just for purposes of understanding or considering today’s column, let’s set aside what isn’t relevant to understanding or considering it.
Please set aside your political-party enrollment, how you usually vote, and your preference regarding the 2020 presidential election.
In addition, please set aside your reactions to the 2020 presidential election, your positions regarding the facts surrounding the election, your beliefs regarding the law surrounding the election, and your beliefs regarding how likely or unlikely it is that President Trump won or lost.
However important each of those is to you, none is relevant here.
Have you noticed that a remarkable number of Republicans have been silent or relatively silent on some or all of at least four questions: Their reactions to the 2020 presidential election, their positions regarding the facts surrounding the election, their beliefs regarding the law surrounding the election, and their beliefs regarding how likely or unlikely it is that President Trump won or lost?
Many Democrats and the national press – much of which opposes and is biased against Republicans and conservatives in general, and President Trump in particular – have been vocal on one or more of these four questions. Yet many Republicans have been silent or relatively silent. What could be up?
¯ Let’s start with Never Trumps. Their silence or relative silence now is no surprise. Whatever their individual reasons, they’ve long opposed President Trump.
For example, a former U.S. House of Representatives member said “every opportunity to try to get this guy out of office is a good thing” and falsely compared him to a particular socialist, atheist, totalitarian dictator.
As an aside: Please consider what “every opportunity” includes. Now please imagine the uproar if anyone had issued such a call to action regarding a Democrat president. Yet when the call to action was about President Trump, no apparent public reaction, much less an uproar, ensued.
Again, Never Trumps’ silence or relative silence now on the four questions is no surprise.
¯ Never Trumps aren’t the only Republicans who have been silent or relatively silent on the four questions.
It’s no secret that this column urged President Trump to stay on message.
By Election Day 2020, some Republicans – however many – grew so weary of his not doing so that their support of him waned and, whatever they did that day, they didn’t vote for him.
Their silence or relative silence now on the four questions is also no surprise.
¯ That, however, doesn’t account for Republicans who supported President Trump through Election Day 2020 and have been silent or relatively silent since then.
What accounts for them?
At least some of them may well also have grown weary of the not staying on message.
Yet as to at least some of them, maybe the answer, or one of the answers, to this riddle is self-interest.
Think about it.
On Election Day during the second, and especially during the sixth, year of a presidency, what usually happens to the president’s party? It usually loses seats, and the other major party wins seats, both in races for Congress and in races for state offices in executive and legislative branches.
Does that always happen? No, yet it usually does.
In 2020 congressional elections, Republicans won more seats than they might have.
Particularly given those results, Republicans stand a good chance of having majorities in both houses of Congress after the 2022 elections if a Democrat is in the White House. That chance diminishes if a Republican is in the White House.
Prospects for 2022 state-office races are similar.
Does this explain, or partly explain, the silence or relative silence of some Republicans on the four questions?
Does it do so even in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where principled voices effectively articulating facts and law, including constitutional law, would be particularly helpful?
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the approach, is this an explanation?
Randy Elf joins those observing that sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, Democrats in Congress are more likely than Republicans to stick together.
COPYRIGHT ç 2021 BY RANDY ELF