There is plenty to lament right now. But conservatives’ time and energy would be better spent thinking ahead and plotting a future—one that, in all likelihood, can still be salvaged.
The presidency of Joseph R. Biden Jr., a thoroughly mediocre and gaffe-prone career politician in the throes of debilitating senescence, has commenced. It has done so with disingenuous paeans to unity, thinly veiled swipes at his “deplorable” political foes and an immediate executive action-driven assault on his predecessor’s legacy—from the environment to immigration to religious liberty—that is simply breathtaking in its scope.
Worse, the Biden-Harris regime has taken power as America’s myriad corporate bastions, led by Big Tech, dutifully promise to punish dissenters to the regime’s enforced monolithic orthodoxy.
For conservatives, it could get ugly out there as we spend our near-term future in political exile. And this is before even considering the possibility that the U.S. Senate, now under de facto Democratic leadership, may well ditch the legislative filibuster, opening up a Pandora’s box of power-grab possibilities that could irrevocably transform the republic—chiefly, “packing” the Supreme Court and lower courts, and statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
At first blush, it is difficult to sugarcoat such a would-be dystopia. There is, it seems, no limit to what a Democratic-controlled House-Senate-White House trifecta might be able to accomplish. But the reality, once we step back and soberly assess our predicament, is more nuanced; there is a path forward for a conservative revival by the time of either the 2022 midterm elections or the 2024 presidential election.
In terms of the federal government, conservatives still nominally control the Supreme Court and, post-Trump, the majority of the crucial circuit courts of appeals. Democrats may try to “pack” these courts if they nuke the filibuster, but unless and until they do so, the judiciary—however unreliable Republican-nominated judges often are—will still often redound to conservatives’ interests and forestall much of the Biden Administration’s worst impulses. It is thus incumbent upon well-positioned bastions of conservative legal clout, centered around Texas’s Office of the Solicitor General, to aggressively litigate and seek recourse in the courts.
In terms of state governments, Republicans still retain a majority (30) of unified state legislatures. Indeed, nearly half of all states (23) have both a Republican governor and a unified Republican state legislature. These red states can and ought to serve as hubs for conservatives’ own quasi-“resistance” over the next four years.
Conservatives must do the hard work of actually building up the digital and corporate infrastructure to push back in earnest against Big Tech, “woke” capital, and the broader “cancel culture” threat to the American way of life…..
Josh Hammer is the opinion editor of Newsweek. A popular conservative commentator, he is of counsel at First Liberty Institute and a syndicated columnist through Creators. A frequent pundit on political, legal and cultural issues, Hammer is a constitutional attorney by training. He is a former John Marshall Fellow of the Claremont Institute and was a law clerk for Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).