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Jan 17, 2021 | In The News, Small Business

Donald Trump was elected to “drain the swamp,” put “America first” and flex America’s superiority over China. He fulfilled many of his promises, challenged norms and introduced a new presidential approach. Trump is not the first president who has lost reelection and won’t be the last. But the biggest question remains: Where is the Republican Party heading after the Trump-era?

I believe the Republican Party is turning to a hub for the demographics that have been failed by the Democrats’ empty promises and a platform for those who genuinely value our Constitution and core conservative principles. Lisa McGirr, a history professor at Harvard University, argues “nativism, extreme polarization, truth-bashing, white nationalism and anti-democratic policies that we tend to identify with President Trump are likely to remain a hallmark of the Republican playbook into the future.”

Unfortunately, Trump-hating pundits, writers and media outlets continue their hasty generalizations and are not paying attention to what has been going on within the Republican Party in the past year. Rep. Kat Cammack, the youngest Republican woman elected to Congress, pointed out that her colleagues won their voters’ hearts by addressing their issues without playing identity politics. “We never once went out and said, ‘Vote for me because I’m a woman,’ or ‘Vote for me because I’m a millennial.’ It was always, ‘Vote for me because I’m the best person for the job and here’s why,’ and that is what is resonating with people. I think this narrative that if you are African American or if you are a minority or if you’re a woman you have to vote Democrat couldn’t be further from the truth and the results from this election prove that.”

Indeed, this last November, while much of the focus has been on Trump, Republican voters across the country elected women from diverse backgrounds who have proven to be true to conservative values precisely because of those values. Rep. Stephanie Bice, the first Iranian American member of Congress, flipped the only Democratic-held seat in Oklahoma in the past election. As chair of Oklahoma’s Senate Finance Committee, she spear headed efforts to control state spending and reformed Oklahoma’s liquor laws, creating approximately 5,000 new jobs in her state.

Republican voters in Southern California elected two of the first-ever Korean American women to serve in Congress. Rep. Michelle Steel flipped Orange County’s 48th Congressional District back to Republican. Steel has a long track record of standing up for taxpayer interests. While serving on the California State Board of Equalization, she fought to return nearly $400 million to Californians. Rep. Young Kim, previously the first Korean American to represent Southern California’s 65th Assembly District, regained the 39th Congressional District for the Republicans in the past election. As an immigrant, she has worked to achieve the American dream and believes politicians in D.C. have failed their constituents. As a small business owner herself, she promised to defend their interests and with her message was able to win voters from both parties.

The 2020 elections affirmed that core conservative values built upon the principles of liberty have strong appeal across the country, including increasingly more diverse communities. In contrast, increasingly socialistic platform of the Democratic Party is driving more and more people away. Lisa McGirr and those who share her stance tend to forget that Republican voters have supported those who pledged to defend liberty and stand for the Constitution, even if it went against the preference of their elected president, proving that as influential as the president is, Republican voters are more discerning than they’re given credit for. Last March, President Trump called the libertarian-minded Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie “a disaster for America” and a “third-rate grandstander” after he stood against the rushed $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill and moved to request a roll-call vote. The president went as far as tweeting, “Throw Massie out of Republican Party!” to encourage the voters to support a primary challenger over Massie. Trump, who won the district Massie represents in 2016, failed to deter the Republican voters from re-electing Massie in 2020. “[Voters] want someone to represent them in Washington who will consistently stand up on principle, defend life, and support the Constitution,” Massie wrote in a statement. President Trump is a member of the Republican Party, and he represented well a significant fraction of American voters. But the Republican Party’s principles are what will endure beyond any president and what will continue to attract voters. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has successfully tapped into demographics that the Democratic Party has failed to satisfy.

As the Democratic Party moves more toward socialism, immigrants from countries such as Cuba, Iran, Korea, Venezuela and Vietnam who disfavor such policies are likely to continue gravitating toward the GOP as long as the GOP continues to stand for small government, lower taxes and small businesses.

Tahmineh Dehbozorgi is a columnist for the Southern California News Group. She is currently a contributor at Young Voices. You can follow her on Twitter @DeTahmineh.

San Bernardino Sun

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